Understanding Success Criterion 1.3.6: Identify Purpose

In content implemented using markup languages, the purpose of User Interface Components, icons, and regions can be programmatically determined.

Intent of Success Criterion 1.3.6: Identify Purpose

The intent of this success criterion is to support personalization and support user preferences and user needs. This extra support will enable more people to use the web, communicate and interact with society.

For example, having familiar terms and symbols is key for users with a limited vocabulary to being able to use the web. However, what is familiar for some users may not be for other users, requiring them to learn new symbols. Personalization could include loading a set of symbols that is appropriate for the specific user, ensuring that all users find the icons simple and familiar.

Technology holds the promise of being extremely flexible. The design of many systems includes the expectation that users will be able to optimise their interaction experience according to their personal preferences or accessibility requirements (needs).

This success criteria requires the author to add the context, propose and meaning of symbols, regions, buttons, links and fields so that user agents knows what they do and can adapt them to make them understandable for the user. It is achieved by adding semantics or metadata that provides this context. It is similar to adding role information (as required by 4.2.1) but instead of providing information about what the UI component is (such as an image) it provides information about what the component represents (such as a man or women).

It is also recommended to use metadata to clarify the context, propose and meaning of any ambiguous UI elements, including text. This can be achieved using the ARIA AUI vocabulary.

Common ways to meet this success criteria include:

Benefits of Success Criterion 1.3.6: Identify Purpose

Products for people who are non-vocal often use symbols to help users communicate. These symbols are in fact peoples’ language. Unfortunately, many of these symbols are both subject to copy write AND not interoperable. That means end-users can only use one device, and cannot use content, apps or AT that has not been made by a single company.

This success criteria enables symbols to be interoperable so that nonverbal people so that symbol users can understand different content that was not just made by one company. When user’s symbols are mapped to the same nodes then users agents will be able to load the user understandable symbol. That means the end use could buy the symbols and use them across different devices or applications. (Note that the symbols would still be proprietary, but they would also be interoperable.)

This Success Criterion also helps users who need extra support or a familiar interface, including:

We need personalization because:

This helps people with many different cognitive disabilities including people with:

Together this can affect 11% of school age people and over half of people over 60 years old - including those with mild cognitive impairments and Age-Associated Memory Impairment (AAMI).

Research on these benefits can be found at [@@need a proper URI and description: cudd-1] and the task force'sissue-papers on personalization and preferences. Also see theexample of an adaptive page

Examples of Success Criterion 1.3.6: Identify Purpose

@@title Example 1

An example is a user can be a person growing older whose ability to learn new things has slowed down. This includes learning new interfaces, symbols, and designs. They may also rely on tool tips. So long as the design is one they know they can use the application and stay in the work force. When interfaces change, they may try to learn the new interface, but the cognitive load becomes too great and they need to retire.

For example, assume an author can make it programanticaly known that a button is used to send an email. At at the user end, the button could be renderer with a symbol, term, and/or tooltips that is understandable for this particular user. It could automatically imply F1 help that explains the send function in simple terms. It could be identified with a keyboard short cut that will always be used for send. In addition it could be identified as important and always rendered, or rendered as a large button.

@@title Example 2

In another example products for people who are non vocal often use symbols to help users communicate. These symbols are in fact people's language. Unfortunately many of these symbols are both subject to copyright and are not interoperable. That means end-users can only use one device, and can not use apps or AT from a different company. An open set of references for symbol codes for these symbol sets however, could be interoperable. That means the end user could use an open source symbol set or buy the symbols and use them across different devices or applications. Symbols could still be proprietary but they would also be interoperable.

Resources Success Criterion 1.3.6: Identify Purpose

Techniques for Success Criterion 1.3.6: Identify Purpose

Sufficient Techniques

  • Use semantics to provide extra context (COGA Techniques 4.1). EG: <button coga-action="undo" >default</button>
  • Using schema semantics
  • Using autocorrect on datafields (conforming to https://www.w3.org/TR/html5/forms.html#attr-fe-autocomplete)
  • Provide semantics that enables for symbols on key content (COGA Techniques 4.2)
  • Using microformats  http://microformats.org/wiki/h-event
  • Adding clarifications for numbers
  • Removing ambiguities with coga semantics <span aui-literal="it is raining hard"> It is raining cats and dogs </span>
  • Adding feedback. coga-feedback="your email on birthdays was sent"
  • Identifying the concept in  symbols  (using aui-concept)
  • Use of aria epub on document content
  • Use of aria landmarks - but with coga context where helpful
  • Identifying part in the process using coga sematics https://w3c.github.io/personalization-semantics/#logs

Advisory Techniques

  • Enable user agents to find the version of the content that best fits their needs.
  • Using semantics to identify important features (coga-simplification="simplest")
  • Use of aria-invalid and aria-required