Understanding Interruptions (Minimum)


The intent of this Success Criterion is to avoid interrupting users during their interaction with a Web page. When users are distracted, especially users with impaired attention or memory, they may forget what they were doing and abandon the task. This can happen even when the original task is extremely important.

Where a site may generate interruptions, the user must be able to postpone or suppress them, such that:

  1. Popups and other interruptions can be easily delayed or turned off [Editor: do we need a definition for popup?]
  2. Media events can be easily delayed or turned off [Editor: how is this different from Pause, Hide, Stop?]
  3. Chat functions can be easily turned off and on again
  4. Non-critical messages can easily be turned off and on again

Changes in content that are not initiated by the user must be avoided. Secondary content (such as special offers or complementary material) should be easily identified, controlled and turned off.

Other potential distractions are covered by existing WCAG Success Criteria Pause, Stop, Hide, Audio Control, Three Flashes or Below Threshold, Low or No Background Audio, Timing Adjustable. These success criteria are aimed at specific considerations which can have repercussions on certain user groups, but also have a broader effect of reducing distractions for all users.



Popus can be turned off by the user

Overlays, such as those designed to notify the user of new features, can be easily toggled off by the user through a 'show no more messages' checkbox on the overlays. Instructions on how to re-enable the overlays are included if the user chooses this option.

Chat functions can be disabled

A chat function that offers real-time assistance can be closed by users, so that they are not distracted by new content which appears that is not the result of their actions. A prominent mechanism to re-open the chat function is available.

Status updates can be turned off by the user

Status notices which appear in a region of the screen, and which may distract certain users, can be disabled through a checkbox. The same checkbox allows the user to toggle the updates back on.




Techniques that are sufficient to meet the Guideline or Success Criterion.



Techniques that are not sufficient by themselves to meet the Guideline or Success Criterion.

Same template as sufficient techniques.


Techniques that document conditions that would cause the page not to meet the Guideline or Success Criterion, even if sufficient techniques are also used.

Same template as sufficient techniques.