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Re: Actionable roles vs behaviors

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From: Jeremy Echols
Date: Jun 20, 2017 4:12PM


I can't add much that hasn't been said, but I am 100% of the belief that links and buttons (and all HTML elements) have important semantic roles, and designers need to stop trying to choose one over the other based on how it "feels". I find myself constantly trying to make sure I stress the importance of using elements as they were intended, not based on how they look.

I found this article rather interesting: https://marcysutton.com/links-vs-buttons-in-modern-web-applications/

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 2:51 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Actionable roles vs behaviors

That is the problem though. Though I think we exaggerate the importance of an element's ssemantic role, nevertheless users of assistive technologies rely on those to a much larger extent than "regular" users.
Those who can't see the screen (either not at all, or just a small
portion) use the role of the element to predict what happens next and build expectations based off of that.
So whether it is link vs. button or something else, semantics matter a heck of a lot more to people relying on assistive technologies.


On 6/20/17, Ryan E. Benson < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Tim,
>
>>if you have access to the designer, the designer should be the one to
> explain their intent with regards to what that element is
>
> The problem, that I see, is designers don't really care. I was on a
> forum the other day, and somebody mentioned automatic tools. The
> click-click boom, you have an app type. I can't say what percentage,
> but a fair amount seem to be fine with "I don't care what the HTML
> looks like, as long as my project works." I kept my mouth shut, since
> I didn't want to dig a hole, but I have seen a movement of thinking this way.
>
> --
> Ryan E. Benson
>
> On Tue, Jun 20, 2017 at 3:59 PM, Tim Harshbarger <
> <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>
>> I guess I will add my own thoughts to the discussion.
>>
>> Whether an element is a link or a button really is a design
>> decision--not a development decision. My own thought is that, if you
>> have access to the designer, the designer should be the one to
>> explain their intent with regards to what that element is. If the
>> designer is not available, then I go with the appearance.
>>
>> My observation is that designers (in modern web design) seem to have
>> a variety of approaches and thoughts on how to use buttons and links.
>> I do not think it is as simple as links take you to another page and
>> buttons perform other types of actions.
>>
>> One way I look at UI's is as a conversation between the "author" and
>> the "user". My role as an accessibility consultant is to ensure the
>> communication is as accessible as possible to the user while
>> maintaining the author's full intent. So I tend to be uncomfortable
>> with interjecting my own biases on the design (even if I disagree
>> with the design choices.) The time for me to debate design choices is
>> during design. That is also why I feel strongly that accessibility
>> must be a consideration during design.
>>
>> Of course, if I am involved in design discussions, one of my goals
>> would be to persuade the designers to use elements in a consistent
>> manner that matches potential user expectations. Of course, I suspect
>> that good designs typically try to ensure that appearance and
>> behavior support one another.
>>
>> Just some thoughts for whatever they are worth.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Tim
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On
>> Behalf Of Ajay Sharma
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 1:35 PM
>> To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Actionable roles vs behaviors
>>
>> Hi,
>> >
>> As there is very fine line between links and buttons, but recently
>> came across a paradigm that will help to figure out the right control
>> for a specific purpose.
>>
>> every action on a site falls under two different categories:
>> 1Actions where users affect the website’s back-end or front-end
>> 2Actions where users won’t affect the website at all Actions where
>> users affect the website itself is where you use a button.
>> For example, sign-up and purchase actions are often buttons. The user
>> in these situations are creating a new account and completing a
>> monetary transaction, which are actions that affect the website’s back-end.
>> Creating
>> new posts or making comments are actions that change a website’s
>> content and what the user sees. These actions affect the website’s front-end.
>> Whenever there’s a change in the website’s back or front-end is when
>> you use a button.
>> Actions where users won’t affect the website are where you use a link.
>> These are actions that take users from one page to another without
>> changing anything on the website’s back or front-end. The user is
>> basically a spectator browsing through content. They aren’t doing any
>> actions that require more effort than clicking and viewing. The
>> back-end and front-end of the website remains the same. It’s these
>> situations when you should use a link over a button.
>>
>>
>> So, based on above assertion if it is a button then its better to
>> code it as button and same goes out to links as well, to make sure
>> that the control is actually what it appears visually.
>>
>>
>> Anyways, its just one more point to this never ending discussion :)
>>
>> Cheers,
>> Ajay
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


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