Status Messages: Making Newly Added Content Focusable

Let's begin with a review of two examples:

In the first example, focus is explicitly placed on the readonly text box for the items in cart above the form every time one activates the add to cart button. Sure, a user has to again navigate through all the products displayed and might not be too pleased with the user interface. But this is a method in which the newly added / updated content is made focusable and thereby perceivable to all users.

The next example is the same as Example 3 in the previous section with one important difference: here the focus is placed on the error notification (marked up as a heading) above the form. Resetting the reading order for all users makes the new content perceivable. This example therefore does not use role=alert.

In fact by altering the focus or reading order, the point of regard for all users is the newly added / updated content. As a result, this content ceases to function like an alert semantically. As these examples illustrate they require no additional accessibility-markup.

These are not techniques that support SC 1.3.1 and are not designed to make content programmatically determinable per se. But in certain situations focus may be placed directly on newly added / updated content by altering focus or reading order if doing so supports the application’s functionality and UI design. These examples do not fail SC 1.3.1.

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