2.4.6 Headings & Labels

Headings and labels describe topic or purpose. (Level AA)

Description

The content of web page is structured with content, headings, form elements etc. Heading for every article helps in identifying the information it contains. Users can skim through the headings and read the content they required. Similarly label for each form element describes what the user needs to fill in or select to continue with the form or submit the form.

Descriptive headings

The success criteria 2.4.6 headings and labels do not discuss if a HTML heading and label is required on the webpage. It describes the importance of having descriptive heading to a section and descriptive label for a form element. Providing descriptive heading helps all users to quickly locate the content they are looking for. Providing the headings with sub-headings wherever appropriate helps the users To orient easily when looking for specific content.

Example:
In this www.maxability.co.in website every page has sections such as
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Recent posts

Users who want to see the recently published articles can directly jump to “Recent posts” heading, similarly those who want to comment on the article can jump to leave a reply section.

To understand how to provide heading structure on a web page look at heading structure for accessibility.

Descriptive labels

Every form element should have a label. This label should be descriptive enough to let the users know the purpose of the field. For fields like phone number developers provide two fields but one label which is not sufficient to understand the context.

For phone number field, STD code and phone number are two separate fields and labels should be explicitly provided for both the fields. For fields like date, email address, password providing the format, instructions is also important. For mandatory fields intimating the user with terms such as required, * along with the label informs the user that it is a mandatory field.

Examples:

Label: Date of birth (mm/dd/yyyy) is right way of describing the label than just saying Date of birth.

Label: STD code field one, phone number field two is descriptive than providing Phone number: text field one, text field two.

Label: Credit card Number (16 digits): first four digits: field one, second four digits: field 2, Third four digits: field 3 and last four digits : field four.

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