Depending on how an element is designed and implemented, it can raise expectations of the user. Especially for users with screen readers, it is important that a standard design pattern behaves as it is defined

Consistency and standards

Title Picture Expectations

Table of contents

  1. What is the problem when patterns change their usual behaviour?
  2. Learned behaviour of elements

What is the problem when patterns change their usual behaviour?

Anyone who has ever pulled a door that actually needs to be pulled knows what it feels like when something behaves differently than expected. This feeling comes up again and again with users who use screen readers or people with disabilities on websites whenever a known pattern behaves differently than the norm requires.

A wrong expectation of a pattern is a problem for the following users

  • People who are blind and navigate with a screen reader
  • User with impaired vision
  • Inexperienced or older users

Learned behaviour of elements

Certain design patterns have established themselves over the years and should not be reinvented. Users know how to interact with them, and when properly implemented, they are accessible to screen readers and keyboard operations.

A good collection of design patterns and their behaviour can be found in the material design documentation of google.

Google – material design documentation
W3C – Design patterns