When features with the same functionality are used in multiple places, they must be identified in a consistent way. This helps screen reader users correctly identify the type and purpose of the functionality.
Accessibility Requirements for 3.2.4 Consistent identification (AA)
- An icon has the same alternative text wherever it is used;
- Buttons for “Next”, “Previous”, and “Continue”, are labelled consistently wherever they are used;
- Form fields with the same purpose are consistently labelled wherever they are used.
Common mistakes for 3.2.4 Consistent identification (AA)
- An icon is used to denote a file download, but has a different alternate text whenever it is used;
- A search facility is provided on every page, but the text field and button have different labels on each page.
The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 3.2.4 by the WCAG Working Group.
- F31: Failure of Success Criterion 3.2.4 due to using two different labels for the same function on different Web pages within a set of Web pages
Related to 3.2.4 Consistent identification (AA)
FAQS for Consistent identification (AA)
How do we ensure websites/devices should have Consistent identification?
1.Ensure items with identical functions, such as buttons, have the same label.
2.Non-decorative icons repeated throughout, require the same alternative text.
3.Identical links should have consistent meaningful text.
Tips for this guidelines
1.Consistent is not the same as identical (for example, an arrow icon might link to the next page in a series, but depending on the page the text alternative would be ‘Go to page X’).
2.An image can have different meanings in different contexts, so require different text alternatives to pass this guideline. For example, a tick icon or check mark can mean both ‘fishing line included with purchase’ and ‘registration form filled in successfully’).
Whom is it beneficial?
1.People who learn functionality on one page on a site can find the desired functions on other pages if they are present.
2.When non-text content is used in a consistent way to identify components with the same functionality, people with difficulty reading text or detecting text alternatives can interact with the Web without depending on text alternatives.
3.People who depend on text alternatives can have a more predictable experience. They can also search for the component if it has a consistent label on different pages.