[wp-trac] [WordPress Trac] #47318: Fix the placeholder for the post title field on the classic Edit Post screen

WordPress Trac noreply at wordpress.org
Sat Sep 28 17:14:53 UTC 2019

#47318: Fix the placeholder for the post title field on the classic Edit Post
 Reporter:  azaozz                     |       Owner:  azaozz
     Type:  defect (bug)               |      Status:  closed
 Priority:  normal                     |   Milestone:  5.3
Component:  Administration             |     Version:
 Severity:  minor                      |  Resolution:  fixed
 Keywords:  has-screenshots has-patch  |     Focuses:  accessibility

Comment (by afercia):

 @azaozz I'm not sure the difference between web pages, apps, or single
 page apps matter in terms of accessibility :)

 For many reasons, here's a few in random order:
 - Getting familiar with a form or even a single input field varies with
 the users ability to "get familiar" :) there are cognitive impairments and
 diverse abilities to take into account.
 - Until HTML will be used, it needs to communicate proper meaning whether
 it's a web app or traditional web form.
 - This impact also a technical aspect related to how the elements
 accessible name is mapped to the accessibility tree and communicated via
 the operating systems accessibility APIs to assistive technologies, which
 not surprisingly varies across operating systems, browsers and assistive
 - Encouraging the use of placeholder as replacement for labels opens a can
 of worm and will be abused: as in developers not providing a properly
 associated `<label>` element: not all screen readers read placeholder text
 aloud. Blind or visually impaired users may miss the hint completely if
 their software does not speak the placeholder content.
 - Other assistive technologies, for example some speech recognition
 software, may not recognize the placeholder as the accessible name of an
 input field thus making users not able to easily use the input.
 - Lack of a visible label will be flagged as a WCAG compliance failure
 - Even not considering accessibility requirement, lack of visible labels
 is an usability concern. This is not new: many researches outlined this
 practice as harmful, most notably the research from the Nielsen Norman
 Group (2014): https://www.nngroup.com/articles/form-design-placeholders/
 - Placeholders disappear as soon as you type a value :)

 Regarding the last point, of course it has a greater impact on form with
 multiple fields. I'd agree it has a minor impact for an UI with a single
 form field however the previous considerations about cognitive impairments
 and support still apply.

 In forms with multiple input fields, once you entered a value, you're left
 without _any_ clue of what an input is about. See screenshot below. Also
 consider validation, error reporting, and suggestions for correction (all
 WCAG requirements): how they could be ever properly handled without
 visible labels? :)

Ticket URL: <https://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/47318#comment:25>
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