Who is impacted?
People with physical abilities are primarily impacted, as they often need more time to react. Those with cognitive, reading, or visual disabilities are also affected.
How to test?
Remain inactive on a page until session is about to expire. Verify that alerts, notifications, and time extensions appear on-screen and in focus for the user.
Processes that happen without any initiation after a set time is a time limit. Users should be given access to adjust the time settings for given content in order to successfully complete tasks presented to them.
For time limits set, at least one of the following should be true (These options are listed in order of what is most helpful to the user):
Turn off: The user is allowed to turn off the time limit before it setting off.
Adjust: The user is allowed to adjust the time limit before it setting off over a wide range (at least 10x length of default settings).
Extend: The user is warned before time expires and given at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit (at least 10x).
Real-time exception: The time limit is a required part of a real-time event (for example, an auction), and no alternative time limit is possible.
Essential exception: The time limit is essential, and extending it would invalidate the activity.
20-hour exception: The time limit is longer than 20 hours.
Timing is not always an essential component to content. Only where there is non-interactive synchronized media and real-time events is timing necessary.
With this criterion, the purpose is to enable users to interact with content without having to worry about timing. Look to minimize timed interactions wherever possible.
Users should be able to postpone or suppress any interruptions, except in the case where the interruption involves an emergency. Users should be able to turn off any updates so that they are able to focus solely on the content.
For authenticated sessions that have time limits, should that session expire, the user should be able to re-authenticate and continue the activity without loss of data.
Many users may require more time to complete an authenticated session and are forced to reset due to a time limit. We want to ensure that any data they may have entered prior, isn’t lost when they get reset.
Users should be notified of their time limit and the time limit of user inactivity that could lead to data loss. These notifications should be displayed at the beginning of the task, rather than in between steps.
Users should be able to leave a process without losing the information they entered. To avoid any issues, the user data should be kept for at least 20 hours so that users may take breaks when attempting to complete a task. If saving user data is not practical, the user must receive a notification about the duration of inactivity before a timeout.