Based on what I understand success criterion 3.3.2 requires the visible label of an input to be clear and precise on what is the expected input, especially if the correct input requires special formatting.

What I am confused about is the start of the description in Understanding Success Criterion 3.3.2, which states that: "... content authors [should] present instructions or labels that identify the controls in a form so that users know what input data is expected."

My question is, is this SC only applicable to form controls?

  • 1
    What do you have in mind in terms of "non form controls"? Are you meaning custom input components etc? Any control I can think of is classed as a form control but I might not quite be following! Commented Aug 28, 2020 at 12:29
  • Would you mind providing a source for your quote?
    – Andy
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 12:21
  • @GrahamTheDev For example an <input> element that is not surrounded with a <form> tag. Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 17:42

1 Answer 1


Success Criterion 3.3.2 states: "Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input."

That is the normative (required) part. It's the actual rule. Other information including the Understanding statement are nonnormative. They attempt to provide more information but sometimes they may not be worded perfectly. This shouldn't be taken as a loophole. The only part that is required is the Success Criterion itself.

Per the Success Criterion my take is inputs are subject to 3.3.2 whether they are technically within a form or not.

  • I agree, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 4:11

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