Future Media Standards & Guidelines

Focusable controls

Controls for JavaScript enhanced interactions must be <a>, <button>, or <input>[type=checkbox,color,date,datetime,datetime-local,email,file,month,number,password,radio,range,search,tel,text,time,url,week] elements if that is the only mechanism for controlling them.

<a> elements used for controls must have an href attribute.

Controls that have no purpose without JavaScript must not be added to the page before the associated code is available capable of running.


When creating controls for user interaction with JavaScript enhanced features, for example a carousel with previous and next controls, the controls must be implemented with elements that provide natively focusable elements with click, keydown, and focus events so they are accessible to keyboard as well as pointing device users. If there is an alternative method of controlling the feature, for example a carousel that automatically displays new content when it receives content then controls that are only available to pointing device users can be used.

In general, use <a> elements when there is a URL associated with the interaction when JavaScript is not enabled, and <button> elements for interactions that don’t have an associated URL.

<a> elements without a href attribute are not keyboard accessible, and therefore must not be used for controls.

When there is no core (non-JavaScript) interaction then the control must not be added to the document before the associated JavaScript is capable of running as this would lead to controls that apparently do nothing, potentially causing confusion to users.



<button type="button">Open panel</button>

    <li><a href="#newstab">News</a></li>
    <li><a href="#sporttab">Sport</a></li>
    <li><a href="#entertainmenttab">Entertainment</a></li>


<a href="#">Open panel</a>



Procedure Expected Result Type
Identify each control on the page Navigate the page with a keyboard and ensure that each control is accessible Manual

Using the standards and guidelines

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Details can be found on the Open Government Licence for Public Sector Information website.


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