Synonyms: Error message, error messages, input instructions, context-specific help

See also: Required field labeling, , description , help and support, , authentication , form

Error messages inform users about incorrect entries or incorrect operations. Error messages help with the correction of errors. Error messages can be displayed

  • after submitting a form,
  • when filling out a form, or
  • when operating the software.

Input instructions help users to avoid errors. These can be displayed

  • on the form,
  • on the respective form field, or
  • when operating the software.
No.PropertyDescriptionClassificationReference
5Error messageIf an error occurs, the incorrect form element must be identified and the cause of the error described in text formMustEN 301 549:
9.3.3.1,
11.3.3.1.1
6Error messageThe Submit button may not be disabled as long as the form is incomplete or filled out incorrectly. @ Note: This does not apply if there is an alternative method for displaying the error messages. -@MustEN 301 549:
9.3.3.1,
11.3.3.1.1
7Error messageThe error message must be permanently displayed.

This does not apply if the error has been fixed. For further exceptions, see time limits
9.2.2.1,
11.2.2.1

8Error preventionForm elements must have an expressive label
9.2.4.6, 11.2.4.6, 9.3.3.2, 11.3.3.2
9Error preventionIf the expected form field inputs cannot be derived clearly from the label of the form fields, additional input instructions must be provided (also see Beschreibungen

MustEN 301 549:
9.3.3.2, 11.3.3.2
10Error preventionIf, when submitting a form,
  • a legal or financial commitment is made (e.g. when a contract is concluded),
  • user-managed data in a database is changed or erased, or
  • solutions are communicated in the context of an examination,
one of the following error prevention options must be offered:
  • The submission of the form can be undone.
  • The data is checked by the application for its accuracy, and users can subsequently correct any errors.
  • Users are asked to check their data for its accuracy and to correct incorrect inputs.
MustEN 301 549:
9.3.3.4, 11.3.3.4
11Error preventionWhen submitting information, one of the following error prevention options must be offered:
  • The submission of the form can be undone.
  • The data is checked by the application for its accuracy and the users can subsequently correct any errors.
  • The users are asked to check their data for its accuracy and are able to correct incorrect inputs.
ShouldWCAG 2.1: 3.3.6 (AAA)
12Error preventionA context-sensitive Help option
9.3.3.3, 11.3.3.3
16Error correctionIf an automatic error correction takes place, an error message in text form must be displayed.MustEN 301 549:
9.3.3.1, 11.3.3.1.1
No.PropertyDescriptionClassificationReference
17UpdateIf the error message is displayed as a status messageAccessible NameAccessible Description
9.1.3.1, 11.1.3.1
19Error preventionInput instructions which are visually assigned to a form field must be programmatically associated with the form field as input instructions.

Note: If the Accessibility API you use does not allow for the communication of input instructions, the error messages must be communicated as part of the Accessible Name or the Accessible Description. In this case, the Accessible Description should preferably be used, so that the Accessible Name is not excessively long.

MustEN 301 549: 11.1.3.1
20Error preventionIf the technology used is able to identify the input purpose of form fields, the purpose of the form fields must be marked for the data of the respective users (e.g. surname, date of birth, place of residence) according to https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#input-purposes.MustEN 301 549:
9.1.3.5, 11.1.3.5.1
21StatusIf it is only the case that a visual, non-textual error indicator is displayed on the incorrect field, then the error status must be communicated to the Accessibility API

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