Consistent Identification @@ and Styles

SC Text

3.2.4 Consistent Identification: Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently. (Level AA)

Consistent Identification @@and Styles@@: Components that have the same functionality within a set of Web pages are identified consistently. @@Components that have the same type of information, or have the same function within a set of Web pages, are styled consistently in the primary modality of the content.
Exception: If a specific structure is an essential part of the main function of the Web page. @@ (Level AA)

Suggestion for Priority Level (AA)


Related Glossary additions or changes

Styled consistently: usage of the same font or voice; font colors and  background colors; shape; font style; images and special effects (and position in the same location relative to other recurring components and  regions in the content).
[Same type of information : includes information with the same role, function, or concept, such as ARIA role, element name, or COGA concept.


Define the primary modality of the content as modalities considered in the design of the content.

What Principle and Guideline the SC falls within.

Principle 3, Guideline 3.2


The intent of this Success Criterion is to ensure consistent styles of functional components that appear repeatedly within a set of Web pages. The intent is to be consistent within a single web page, and within a set of web pages, where something is repeated on more than one page in the set.




The more predictable the content, the easier it is to know how to use it. Many users with cognitive and learning disabilities rely heavily on their familiarity with a web pages’ components. They may learn a specific interface. If identical functions are presented differently on different Web pages, the site will be considerably more difficult to use. It will also be confusing, and increase the cognitive load for people with cognitive disabilities, limiting some users from accessing the content. This supports those who have reading and some visual-perceptual difficulties due to Receptive Aphasia and acquired dyslexia; as well as those with general cognitive learning disabilities. It also helps those with visual-acuity difficulties, where stroke and age-related disabilities co-occur. Also, users with memory impairments will need to learn a lot more to be able to use the site, making it impossible for some. Therefore, consistent styles will increase the number of people who can use the site, and will help many others.

See also

Computers helping people with special needed, 14 international conference ICCHP 2014 Eds. Miesenberger, Fels, Archambault, Et. Al. Springer (pages 401). Paper: Tablets in the rehabilitation of memory impairment, K Dobsz et. al.


The Aphasia Alliance's Top Tips for 'Aphasia Friendlier' Communication taken from

Phiriyapkanon. Is big button interface enough for elderly users, Malardardalen University Press Sweden 2011.

COGA Resources



General test
For HTML and Web Content

Step 1. Ensure (by inspection) all components, including navigation components, links, and icons, are identified and styled consistently.
Step 2. Ensure all controls, which have the same function, are styled consistently.

Step 3: All headings with the same level and  role have the same style.




working groups notes (optional)
//meaning of ‘function’
// control
// changes