This means that the public label would be discarded, and only the Private label would be preserved, with a clear indication that the switch next to it turns this option on or off. Which brings me to another point: The visual representation of the switch would either have to change completely or it should be tweaked: If the switch button were to remain visually the same (i.e. Preserve the double-swicth move this toggle left and right behavior Id suggest adding On/Off labels to it akin to what Scott did in his A11y project demo, because according to wcag, you should not use color alone to convery information. The colors pdf also need to have enough contrast if you were to use them. And, again, Id reconsider the red and green colors as they may confuse someone else like they confused me for a while. ( Someone suggested grey and green, because The addition of color would more closely connotate the enabled state (no color vs has color as opposed to two separate colors).) The underlying structure and markup for this case (one label only) could be: checkbox, that can. I would suggest just using simple (fancy, maybe) checkbox styles for this behavior and ditching the whole double-switch style altogether. button with aria-pressed (and aria-checked if needed where the pressed state would indicate the pen is private, and the unpressed state indicates its not private;.
The codepen switch is marked up as a checkbox that has two labels. I found that the codepen switch is one checkbox that appears to have two labels. Thats why clicking on both Public and Private multiple times would cause the switch to be turned on and off. In other words, this is why the visual feedback/behavior of the switch did not match the purpose of the switch or what it seemed. I tweeted about this bug, its possible cause, and suggested an alternative solution that could fix. I started getting responses and opinions from other developers, which led to a very good and enlightening discussion that I thoroughly enjoyed (one of the few positive aspects of Twitter!). The general consensus was that the switch needed fixing, of course. But how it would be fixed depends largely on what the codepen team wants it to do: If the switch toggle is supposed to be an enable/disable button for the Private option Then: That would mean that the on/off switch pattern mentioned in the previous.
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Since i was working in Codepen on my own version of this switch (demo shared below i thought Id inspect Codepens own toggle switch: the death switch that you use to choose whether you want the pen to be public or private. Quick takeaway: It is always helpful and interesting to learn from other peoples work by inspecting their code (be that via the devtools or on Codepen). The codepen Privacy Switch The codepen switch exhibited some weird behavior that I had also noticed before but never felt curious enough to debug. The following video shows this behavior: your browser does not support the video tag. First, its worth mentioning that I was always confused by this switch.
The red color vs green always gave out a weird feedback loop. If I make the pen private, the color turns green, and making it public makes it red. In my head, green meant more like this pen is accessible by people, its open and red was more like this pen is closed, people are not allowed access. But in Codepen terms, the colors symbolized other things. More specifically, the red stands for public zone danger zone or beware this pen is now public which is not good. (Sorry, im being too dramatic, but purposefully.) Then there was the buggy behavior demonstrated in the video above (where clicking on the same label changes the value of the switch to the other labels value). I was curious to see what was causing it so, again, i fired up devtools and inspected the code.
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The main points I personally concluded from the above research are: There are different types of switches that seem to do similar things but are fundamentally different when it comes to markup and accessibility. Just because they are styled to look the same, doesnt mean they are necessarily the same. I need to think about how I want the ui to behave, look and sound when marking the switch. Design and ux first, then code. A toggle switch can be used to switch between two movie separate options, or it can be used to switch one option on and off (or like enabling/disabling an option). This is where the implementation differences start to manifest. If youre switching oliver between two separate options, using standard radio buttons makes sense. Radio buttons are used when you need your users to choose one of two or more options, so this is a perfect use case for them. They also have basic accessibility and keyboard tabbing baked right.
Inclusive components and, the A11y Project. As it turns out, heydon had a fantastic article just about Toggle buttons which I learned a lot from, and my friend. Scott ohara had an aria switch button included in the patterns section of the A11y Project. So, naturally, i inspected the code for that button and read heydons article to confirm if Im on the right path. Thankfully, it turns out I was. Before i move on its worth mentioning that this is not an article about how to create accessible toggle switches. Heydons article does a fantastic job covering that.
mind: two options with one of them checked, and only one option can be checked at a time; that makes a great use case for good old radio buttons. I knew I would have to choose something different if I wanted the ui to look and behave differently. For example, if I wanted the ui to say enable/Disable dark mode, then I wouldnt need or want to use radio buttons, because Id only have one option to deal with that could be switched on and off — that would be a great use. Takeaways: Style and function are interrelated; so it helps to think about these two simultaneously when designing for accessibility (and designing anything in general, really). Always, always start thinking about the markup and accessibility when building components, regardless of how small or simple they seem. As always, i needed to back my theory and practice up with good research. So i started reading. My first go-to references are heydon Pickerings.
How you design it is a personal preference, as long as it works and is easily understandable by users. As always, i started thinking about how to dubai mark this simple element up, ensuring accessibility is baked right into it from the start. So i started doing my homework and reading and learning all I can about this topic. It was important for me to make sure this demo is accessible even if its just a quick proof of concept for a talk. First of all, because the code for the demo will be public, so i have a bigger responsibility for making sure its accessible, because i wouldnt want to spread any inaccessible code around, especially if theres a chance people might be using it somewhere else. Another reason I wanted this to be good is that Ill probably want to reuse it for other components for my upcoming front-end components workshop. Start with the markup, as I mentioned above, i started thinking about how to mark this element up ensuring it is accessible to screen readers. Thats when I realized (and it was a doh! Kinda moment) that function and markup depend on how I want the toggle to behave, and on how I want it to look.
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Yesterday i was working on creating the slides and accompanying demos for my upcoming. Web Directions Code talk next week. One of the demos Im creating is a wallpaper basic proof of concept for a simple switch that is used to switch the theme of a ui from light to dark and vice versa. I liked, and was inspired, by the theme switch in the medium app, shown below. The medium apps theme customizer is a simple popup panel that includes a simple switch for switching from light to dark mode and vice versa. The only difference is that I wanted my switch to explicitly state which theme is currently enabled, so instead of just enabling and disabling a dark theme like the medium switch, i wanted the user to explicitly switch between Light and Dark options. Theres no particular reason for that other than personal preference. There are other ways to do this as well.