Sensory Content

Key Points to Consider

Some impairments limit the ability of users to perceive or understand content that relies on sensory characteristics. This includes

  • Direction
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Orientation

Instead of

... more information is available in the link on the left


... more information is available on the left under 'Subject Areas'

Instead of

... key information is in the right column of the table


... key information is in the "Results" column of the Final Analysis table.

Terms such 'Above' and 'Below' are permitted if they maintain the content reading order.

... further information on fees and costs can be found in the table below.
... as stated in the paragraph above...

Important Note: Responsive webpage templates result in different layouts depending viewing device (desktop, tablet, mobile).

Be aware content that is on one part of a screen in a desktop view may be moved to another area or potentially hidden in a tablet or mobile version. Directions such as left or right may lose context depending on which device is being used.


Not all users can perceive location such as left or right and it is necessary to supplement instructions with additional text.

Symbols and Shapes

Not all users can perceive shape correctly or may be accessing your content using assistive technology that may not understand the distinction. Shapes need to be defined with another characteristic such as text or colour.

Instead of

Click on the green button


Select the green 'Contact Us' button

Symbols and special characters are not always read correctly by screen readers. If using images, ensure they have a suitable 'alt' text.

<img src="tick.png" alt="Available" />

Flashing Content

Avoid flashing or blinking content. If it is required, it must not flash more than 3 times in a second. You should also include controls to enable users to turn it off.

Read the Guideline

  • Checklist


    Key things to remember

    • Define location with extra information
    • Refer page landmarks such as headings to help users find specific content on the page
    • Define shapes with extra information
    • Avoid flashing content