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Presenting a table without any data


From: Meacham, Steve - FSA, Kansas City, MO
Date: Feb 21, 2017 3:42PM

Imagine you have a dynamic web page that retrieves a list of receipts, but none matched the query. Or, imagine one that is a data entry page on the top, and at the bottom is table that displays them as they are added, but you start out with none.

I've advised my developers that displaying only the single header row is inappropriate; that there are several ways this could be disorienting or cryptic, such as a user wondering if it is proper behavior or simply something that was done in such a way as to be inaccessible to them. Or, wondering what their path forward should be. There are more.

So, I told them when there are no records to display to add a single row that makes that says something like "No receipts have been added" that spans an entire table row. It goes away once there are rows of actual data to display.

So my question is: Am I just being overwrought? They're argument is that this is unnecessary "dummy text" that will confuse their users.

My other question is: If I'm not out of line, then how could I justify it to them? They've escalated it to senior management who are now second guessing my guidance. They want to see something official that says they are supposed to do it this way.

Please help...
Steven Meacham, ICT Accessibility Program Manager
+1 (816) 926-1942<tel:+18169261942>
FSA Section 508 Program<https://wiki.tools.fsa.usda.gov/x/AgCoAw>

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