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Re: Placeholder and Accessible Name Computation


From: Jim Homme
Date: May 14, 2019 8:09AM

It is possible to use the :hover pseudo class to bring the contrast of the placeholder into the right contrast range. Also, if you are helping your client conform to WCAG 2.1, you need to deal with the Label In Name success criterion.



Jim Homme
Digital Accessibility
Bender Consulting Services

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Patrick H. Lauke
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2019 3:24 PM
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Placeholder and Accessible Name Computation

On 10/05/2019 12:07, Mallory wrote:
> In this case, there's a handful of regular UX problems with
> placeholders, like their tendency to vanish and be low-contrast OR
> appear as a pre-filled default value. So it seems easier if,
> regardless if a UA+AT is able to extract an accessible name from a
> placeholder, we could recommend to simply not use them to clients, even those who only want to toe the WCAG AA line.

As reliance just on placeholder already fails 2.5.3 Label in Name and
3.3.2 Labels or Instructions (as soon as the placeholder text isn't visible), and as you mentioned probably 1.4.3 Contrast (in some browsers anyway), it shouldn't be too hard of a problem to discourage their use.

The fact remains that most (?) modern browsers also use/expose placeholder text for their accessible name calculation, so matching reality, I'm not sure why we're so keen on digging our heels in with a "but the accessible name calculation algorithm doesn't explicitly mention this" (considering the algo is, to some extent, handwavy about it)

And yes, it's nice when it's crystal clear directly in the specs whether something is unambiguously a pass or a fail...but what counts is the end result here, and if in most browser/AT combos placeholder text IS used as a name of last resort, then why try by hook or crook to say it fails?

Patrick H. Lauke

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