How it works
At its most granular form an accordion can be broken down into an individual component. This can be referred to as a drawer. This is made up of a drawer header and content panel.
Using an accordion to group content into individual drawers leads to shortened pages and reduced scrolling. It's in your control to either open or close a drawer.
Drawers within an accordion have three different states; collapsed, hover and expanded.
Collapsed state: The title should be clearly identifiable in bold with the arrow pointing down, showing the direction that content will expand.
Hover state: Interacting with the component triggers the hover state. Examples of a hover state could be changing the background colour.
Expanded state: The content panel has expanded showing content. The title should be clearly identifiable in bold with the arrow pointing up, the direction that content will collapse.
These must be applied for the most suitable and consistent experience:
- An accordion must always expand information below the title.
- The title of the accordion must always be labelled bold to show there's an interaction.
- The arrows must face the way the content will expand (when in the default state) or collapse (when in it’s expanded state).
- An accordion must always have the same width.
- The title and content needs to feel part of the same thing. Use of subtle colour, shadows or lines can help distinguish between them if needed.
- A hover state must have a clear contrast with both the collapsed and expanded state.
- Make sure the colour of the text contrasts well with the backgrounds of the collapsed, hover and expanded state.
Considerations for screen readers
- Use the tab key on your keyboard to access the drawer header.
- Use the return key to expand the drawer.
- On selection, keyboard focus is pushed to the content within the content panel.
Remember, the key questions that people need answering are:
- What drawer am I on?
- How many drawers are there?
- How do I change drawers?
We would recommend using the ARIA tab model. This works across all major screen readers and browser combinations. Find out more about ARIA and .
You can limit an accordion to allow only one drawer to be expanded at a specific time. For example if you select a second drawer, it'll automatically collapse the one that was previously expanded.
A drawer can be expanded by default.
You can give more information about what’s inside each drawer. For example, if you have eight items in a drawer, you can show this information alongside the title.
Pattern in action
This pattern is currently being used by BBC Sport.