Provide a clear structure that includes:

  1. Headings and labels are provided that describe the topic or purpose of each section and are easy to find. (COGA Techniques 2.1.2).
  2. The main task of each page is clarified though the presentation, main heading and page title. Extraneous information is separated or progmatically determinable.
  3. Structure and relationships are obvious such that over 90% of users can immediately identity the structure and relationships (COGA Techniques 2.1.1)
  4. Lists are used appropriatly (COGA Techniques 2.1.1)
  5. Information is provided in manageable chunks, that include:
    1. One idea per paragraph. (One sentence is enough for a paragraph.)
    2. Have one point per sentence. Long sentences can often be broken up into short sentences or lists. If a sentence can use more than two clauses, it typically can be broken up.
  6. Media that is over five minuets is divided into programmatically determinable and logical sections. Each section must be navigable to and provided with a unique label that describes the section. (removed For multi media, the user can directly navigate to each section of the content. )

Provide a predictable design within a set of pages that includes:

(see COGA Techniques 2.4)

Provide a clear and understandable layout that includes:

Interactive controls are visually clear or visually clear controls are easily available that conform to the following:

(See COGA Techniques 2.3)

  1. Interactive controls are persivable in the modality of the user
  2. Interactive controls including links are visually discriminable and their boundaries are clear in the modality of the user. Boundaries on interactive controls and boundaries of icons should have a sufficient color contrast of 1.5 (visual only).
  3. The qualities or properties of the control define its possible uses. It is clear how it can or should be used and what action it will trigger. Actions and actionable items that can be interacted with should have a clear visual style that indicates how to interact with them e.g. buttons that look like buttons. Visually clear controls can be made easily available though easy to use personlization (when available)

Techniques include: additional controls are under a sub menu item such as a button that reads "show toolbar" Technique will include:

  1. Using techniques like 'flat design' with great care as they have reduced affordances.
  2. the web author needs to define buttons and the OS has a setting called show clear buttons,
  3. failure when a scroll bard is embedded in another scrollabel region and it is unclear what scroll to use. failure when scrolls are low contrast.

Information that is most likely to be important to the user is easy to find, such that:

    1. Critical features and important information can be used without use of a scroll bar. (Example -above the scroll or a clear link to it is above the scroll )
    2. Critical features and important information to the user are visually differentiated and accentuated or appear before the other main content
    3. A clear navigational path is provided to all content such that:
      1. Clear headings, menu names and categories are available that signpost information. It should be clear how content correlates to each signpost in its navigation path.
      2. Each page can be reached though any high level page that it logically could belong.
    4. Help and support page or function should be reachable with one user interaction. When human help is available the correct contact information or mechanism should be reachable within two user interactions. (Removed: Where human help is provided, it is available via one clearly labeled action for each web related modality for which the help is available.)
    5. Provide a search box. Exception is provided were adding a search box is a significant expense for the site

    define: content most likely to be important to the user

    All information is easy to find (AAA )

    1. Where there are more then five links directly under any one navigation heading or subheading it is examined to see if adding additional category would be helpful. (AAA)
    2. There are no more then no more than three clicks to get to information from a landing page or portal. (AAA)


    From..Support is provided that help users understand the content, that includes:


    Known standardized APIs for tools that help the user understand and use the content are supported. (Such as synchronized speech, password management tools, simplification and others).


    Provided content and information that help users understand the content

    (See COGA Techniques 2.7 )

    FROM: Support is provided that help users complete and check their task, that includes

    (may be provided via a standard personalization mechanism) (COGA Techniques 2.9 )

    Prevent the user from making errors

    1. All standard ways of representing information are accepted as input formats, such as different ways of writing a phone number and date formats. (Removed Use known techniques to prevent errors that are relevant to the content.)
    2. Documented common input errors are corrected automatically. (example spelling mistakes)
    3. Enable the default format and standards of locale and allow for change of format
    4. Clear visual indicator are provided that identify what information is essential, and non-essential information is clearly differentiated from essential information.
    5. Instructions are provided in the following cases:
      1. If there is not a label does that fully describe the control, provide instructions that explains purpose and usage of the control
      2. If it is not clear were to get the required information, instructions are provide. (Graphics with a text alternative may be sufficient) ( A clear instruction or information is on where 99% of your target audience understand immediately what to do)
    6. Non native content and sponsored content are clearly marked and visually differentiated by standardized techniques
    7. Clearly differentiate between facts and less substantiated opinions. Was rewritten from "Clearly differentiate between opinions and facts "

    Support is provided that help users check their task and repair their work

    1. A summary is provided before submitting important information. (already in wcag as an option, but this is the best option for coga)
    2. A simple mechanism is provided to allow the user to undo mistakes. The user can repair information via clearly labeled action and get back to the place they were at, in one clearly labeled action with unwanted loss of data.
    3. A user can go a step back in a process via one clearly labeled action (exceptions may be required)



    Techniques will include: using size, emphasis , colour, symbols, white space and positioning. For multi media chunks may include: steps in a process, slide changes, topic changes.

    Exception: If a specific structure is an essential part of the main function of the site.

    Instructions, labels, navigation and important information are provided with a clear writing style that includes:

    (simple text version: Use a clear writing style)

    For all wording (other then exceptions):

    1. An easy to understand tense and voice. Please refer to the exemptions for changes for a defined scope such as a different location or language.
    2. Use short clear sentences with a maximum of one conjunction and two commas.
    3. Choose words that are in general use for the context. Use words or phrases that are used more frequently unless this will result in a loss of meaning. There is an exception if this is found in user tests to make the content harder to understand. 
    4. Avoid hyphenated words and acronyms unless they are the common form to refer to the concept. -
    5. Double negatives are not used
    6. Reduce ambiguities by:
      1. metaphors and non-literal text are not used or can be automatically replaced via an easy to set user setting and standardized technique. All meaning must be retained when non-literal text are replaced.
      2. the meaning of each word should be clear from the word's context, or programmatically determinable.
    On controls, links and buttons use words that identify their function. Function can be
    1. The default term used for the function on the user platform or
    2. The function of the button or link (such as "search" in place of "go") or
    3. The destination of a link (such as "home" or "contact us")
    In menus :
    1. The text of each main menu item is easy to understand.
    2. Each sub menu item is clearly associated with the main menu item under which it falls (This can be due being an industry or platform default)

    In instructions

    1. Identifying each step in instructions,
    2. Using specific and concrete wording in instructions,


    Orphaned (need to find homes)

    1. provide a summary. For pieces of content with less then 200 words the heading may act as a summary.
    2. Options that may disadvantage the user are only selected at the users specific request. All types of charges must be clear at the start of a transaction task. When a minimum is known for a type of charge it must be be made clear at the start of the transaction task. (from support the user)


    Where a standard mechanism exists for the platform or technologies exist for context sensitive help it should be used.