Georgia Tech Research Institute
 
Issues

Labeling: Issue 3 of 6

Issue: Labels are not clearly associated with the components that they label.

A set of function buttons (home, map, print, call) on a kiosk is shown.  Icons labeling the buttons are far away and are not aligned with the buttons, making the association of icons to buttons unclear.

Labels that are not clearly associated with the components that they identify may cause problems for some users. Users may have difficulty locating components if they are not clearly labeled, causing them to spend time searching for a particular component. Users may erroneously associate a label with an incorrect component, causing them to commit errors when interacting with the device. Users with low vision, who may have a limited field of view, may have difficulty associating components and their labels if they are not associated by proximity or some other type of coding technique.

Populations Impacted: Users with cognitive impairments; users with low vision.

Potential Solutions:
  • Place labels in proximity to the components that they are labeling. If possible, place labels directly on the component being labeled. If this is not possible, place labels as close as possible to the component being labeled, and use spacing to ensure that the label is unambiguously associated with the intended component and no others.

  • A set of function buttons (home, map, print, call) on a kiosk is shown.  Icons labeling the buttons are close to and aligned with the buttons, making the association of icons to buttons clear.
  • Use grouping or other coding techniques to reinforce the association of labels to components. Bounding boxes encompassing labels and components or lines connecting labels and components may help to reinforce associations. The boxes or lines could be visual (printed on) and/or tactile (raised), as appropriate. Other coding techniques, such as color coding or the use of icons, may also be used. However, color coding should not be used as the sole means of association, and coding techniques that rely on user vision are inaccessible to users who are blind.

Applicable Guidelines:
Section 508 - 1194.31(b)
HFDS - 6.1.2.2.3, 6.1.2.2.6