Ensure that users have the time they need to complete timed actions.
Allow users to turn off, adjust or extend time limits [WCAG 2.2.1 - A]
Avoid time limits on activities [WCAG 2.2.3 - AAA]
Warn users about periods of inactivity that can cause data loss [WCAG 2.2.6 - AAA]
Ensure users can reauthenticate and continue sessions without loss of data [WCAG 2.2.5 - AAA]
The kind of time limits that WCAG addresses are not common in digital publications. These limits typically occur due to user inactivity (e.g., to automatically log users out of sites so that their accounts are not compromised) and to ensure the proper functioning of an application (e.g., so users cannot hold purchases indefinitely).
Some digital publications do make use of time limits, though, particularly educational works that embed quizzes, tests, and interactive activities. Whether the timing is essential to the activity — and therefore subject to the requirement to allow users to extend, adjust, or it turn off — is more complex in these cases.
For example, if a test is essential to the grading of the student, then having a time limit may be exempt. If, however, an activity is only for practice, users should be able to control the timing.
In practice, whether students should be permitted more time to complete tests, and how to allow this in a digital publication, is a complicated issue. Local laws may require accommodations for students that allow additional time. It is better to avoid adding time-critical functions to publications whenever possible.
In general, it is best to allow users to control time limits that affect their interaction and comprehension of the content. Users with vision and cognitive issues, for example, may need more time to complete activities both because it requires more work to understand the layout of the content and to comprehend the activity to perform.
Users should also be alerted if periods of inactivity will result in the loss of any data they have input or progress they have made in an activity. If the period of inactivity is set too short, some users may appear inactive, for example, while they are still reading instructions.
Moreover, if sessions are used to maintain the user's current state (i.e., they must log in to a service that tracks their activities in a publication), the user should be able to reauthenticate and not lose their data or progress.
- HTML — Timers