On mobile devices where you can use a touch – and need more than one finger or need to follow a path type gesture, functionality can still be operated using a single pointer.
NOTE: This is true unless multi point or path based gestures are essential.
Why is this a problem?
Some disabled users may need simple inputs or gestures to complete tasks and make selections. Complex movement or gestures requiring dexterity or accuracy may be hard for them.
What is a path-based gesture?
If an interaction is not just the end-to-end part but important but also the road or path taken. These gestures could be swiping, dragging items or drawing.
What is a multi-point gesture?
This can be zooming into content using a ‘pinch’ type motion with two fingers, a swipe with multiple fingers and so on.
Accessibility Requirements for 2.5.1 pointer Gestures (A)
Design your interface so controls and content can be used without these path or multi-point gestures.
Single point activation is like it sounds. This means ensuring that on a touchscreen or touchpad users will be able to do everything using only taps, double taps, and long presses.
For a mouse, trackpad, head-pointer, or similar device include single clicks, click-and-hold and double clicks.
Some examples are:
- In a map where you can pinch gesture to zoom the zooming can be done via [+] and [-] buttons.
- In a Carousel with a horizontal content slider, hidden content can be moved into the viewport with swiping or forward and backward arrow buttons to navigate instead.
- Do not rely only on path-based gestures.
- Do not rely only on multi-point gestures.
Common mistakes for 2.5.1 pointer Gestures (A)
- Requiring complex gestures to do things.
- Functionality can be operated by pointer input but not with single-point activation alone.
Techniques for 2.5.1 pointer Gestures (A)
Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the “Other Techniques” section.
Common Failure for 2.5.1 pointer Gestures (A)
The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of this Success Criterion by the WCAG Working Group.
- Functionality can be operated by pointer input but not with single-point activation alone
FAQs for 2.5.1 pointer Gestures (A)
What is single pointer?
Where you have a function that requires a multi-point or path-based gesture, provide a way for a user to operate the same function with a single pointer.
1.Where a map might use pinch and zoom it can also have + and – controls operated by a single click or tap.
2.A carousel operated by a series of swipes can also have ‘forward’ and ‘back’ buttons
What are the benefits for pointer gesture?
1. Users with limited motor abilities would benefit with single pointer actions
2. Users with limited cognitive abilities who cannot understand complex gestures and multi-pointer actions would benefit with alternatives when they are well-informed of them
3. Users who use assistive technology such as screen readers may not be able to perform complex gestures as they may conflict with AT’s gestures.
Few tips for pointer gesture.
1. Do not use multi-pointer or path based gesture as a sole method to control content
2. Provide single tap or double tap/click as alternatives
3. Always have in mind that one mode does fit for all.
4. This goes beyond providing a keyboard accessible control as some users find pointers easier to use than keyboards. A user with an eye movement pointer will often find it easier to point at a control than to switch to a keyboard.
What are the exceptions for this guideline?
Where a multi-point or path-based gesture is essential for functionality. For example, drawing a signature on a document.