Checkpoint 3.2.4 Consistent Identification

Components that have the same functionality within a set of content are identified consistently. (Level AA)

Rationale

This checkpoint requires consistent identification of functional elements within a set of content such as web pages on a web site, documents in a library and components in a software application. When identical functions have different labels (identification), the content can be difficult to use for disabled and non-disabled users who rely on their familiarity with the functions.

This checkpoint also applies to alternative text. If icons or other non-text content has the same functionality in different content sets, then the alternative text must be the same.

Note: Individual documents or software programs (not in a set) should mark this checkpoint N/A because it applies only to things that appear in a set. Refer to the definitions of set of documents and set of software programs to determine when a group of documents or software programs is considered a set, as well as the WCAG2ICT 3.2.4 guidance.

Note: Although not required by this checkpoint, ensuring component identification is consistent when a component occurs more than once within non-web documents or software programs directly addresses user needs and is generally considered best practice.

Refer to Understanding SC 3.2.4 for more information (external link to WCAG).

Development Techniques

Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Any item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques deemed sufficient. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

General supplements

The following examples and comments provide additional information beyond that available in the WCAG techniques.  Where items supplement existing WCAG techniques, they are numbered accordingly.

G197: Using labels, names, and text alternatives consistently for content that has the same functionality

An image that has meaning (is not just decorative) should have the same label or ALT text wherever it offers the same functionality throughout an application.

When images are used to identify controls, status indicators or other programmatic elements, the meaning assigned to those images should be consistent throughout an application. For instance, a clipboard icon could be used to indicate the Paste from clipboard action for a button. As a best practice, the clipboard icon should consistently represent the Paste from clipboard action throughout the application.

Clipboard icon

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

There are no specific Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

This checkpoint applies to a set of software programs. Because sets of software that meet this definition appear to be extremely rare, there are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint (3.2.4).

Eclipse techniques

This checkpoint applies to a set of software programs. Because sets of software that meet this definition appear to be extremely rare, there are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint (3.2.4).

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

This checkpoint applies to a set of software programs. Because sets of software that meet this definition appear to be extremely rare, there are no specific Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint (3.2.4).


Most links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

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