Some web pages have time limits to allow users specified amounts of time to interact with content on the web page. For example, web pages with forms and web pages that require a login will usually have time limitations for security purposes. When a time limit is present, it is important that a user receives a proper time response notification and be given the option to extend the time to complete their task. To ensure accessibility of on timed responses, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Time out Notification: Users should be notified that their session will be ending soon.
- Focus change for time-out notification: When users are notified of a time-out, the focus should be shifted to the dialogue box with the time-out notification.
- Reasonable time: Users should be given a reasonable amount of time before the time-out triggers the end of a session. For example, if a time-out notification appears indicating that the session will end soon, but then the page closes after a few seconds, the user is not given sufficient time to process and act on the notification.
- Focus change following notification: If a user chooses to extend their time following a time-out message, the User’s focus should return to the previous location of the page before the timed response message appeared.
- Time extension: users should be able to adjust the time limit setting and extend the time limit.
Why is time response important?
Users work at different paces; therefore it is crucial that when there is a time limit, users be notified and given sufficient time to extend the time-out. When users are in websites that contain sensitive information time responses, allow them to protect their data and information. If a time out is not announced to the user, they will not only lose the information they are looking at or inputting, they may think there is something wrong with the webpage. For users with difficulties completing information on the web, if a time extension is not provided, they will not be capable of achieving their task and may cause the user to abandon the page due to the time limit.