About CIA


Section 8. Error Handling

Accessibility Score Sheet Questions

8.1    Does validation identify the error, provide suggestions on fixing the error, and allow the user to fix the error?

8.2    When an action causes an error or validation message, is the focus located or placed near the error or validation message?


Correcting errors or validation mistakes can be a difficult process for an individual using assistive technology. It requires users to step out of the task they were trying to complete in order to troubleshoot a problem. To make this easier, systems should clearly identify what went wrong and help the user fix it. Magnifier users will be looking at a small portion of the screen. If the error message is not next to the validation button or other point where the error occurs, then the user will not know the error happened. The solution is to either place the error message near the point of the error or move the focus to the error message as soon as the error is identified. This will let the user know they must resolve the error before proceeding.

Test Approach

1. Test the application for errors and validation messages. Are they clearly worded? Do they provide suggestions on how to fix the error? Can the error be fixed while using JAWS, Zoomtext, or other assistive technology?

2. Zoom to 1500% using the Windows Magnifier in the Ease of Access Center or Zoomtext. When an error occurs, is the user able to see the error?

Development Techniques

  • Provide validation in the process of writing and indicate errors close to the place where the error occurs.
  • When providing overall validation or validation upon submission, move the focus to the error message.
  • Consider facilitating fixing an error by providing a link to the location of the error.

Posted: Jan 07, 2016 12:41 PM
Last Updated: Jan 07, 2016 12:41 PM