Since the Internet is an ever-evolving environment, there’s an ever-evolving set of accessibility standards that go along with it. The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is scheduled to release a new version of their Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 in Q3 of this year. Ahead of that release, we’re breaking down every update you can expect to see and what exactly it means for your digital catalog.
Clean Catalog Sites Will Target WCAG 2.2 AA When Released
Right now we target the current standard, WCAG 2.1 AA.
2.4.7 Focus Visible
Focus indicators are a way for Internet users to see where they are within a webpage. For traditional mouse users, it’s easy to see your location within a website based on where the mouse is located, and easily identify any clickable elements by hovering over them. For individuals who use the keyboard, voice software, or other non-traditional method to navigate through a webpage, it may be less obvious. They instead use focus indicators, typically outlined or highlighted boxes, to show where they are within a webpage and identify what content they’re hovering over.
2.4.11, 2.4.12, Focus Not Obscured
Since focus indicators are crucial for individuals navigating a site using a keyboard, speech recognition, or other non-traditional method, it’s necessary for the focus indicators to be clearly visible. If your webpage has pop-ups, banners, or any other element that may hide webpage content behind it, it’s important that your focus indication is never hidden from view. With Clean Catalog, focus indicators will always be visible, no matter where you are on the catalog site or what content you’re engaging with.
2.4.13 Focus Appearance
Diving even deeper, this updated standard requires that focus indicators be highly visible and easily identifiable. Under this new guideline, focus indicators must be a minimum of 2 pixels thick and have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 when toggling between an unfocused state and a focused state. This ensures that all users can easily identify where they are within a webpage and when an element is being hovered over, even if they have vision impairments.
2.5.8 Dragging Movements
This new accessibility standard requires that any dragging movements on a webpage also be achievable with a single pointer. A single pointer allows a user to complete an action with a single touchpoint on the mouse, keyboard, or other navigational device. For example, a user with a hand tremor may struggle with dragging items on a webpage. A single pointer allows them to make the same dragging movements using the arrows on their keyboard.
2.5.8 Target Size
Proper size and spacing is an important component for accessibility, especially for clickable elements such as buttons, also referred to as “targets.” When buttons are too small or too close together, it’s easy to click the wrong button by mistake. This new WCAG standard has set guidelines for appropriate target size, ensuring it’s easily identifiable, readable, and clickable for all users. Clean Catalog sites already adhere to these guidelines and meet the new 24x24 minimum pixel standard across all site targets.
3.3.8 Understanding Accessible Authentication
We all know the frustration of forgetting a password. This frustration is compounded, however, for individuals with cognitive disabilities. To promote accessibility while still ensuring security, login pages should give the option of sending password links to the user’s email address. This allows the user to efficiently access their admin account, even if they forget their password. For Clean Catalog admin, they are always presented with a clickable “forgot password?” button, which allows them to enter their email address and receive a link with account access.
Our clients never have to worry about making updates to their catalogs to stay in keeping with evolving accessibility standards because we do it for them! Although new accessibility standard releases usually reflect best practices that we’ve been implementing for years, we do occasionally release software updates when updates are necessary. This is always done automatically without our clients having to lift a finger. If you’d like to learn more about how we meet (and surpass!) accessibility standards or to schedule a demo, feel free to reach out to us.