Georgia Tech Research Institute
Accessibility Assistant

Accessibility Assistant


Control Panel Buttons (10 of 11)

Issue: Buttons do not provide sufficient tactile feedback.

Tactile feedback indicating the activation of mechanical buttons is a primary source of user feedback. If a button does not provide tactile feedback (in the form of a mechanical click and/or perceptible displacement), users may be unsure whether or not they successfully activated the control. This can lead to multiple activation errors (where users press the button again because they were unsure if it was activated) and unintentional activations (where users do not perceive that a button was pressed by accident).

Populations Impacted: Users who are blind; users who are deaf; users who are hard of hearing; users with upper mobility impairments.

Potential Solution:
  • Ensure that buttons provide adequate tactile feedback when activated. Buttons should provide "snap action" feedback, with a gradual increase in resistance prior to activation, followed by a sharp decrease in resistance after activation. Buttons with very low travel distances should be avoided; buttons should travel between 1.3 and 6.4 mm when activated. Providing visual and auditory feedback to supplement tactile feedback is also recommended.

Applicable Guidelines:
Section 508 - 1194.31(a), 1194.31(b), 1194.31(c), 1194.31(f)
Mercinelli - 2.4