3.2.4 Consistent Identification

Page components (e.g. links, buttons, icons) that have the same functionality should be identified (with labels, names, and text alternatives) consistently throughout a website.

What to do:

  • Keep all of your identification consistent throughout your website
  • Consistent usually means identical but not always

Examples:

  • The Twitter share icons for your website should all have the same alt text throughout the website
  • Your search bar should have the same label throughout your website (unless you have multiple search bars for different functions)
  • The same check mark icon used for different functions on a website should have different alt text to match its different functions (e.g. “correct”, “finished”)

Plain English Explanation:

If you read through this success criterion too quickly, you might come away thinking that everything that looks identical needs to have the same identification.

This is incorrect.

Rather, here, we’re just trying to make sure we have consistency in our labels.  Sometimes this might mean that things stay the exact same across our website.  However, in other instances where the functionality is different, this can be wrong.

For example, the same exact button within a series of pages might be labeled, “Go to Page 4” and “Go to Page 5”.  Note this is consistent but not identical.

With 3.2.4, we need to maintain consistency within our website by labeling things with the same functionality in a consistent manner.  If something has the same function throughout a website, it will probably have the same identification on all pages but it might not depending on the function.

Understanding 3.2.4

 

 

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