Preparing for WCAG
BY: Emma Harris | 2/10/22
The newest revisions to compliance guidelines
Understanding WCAG 2.2
World Wide Web Consortium creates rules and guidelines for website design to ensure accessibility for those with circumstances (visual impairments, physical, cognitive and more) that may inhibit their ability to use certain functions on a website. As the digital age continues to progress in a website’s customer experience capabilities, new accessibility standards to ensure use for all are added or amended. The golden standard of accessibility can be found in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG.
WCAG 2.2 is set to launch in the summer of 2022. In addition to the guidelines set in WCAG 2.0 and 2.1, this upcoming version extends the focus of the guidelines to include those with vision impairments, differently-abled motor skills, and some cognitive impairments.
The newest additions to WCAG 2.2 fall under the success criteria category. At the highest level, WCAG is built with four principles at the heart of web accessibility: [your website should be] perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust. Under these four principles are 13 guidelines, or goals, your team should work toward to improve the accessibility of your website. Each guideline/goal is made up of measurable success criteria to help accomplish these new standards. Success criteria are organized in order of conformance from A (lowest) to AAA (highest).
What’s New to 2.2
There will be nine new success criteria in WCAG 2.2:
- Accessible Authentication (Level A) – In your website’s authentication process, if there is a step that requires some kind of cognitive-based test, there should be at least one other method available that doesn’t rely on a cognitive test (or something can be made available to help the user on the test).
- Redundant Entry (Level A) – This allows for auto-population of data or the ability to select data that a user has already entered into the system, to prevent the user from having to enter it twice. There are exceptions.
- Dragging Movements (Level AA) – Advises that any functionality that uses a dragging movement be achieved by also moving a single pointer without dragging, unless dragging is essential.
- Target Size (Level AA) – Gives the minimum size of 24 by 24 CSS pixels for a target or “region of the display that will accept a pointer action” with some exceptions.
- Consistent Help (Level A) – Mechanisms that connect a user to some sort of help-line or customer service representative should include contact information for a human contact or an alternative way to contact that representative, a self-help option, or a completely automated contact mechanism.
- Visible Controls (Level AA) - Elements on the page that are invisible unless hovered upon should have a visible indicator, with some exceptions.
- Page Break Navigation (Level A) – Maintains that mechanisms must be available to navigate between page break locators.
- Focus Appearance – Gives guidance for contrast ratios in areas of keyboard focus
- Minimum (Level AA)
- Enhanced (Level AAA)
You can read the current working draft here.
WCAG 2.2 is still a working draft and changes can be made or updated until its launch (suspected around June of this year). Your website CX cannot only contain personalization and integration features to engage your customers but it must also be easily used by all users. Website accessibility is an essential part of the customer experience. Contact us for an audit of your current compliance and adherence to the upcoming WCAG 2.2 launch.