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Nadia Modrow - 02.14.2018

3 Often-Missed Scenarios When Testing Forms for ADA

While the requirements for commercial and public entities in the Americans with Disabilities Act encourages self-regulation to meet ADA compliance standards, companies like Sagepath who build websites for clients are their customers’ first line of defense when it comes to meeting those regulations. Quality Assurance plays an essential role in assuring design standards for accessibility are met, including those for forms. Here are a few scenarios that can be easily missed when testing a form for ADA compliance.

Scenario 1: Identification of each field error



With form fields being empty, click the submission CTA.

Each field error is displayed and read by the reader.

Purpose: Imagine you submitted a form with over 20 fields and only one of them is incorrect. If you can't see which field it is, there's no way for you to identify it; all you know is that "your entry is invalid" or "one or more fields are required". In this case, the user is forced to redo the whole form over and over again. That's why reading errors of specific fields that failed is extremely important. 

Scenario 2: Providing guidelines for date and phone number formats.



Tab to the date/phone number field.

Upon landing on the date/number field, the required format to be entered is read by the reader.

Purpose: This crucial requirement is often skipped over, and these form fields will be read as "Enter your birthday", "Enter credit card expiration date" or "Enter your phone number," etc. If the form field has format validation, for example MM/DD/YYYY and the user enters MM/DD/YY, the form submission attempt will return an error, the user will have to re-enter the data, but without given rules it might take them several attempts before they get it right.

Scenario 3: The proper form exit



With all required fields being correctly filled in, click the submission CTA.

The success message is read aloud to the user.

IF there’s a pop-up, THEN a way to exit is provided.

Purpose:  Form success submission messages located in pop-up windows are often skipped by the readers or simply read as "your form has been submitted". In the case of ADA compliance, the success message is as important as error one. Once the user successfully submits a form, they have to know how to navigate off it and shouldn’t be left wondering how to exit. In this case, two things needs to be covered: 1: the success message needs to be read aloud, as in this example: "Your form has been successfully submitted"; or 2: the user needs to be informed what their next step is; in this case, the most common scenario will be a message that reads, "Click escape to close pop-up window," or something similar.