Sites that require user login to submit input and that terminate the session after a some period of inactivity.
This technique relates to Success Criterion 2.2.5: Re-authenticating (Failure).
Web servers that require user authentication usually have a session mechanism in which a session times out after a period of inactivity from the user. This is sometimes done for security reasons, to protect users who are assumed to have left their computer exposed in a state where someone could do something harmful to them such as transfer bank funds or make an unauthorized purchase. A user with a disability may actually still be working to complete the form as it may take him or her longer to complete the form than would normally be expected. Upon re-authentication, if the state of the user's session is not restored, including all data that had been previously entered into the form, he or she will have to start over. And for these users, it is likely that the session will time out again before they can complete the form. This sets up a situation where a user who needs more time to complete the form can never complete it.
- A user submits a form on an authenticated site after their login has expired. On submitting the form, they are prompted to log in again, and then taken to a general welcome page. The data is not processed and they must try again.
- A user submits a form on an authenticated site after their login has expired. On submitting the form, they are prompted to log in again, and then taken back to the page they were on just before the login, which in this case contains the form they attempted to submit. However, the form is not populated with the data they just entered, and they must re-enter it.
On a site where authentication is required, user input is collected, and which ends the user's session after a known period of inactivity:
- Provide user input as required but allow the session to time out, then submit the form.
- When requested, re-authenticate with the server.
- Determine if the function is performed using the previously submitted data.
- If step #3 is false, the site fails the Success Criterion.