3.3.8 Undo

WCAG 2.1 Review: Introduction 

WCAG 2.1 now has a first public working draft and ​the working group are inviting comments and feedback via Github

As I'm developing software to test sites for accessibility, I'm reviewing the 28 new proposed criteria for WCAG 2.1, primarily to determine how testable the criteria are using either automated or manual methods. ​

This post concerns a specific criterion: 3.3.8 Undo. 
To view my feedback on other criteria and more background info, go to my listing of feedback

The Criterion

  • 3.3.8 Undo
  • Suggested Priority Level: A
  • Text: Users are provided with the ability to undo an action and to correct mistakes such that:
    > A user can go back steps in a process via a clearly labeled action.
    > The user can repair information via a clearly labeled action and get back to the place they were at, via a clearly labeled action, without unwanted loss of data.

My Thoughts

This is easy to understand at first glance, but I think there is too much room for interpretation. It makes it very clear that in a multi-stage form, you must offer the ability to go back. What isn't clear is whether Undo must be available once the form has been submitted.

We already have, in WCAG 2.0, Success Criterion 3.3.4: Error Prevention, which includes the fact that submissions should be reversible and users must have the opportunity to review submissions. This is a Level AA criterion, and so I'm not sure what the addition of this new 3.3.8 criterion is trying to solve, apart from putting some onus on Level A sites. 

Also, this has none of the caveats that make 3.3.4 possible, like allowing a user to phone up and cancel an order. ​

It needs clarifying how this differs from the existing criterion for Error Prevention.

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