Requirements may sound simple: when the user clicks the mouse or presses this key, do something. To a developer, though, there are a multitude of ways to implement this behavior: up, down, pointer, or touch events. Whether you are a developer, designer or business lead, understanding the impact down events will lead to a web experience that’s free of frustration for everyone. With no pre-requisite code knowledge required, this course will introduce you to pointer events, the impact of the chosen method, and the users who will thank you for considering their needs.
Requirements may sound simple: when the user clicks the mouse or presses this key, do something. To a developer, though, there are a multitude of ways to implement this behavior: up, down, pointer, or touch events. In principle, these have the same effect, but for users with disabilities, the choice can make or break the entire experience. If you plan to test your site against WCAG 2.1, you’ll need to understand down events in order to test against success criterion 2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation.
What is a down event and why is it so clearly excluded for WCAG-conformant sites? When you press a key or click your mouse, the browser sees two events: you pressing down and you lifting up. For users with limited mobility or low vision, the ability to cancel the resulting function is more than a matter of convenience. A user may have finally made it to the button they want to press and quickly realizes they’ve made a mistake. A well-coded site can easily account for this scenario.
We will look at the similarities and differences of keyboard and pointer events and discuss their user impact and the aspects a developer would need to be aware of for proper implementation and maintaining an accessible experience.
- The impact pointer events have upon users with and without disabilities
- The code structure of pointer events
- Communicating with developers about their choices of pointer events (even if you don’t know much code)