This technique relates to Success Criterion 3.3.4: Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) (Sufficient).
This technique is to seek confirmation from the user that the selected action is his or her intended action. Use this technique in situations where the action can not be undone after it has been followed through. This will help users avoid submitting a form or deleting data by mistake.
For example, this may occur when the user expects the 'submit' and 'cancel' buttons to occur in an order contrary to what is provided and selects a button too quickly to notice the unexpected order. Presenting the user with a confirmation request allows the user to recognize the error and either stop the submission of data or stop the loss of entered data.
The request for confirmation should inform the user of the action that was selected and the consequences of continuing with the action.
Example 1: Airline travel
An online travel Web site lets users create travel itineraries that reserve seats with different airlines. Users may look up, amend and cancel their current itineraries. If the user needs to cancel his travel plans, he finds the itinerary on the Web page and deletes it from his list of current itineraries. This action results in the cancellation of his seat reservations and is not reversible. The user is informed that the selected action will cancel their current seat reservations and that it may not be possible to make a comparable booking on the same flights once this action has been taken. The user is asked to confirm or cancel the deletion of the itinerary.
Example 2: Webmail
A Webmail application stores a user's email on a server, so that it can be accessed from anywhere on the web. When a user deletes an email message, it is moved to a trash folder from which it can be retrieved if it was deleted by accident. There is an "empty trash" command for deleting the messages in the trash folder from the server. Once the trash folder has been emptied, the messages can no longer be retrieved. Before emptying the trash folder, the user is asked to confirm or cancel deletion of the email in the trash folder.
Example 3: An online test
A form is used to collect answers for a test. When the 'submit' or 'reset' button is selected the user is presented with a web page that informs them of their choice and asks for confirmation to continue. Example 1: "You have selected to reset the form. This will delete all previously entered data and will not submit any answers. Would you like to reset the form? [yes button] [no button]" Example 2: "You have selected to submit the form. This will submit entered data as your final answers and can not be changed. Would you like to submit the form? [yes button] [no button]"
Example 4: Trading stocks
A brokerage site allows users to buy and sell stocks and other securities. If the user makes a transaction during trading hours, a dialog is presented informing the user that the transaction is immediate and irreversible, and has buttons that say "continue" and "cancel."
- Initiate the action that can not be reversed or changed.
- Check that a request to confirm the selected action is presented.
- Check that the action can be confirmed and canceled.
- Checks #2 and #3 are true.