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Re: Pipe characters and screen readers (form field redux)


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Dec 5, 2008 12:25PM

Karlen Communications wrote:

> I use a screen reader and personally prefer the word required in a
> field because I then know I haven't read things too quickly. I also
> seldom read an entire form so having "required" in the form control
> itself saves me time.

Good point. Moreover, the asterisk character is often (in many fonts) fairly
unnoticeable, so if you use it to signal required fields, you might want to
use other visual clues as well, like bolding the field label.

I'm afraid that using a word like "required" is regarded by many as
naive-looking and not cool at all. For them, you might consider using an
image, consisting is a visually prominent star-like symbol, for example,
with an attribute value of "required" and with the same title attribute

That's not ideal, but it might be a reasonable compromise.

On the other hand - and now I'm apologizing, I'm afraid - indicating fields
as required is not as crucial as many other issues. After all, any robust
design makes the form handler check the presence of required fields and
report missing fields clearly. And advanced design also uses client-side
pre-checking. Then again, most forms on the web are neither robust nor

Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/