Make time limits adjustable or not essential

Example of being able to extend a time limit
Image description: graphic illustration of an internet browser open to a webpage. The title says, "Reserve your seat" and text below says, "You have 06:27 minutes left to fill out your info and reserve your seat." The black button below says, "Extend time by 10 minutes."

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Why This is Important

Not requiring time limits is accessible for people who require more time to complete tasks, e.g. folks with ADD/ADHD, motor impairments, low vision, etc.

Not requiring time limits is also accessible for people who are multi-tasking, in a busy environment, or could get distracted by something. By making time limits adjustable or not required, we are extending access to a diversity of disabilities and situations.

This references WCAG criteria 2.2.1 Timing Adjustable (Level A) and 2.2.3 No Timing (Level AAA).

How to Implement This

Don't require a time limit

The easiest way to fulfill this guideline is by not requiring a time limit at all. Keep this in mind during the design and planning phases of work. This would lead to Level AAA compliance.

Provide a way to extend or turn off the time limit

There are certain user experiences where a time limit is considered necessary because supply is limited (e.g. buying concert tickets) or for security reasons (e.g. bank account login session).

In these instances, W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) recommends giving users the ability to extend or turn off the time limit. This can be achieved in a banner or message that notifies users of their time limit (e.g. "You have 8:20 minutes left") and a button (e.g. "Extend by 10 minutes").

Other recommendations for timing:

How to Test This

Testing for time limits requires manually going through major user flows and identifying the presence (or absence) or time limits and what controls are available.

(Do you know of an automated way to test this? Please reach out!)


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