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Paola Kathuria <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Paola Kathuria <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 May 2005 02:20:46 +0100
text/plain (78 lines)
Doug Heathcoat wrote:
> The three models I can think of are:
> 1. Page Top: error messages are displayed at the top of the page, above
> the form.
> 2. Field Associated: error messages are displayed near the form field with
> which the error is associated.
> 3. Separate Page: error messages are displayed on a separate page and the
> user must go back to the form to correct the error.

In 2000. Scott Luebking sent an excellent message to the
list entitled "Some results from testing forms errors" based
on tests with blind users. The resulting recommendations
would benefit all users.

Original message:

An extract from the original list message follows:


    1.  redisplay form with error messages instead of error messages on a
        separate page

    2.  put a summary of number of error messages as close to the beginning of
        a web page as possible.  (this will help blind users
        more quickly identify what is happening with the page.)

    3.  put a link from the summary to the first error message area.
        (this can also be useful for sighted people who scan if they
        are unfamiliar with the web page.)

    4.  an error message should come before the field with errors

    5.  error messages should be clearly indicated by a color or an
        image to help people who are scanning.  a combination of color
        and image is probably appropriate in case the user is color-blind

    6.  the error messages should be comprehensive enough so that a
        blind user doesn't have to look around the form for information
        to build a context for the error message

    7.  links should be provided after the error field to navigate
        to the previous or next errors. if the error is the last in the
        form, there should be a link to the submit buttons for the form.

    8.  error messages or links should be numbered e.g. (2/7) , to give a
        context when going through errors

I applied some of these recommendations to forms I subsequently
programmed, notably the addition of links to the relevant fields
within the error messages.



(In the last two, the fields labels change colour to mark
the error or required information.)

Please note that these are all live forms. Press the submit
(or preview) button without filling in any form information
to see the error messages and form changes.


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