Success Criterion 3.2.4: Consistent Identification

Understanding Success Criterion: 

Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently.

Accessibility Level: 
Intent of Success Criterion: 

The intent of this Success Criterion is to ensure consistent identification of functional components that appear repeatedly within a set of Web pages. A strategy that people who use screen readers use when operating a Web site is to rely heavily on their familiarity with functions that may appear on different Web pages. If identical functions have different labels on different Web pages, the site will be considerably more difficult to use. It may also be confusing and increase the cognitive load for people with cognitive limitations. Therefore, consistent labeling will help.
This consistency extends to the text alternatives. If icons or other non-text items have the same functionality, then their text alternatives should be consistent as well.
If there are two components on a web page that both have the same functionality as a component on another page in a set of web pages, then all 3 must be consistent. Hence the two on the same page will be consistent.
While it is desirable and best practice always to be consistent within a single web page, 3.2.4 only addresses consistency within a set of web pages where something is repeated on more than one page in the set.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion: 
  • People who learn functionality on one page on a site can find the desired functions on other pages if they are present.
  • When non-text content is used in a consistent way to identify components with the same functionality, people with difficulty reading text or detecting text alternatives can interact with the Web without depending on text alternatives.
  • People who depend on text alternatives can have a more predictable experience. They can also search for the component if it has a consistent label on different pages.