3.3.3 - Error suggestions

When someone makes an error while filling in a form, give them suggestions on how to correct it.


When an error is detected, suggestions for correcting the issue must be provided – unless doing that would compromise security (like giving a hint to a password for example).


  • When a form validation error is detected, a suggestion is provided to help the user correct the issue.

Common mistakes

  • An error is detected and the user is notified, but no suggestion is given to help them resolve it;
  • A login error is detected and a suggestion is provided, but it comprimises security by revealing that a particular username exists.


This helps everyone resolve issues more easily, but especially people with cognitive disabilities who find processing information difficult.

Official wording in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines

3.3.3 Error Suggestion: If an input error is automatically detected and suggestions for correction are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user, unless it would jeopardize the security or purpose of the content. (Level AA)

See the W3C's detailed explanation of this guideline with techniques and examples.

Guidance for Design

This section needs some ❤️
Contribute via Github

More guidance for design

Guidance for Web

Associating a hint with a text input field using aria-describedby

<label for="national-insurance-number">
  National Insurance number

<span id="national-insurance-number-hint">
  It’s on your National Insurance card, benefit letter, payslip or P60. For example, ‘QQ 12 34 56 C’.

<input id="national-insurance-number" name="national-insurance-number" type="text"
aria-describedby="national-insurance-number-hint national-insurance-number-error">

<span id="national-insurance-number-error">
  <span class="visually-hidden">Error:</span> Enter a National Insurance number in the correct format

More guidance for Web