A change of context not requested

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Changes of context MUST only be initiated by user request or a mechanism is available to turn off such changes.


Unexpected changes of context may cause difficulties for people with motor impairments, people with low vision, people who are blind, and people with certain cognitive limitations. Unexpected changes of context include automatic launching of new windows, automatic submission of forms after selecting an item from a list, etcetera. Giving users full control of changes of context helps eliminate potential confusion that may be caused by changes of context.

How to Fix

Fix this issue by using AT LEAST ONE of the following techniques:

  1. Ensure that changes of context only happen when the user requests the change. Example: Tell users ahead of time that a link will open a new window.
  2. Provide a mechanism for users to turn off changes of context. Example: Allow users to stop automatic refresh of a news site’s content.
  3. Provide a mechanism for users to request changes of context as needed. Example: Allow users to request a refresh of a news site’s content.
  4. If a new window is opened and gets focus automatically when a new page is loaded, provide a user setting to stop new windows from loading and / or stop focus from moving to the window.
  5. If a modal dialog is opened due to loading a new page, ensure it is opened immediately, not after the user has started reading / interacting with the page.