NAVIGATION-10: Do not open new windows, switch user agents, or move focus, without user notice.
How to test
- Identify any instances of new windows which are opened without user notice.
- Identify any instances of external applications which are opened without user notice.
- Identify any instances of programmatic focus management, and assess whether this is necessary, expected, and obvious.
- Where programmatic focus changes are necessary and expected within an interactive context, and it’s clear to the user that this has happened (e.g. a button to open a datepicker moves focus to the datepicker, and this focus change is visually obvious and announced to assistive technologies).
- Changes of content are not necessarily changes of context (e.g. opening a dropdown menu changes the content but does not change the context).
How to fix
Links or buttons which open new windows or external applications should pre-warn the user that this will happen. Links which open new windows, for example, can have an icon which visually denotes this behaviour, accompanied by accessible text which says “link opens in a new window” or similar. However ideally, it’s best not to open new windows at all. Programmatic focus changes should only be performed when they are necessary (for usability) and expected, and it’s obvious to users that this has occurred (e.g. a button to open a datepicker moves focus to the datepicker, and this focus change is visually obvious and announced to assistive technologies).
Related Standard: 3.2.2 A and 3.2.5 AAA
This is one in a series of posts highlighting one of more than 270 accessibility tests in Mortise.io. Come back next week for more!