Developers

3.3.2 Labels or Instructions

For any element that requires user input or action, provide concise labels and/or instructions.

What you need to know

  • The purpose of this success criterion is to make it easy to understand what data input or action is being asked for. For example, rather than simply labeling a form field as “email,” indicate “your preferred email for receiving our newsletter.”
  • Every element that allows for user input should have clear, concise, descriptive labels and, where applicable, instructions.
  • A label could be “First Name.”
  • An instruction could be “All fields marked with an * are required.”
  • It’s very important not to make labels or instructions too long or complex. This slows down the process of inputting data.

What you need to do

  • Assign a visible label for every form field or area of user engagement/control.
  • Programmatically associate labels with the appropriate form fields.
  • Don’t overextend instructions–a few words should be enough.
  • Provide examples of expected input formats or structure data input so that the expected format is entered.
  • Make very clear which fields are required.

Reference

Read the full explanation of success criterion 3.3.2 on W3.org.

Related Resource

Check out “Provide Accessible Labels and Instructions” from Harvard University – Digital Accessibility for more information about this success criterion.