SC Shortname: Support Personalization

SC Text


Support personalization:  Contextual information and author settable properties of regions and elements  are programatically determinable so that personalization is avalible. 

Where the number of steps in a process can be reduced, the user can control the trade off between function and simplification.

Exception: Information does not need to be exposed when there is not a standardized way of  exposing it in the technology or the platform.

[Contextual information includes: context of elements; concept and role; relevance and information for simplification; position in a process. 

Author settable properties includes: type of distraction, type of help, type of transaction and type of reminder, instructions and status of an element.] - note this could be in the main text or in the definition





Suggestion for Priority Level


Related Glossary additions or changes

Contextual information
Defined terms and tags that give meaning to the content such as context of elements; concept and role; relevance and information for simplification; position in a process
User interface that is driven by the individual user's prefrences.
Author settable properties
Properties that can be set by the author or by a script, such as: type of distraction, type of help, type of transaction and type of reminder, instructions and status of an element. Typical they set the type of the role or element at a second level taxonomy


What Principle and Guideline the SC falls within.

This could fall under:

WCAG 1 Perceivable - Guidline 1.3 Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure

Or under:

WCAG 3 Understandable - Guidline 3.2 Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.


The intent of this success cryteria is to support user preferences or needs of the user. For example, having familiar terms and symbols is key to being able to use the web. However what is familiar for one user may be new for another requiring them to learn new symbols. Personalization could include loading a set of symbols that is appropriate for the specific user, ensuring that all users find the icons simple and familiar.
Technology holds the promise of being extremely flexible and the design of many systems includes the expectation that users will be able to optimise their interaction experience according to their personal preferences or accessibility requirements (needs).


This Success Criterion helps users who need extra support or a familure interface. This can include:

We need personalization because:

This helps people with many diffrent cognitive disabilities including people with:

Togther this can effect 11% of school age people and over half of people over 60 years old - including mild cognative imparment an Age-Associate Memory Impairment (AAMI).

Research on these benefits can be found at [cudd-1] and the task forces issue-papers on personalization and preferences. Also see the example of an adaptive page.

An example is a user can be a person growing older whose ability to learn new things has slowed down. This includes learning new interfaces, symbols and designs. They also rely on tool tips. So long as the design is on they know they can use the application and stay in the work force. When the interfaces change, they tryand learn the new interface, but the cognitive load becomes to great and they need to retire.

Another example: "Research has shown that dementia changes a person's perception of distances, objects, and colours. Dementia can reduce or remove the ability to see colours from the blue to purple end of the spectrum. Decorative patterns can 'strobe' and possibly confuse or unsettle people. Even something as simple as a silver strip between different floor coverings in a doorway can appear to a person with dementia like something threatening, such as a step or a hole." Taken from

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.




General test

For HTML and Web Content

Step 1. Identify the role of elements

Step 2. Identify the context of regions and controls

Step 3. Check that the context and role is clear from the markup - if not add the role and context from native HTML, ARIA and COGA (where it is supported)

Step 4. Ensure content conforms to those standards where they can be used for personlisation or additional support.and set the applicable auther settable properties



Techniques include:

Common Failures for Success Criterion

The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 3.1.1 by the WCAG Working Group.

  1. standardized semantics for personalization were appropriate and not used.
  2. standardized platform technique for personalization were appropriate and not used.


Examples of Success Criterion 3.1.1

(May be added after December 1st)

Working groups notes

old wording -

Use semantics and safe standardized techniques that enable the content to be adapted to the user scenario including enabling additional support and personalization.


An alternative way to word this would be to require personalization support for a full list of items, such as familiar icons, text, simplification , less options, extra help etc. This seemed more scary for authors and would limit the form of personalization away from how the user wants specific information handled. However it may be worth revising.