Make status messages detectable semantically
If a user can’t visually perceive a page, they may not realize that statuses, updates, or confirmations were loaded on a page. This is disorienting, and can make users wonder if the button or control they pressed worked.
People using magnification to enlarge webpage text may also miss status status message altogether due to the message being out of frame. If the message can be coded semantically, then the message can still be understood and conveyed by assistive technology.
Use the proper live region role for the context
- The alert role (
aria-live="assertive"should only be used if the messaging is time-sensitive and important (a potential loss of data/progress, progress errors, emergency alerts).
- Use the status role (
aria-live="polite"for progress or other updates
- Other live updates that don't fall into these categories can use a combination of
If there is a status or dynamic update related to existing content, then typically focus shouldn't move to the message.
Ensure the live region markup exists on the page before adding the updated content.
Example: Items in cart
On page load:
When the page loads, the aria-live and aria-atomic attributes are already part of the page, rather than added when the status updates.
<div aria-live="polite" aria-atomic="true"> 0 items in cart // or other placeholder </div>
After items added
<div aria-live="polite" aria-atomic="true"> 1 item added to cart // announces as such to user </div>
Example: Quick Search
Western's quick search component uses a live region to indicate how many items are in the list to navigate (the "x results" text).
The example articles here begin with letters 'R' or 'G' to cut down the amount of list items. For more results, see our full writers' guide.
Live region code on page load
// role="status" is equal to // aria-live="polite" aria-atomic="true" <div role="status"> <p>20 results</p> </div>
When writing about individuals, ask which gender pronouns they use for themselves, and use them in the story. See inclusion.
- General University Requirements
GUR is acceptable on second reference for audiences who are likely to be familiar with the abbreviation. Use care for other audiences; consider descriptive terms such as general education requirements for graduation.
- Geology Department or Department of Geology
- Global Connections
A summer youth program for international students in grades four through six who come to Western for language enrichment and other activities.
- Global Engagement, Institute for
Formerly Center for International Studies
- Global Humanities and Religions Department or Department of Global Humanities and Religions
Formerly called the Liberal Studies Department.
- Global Learning
Study abroad programs designed and led by WWU faculty members. Offered by Western’s Institute for Global Engagement.
- Goltz-Murray Archives Building
Archives Building on second reference. Houses Western’s University Archives and Records Management, the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, and the Northwest Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives.
- GPA, grade-point average
Both are acceptable in all references. GPAs normally have two numbers after the decimal point, 3.25, 4.15.
Use capital letters with no quotation marks, A, B, C etc. For plurals, add ’s, A’s, B’s, C’s etc. Also, Pass, No Pass, Incomplete, Withdrawal, etc.
- Graduate School
Capitalize when referring to Western’s Graduate School.
- Grandparents U
- Great Northwest Athletic Conference
GNAC on second reference.
- Green Energy Fee
Outdated name. See Sustainability, Equity & Justice Fund
Acceptable on first reference for resident advisor if readers are likely to be familiar with the abbreviation. Use care for external audiences. See apartment advisor and adviser, advisor
- range of time, days or dates
The preferred format is to spell out to and through in body copy when referring to a range of time or days of the week. The word from usually can be omitted. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or Finals week is Monday through Friday.
- Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity
Formerly the Northwest Center for Holocaust, Genocide and Ethnocide Education.
- Recreation Center
Use Wade King Student Recreation Center on first reference. Student Recreation Center or, informally, Student Rec Center, is acceptable on second reference.
- Red Square
- residence hall
Preferred to dorm or dormitory when referring to student housing.