If you have a help option, make sure it’s consistently available and in the same relative place on each page. This will make it easy to find as users navigate your website.
What you need to know
- Access to help mechanisms may be provided directly on the page or may be provided by a link to a different page containing the information.
- There are four types of help mechanisms. You may use any or a combination of these:
- Human contact details
- Human contact mechanism
- Self-help option
- A fully automated contact mechanism
- Note that this success criterion doesn’t demand that a real person be available to provide help, but if they are, users should be informed about their contact schedule.
- You don’t need to have help options on all pages of your website, but if you do, then you need to follow this success criterion throughout.
What you need to do
- If a web page contains any type of help mechanism (contact details, self-help options, etc.) and those mechanisms are repeated on multiple web pages, then you need to make sure they are in the same relative order to other page content. For example, if the help option is located in the page header, it needs to be in the page header for all similar pages.
- When testing for consistent help, you need to test two scenarios—an individual page and the entire site. Also, make sure the help mechanism itself is accessible.
- If your website has a self-help option, provide something that goes beyond just searching the site. Contextual help is recommended. See Success Criterion 3.3.5 for more information.