As the years have gone by, I've noticed that the usage of the "*" for required on form fields has steadily vanished.

Are there rules in accessibility that require "require fields" to have an indication?

I've always thought that the way form fields are presented is that all fields are required, and that if any form field is optional, it will be indicated (usually very obviously saying "optional").


1 Answer 1


This falls under WCAG 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions.

Required fields must be clearly identified in their label. Asterisks and other images are fine, as long as there is a statement such as "Required fields are marked with an asterisk" in the form.

There are some different ways of achieving this outlined here: https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/H90.html

  • The question becomes if all of the fields are required, do you have to indicate they are required then?
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 17:28
  • Yes, because you may be dealing with those with cognitive impairments that struggle to make assumptions. Also screen reader users just tab between fields and have the label read to them, so it wouldn't be easy for them to scan the form and note that all are required Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 18:17
  • @Majo0od, if all your fields are required, visually you might not want an asterisk next to every field because it could make things look too busy, which could also hamper someone with cognitive impairments. One could easily be distracted by looking at all the asterisks, especially if they're not aligned. You start seeing patterns and shapes made out of the asterisks. For visually impaired users, every field either needs the 'required' property on the <input> tag or aria-required=true. There is no visual clutter caused by these properties. Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 11:46
  • See that's what I thought too, thanks for clarifying
    – UXerUIer
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 12:34

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