Inactive UI components and WCAG 2 compliance

Jonathan Hung jhung at ocad.ca
Wed Oct 13 14:17:14 UTC 2010


Thanks Everett, Mike, and Jan!

It seems that this situation is an example of a mismatch between an
established convention and a user need. In this case, a user who requires
high contrast to use a system is excluded from the same experience because
"greying out" is the established practice.

After some discussions here at the IDRC, I think this issue of high contrast
disabled / inactive UI elements is something that can be addressed with
Fluid UI Options. I have created a ticket to investigate, test, and
implement a suitable approach to be used for UI Options. (See this issue:
http://issues.fluidproject.org/browse/FLUID-3795).

Going beyond the high contrast case, the fact that a UI element is disabled
or inactive doesn't mean it shouldn't be accessible (which is the argument
we're all making).

If there is anyone interested in contributing designs or ideas to
FLUID-3795, it's most welcome!

Cheers,

- Jonathan.

---
Jonathan Hung / jhung at ocad.ca <jhung.utoronto at gmail.com>
IDRC - Interaction Designer / Researcher
Fax: (416) 977-9844



On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 2:19 PM, Richards, Jan <jrichards at ocad.ca> wrote:

>  Hi Jonathon,
>
>
>
> I think it means that the button text must meet the relevant contrast
> requirement when active (clickable), but is then exempt once it becomes
> inactive.
>
>
>
> My assumption is that they did this on purpose because “graying out” is a
> very common practice when things are inactive.
>
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> Jan
>
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> (Mr) Jan Richards, M.Sc.
>
> jrichards at ocad.ca | 416-977-6000 ext. 3957 | fax: 416-977-9844
>
> Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) | http://inclusivedesign.ca/
>
> Faculty of Design | OCAD University
>
>
>
> *From:* jhung.utoronto at gmail.com [mailto:jhung.utoronto at gmail.com] *On
> Behalf Of *Jonathan Hung
> *Sent:* October 12, 2010 10:55 AM
> *To:* Richards, Jan
> *Cc:* Fluid Work; Gay, Greg
> *Subject:* Inactive UI components and WCAG 2 compliance
>
>
>
> Hi Jan,
>
> Greg and I were having a conversation in the IRC channel about WCAG
> compliance and inactive/disabled UI components. According to the WCAG
> guideline, it states:
>
> "Text or images of text that are part of an inactive user interface
> component, that are pure decoration, that are not visible to anyone, or that
> are part of a picture that contains significant other visual content, have
> no contrast requirement."
>
>
> (Reference:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#visual-audio-contrast-contrast
> )
>
>
> In the context of a button that is active and then becomes inactive when
> activated (i.e. a Submit button that is enabled until pressed), how should
> we interpret this guideline? It seems the *act* of becoming inactive is
> significant (this merits contrast?), however, the guideline states that the
> contrast requirement doesn't apply to inactive components. How should we
> handle contrast styling in this case?
>
> - Jonathan.
>
> ---
> Jonathan Hung / jhung at ocad.ca <jhung.utoronto at gmail.com>
> IDRC - Interaction Designer / Researcher
> Fax: (416) 977-9844
>
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