Visual of a lightbulb with many coloured lines superimposed on it
Home » Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias  

on October 12, 2023 at 10:32am |Updated on January 9, 2024 at 10:56am A cat is relaxing in a treatment room in a spa. Its head is reasting on a rolled up flannel and it has a towel covered its body. It looks calm and peaceful. The words Confirmation Bias are above it.

A pat on the back

I would guess that we all like to know we are doing something right. It gives us a feeling of calm reassurance.

But not for everyone

One of the difficulties that blind people have when they are interacting with a website, such as filling in a form, is that they miss out on such confirmations.

What happens is that messages such as “Thank you for completing our form” or “File Upload Successful” will appear on the screen and their screen reader will be unaware of it and they will not know it is there unless they are told.

This happens a lot with my Team when we are on a Live Accessibility Audit. A message will appear and my blind Team Members (Mede, Krista and Lleona) will be unaware of it until I tell them it is there. They can then find it, although sometimes not very easily, from then on they will automatically hunt for such a message when doing other interactivity on the website. Such is their lived experience.

A better experience!

However, they all had a very different experience when we audited a Portal recently!

There were a lot of technical tasks, involving a lot of interactivity, such as uploading files, adding email addresses, choosing dates, selecting from multiple checkboxes, dropdowns and hitting a button to save their changes.

When the Save Button was selected, a nice friendly message appeared in a box on the top of the screen, stating exactly what action had just been taken.

I must admit, I was rather sceptical in my initial assessments that these messages would be read by my Team’s screen readers but to my total astonishment (and that of my Team), the messages were read by their screen readers!

I won’t go into the technicalities of how it was done but suffice it to say it was simply brilliant and all of Team was very impressed!


The only problem was that not every confirmation message was coded in this way and, when they were not read by their screen readers, they just assumed there was no message. They were disappointed to be told that this message had appeared and even more so when they discovered that it was not actually possible to read it at all!

Inconsistency is one of the greatest challenges my team face with websites. The good news is that it can be easily fixed and this portal will then be one of the most accessible I have ever worked with.

It is always lovely to come across a solution that someone has found for a common accessibility problem that I have not seen before.

Caption: a cat is relaxing in a treatment room in a spa. Its head is reasting on a rolled up flannel and it has a towel covered its body. It looks calm and peaceful, reflecting the calm we all feel when we know we are doing something correctly. The words Confirmation Bias are above it.

Would you like to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, please follow these links:

Watch my TED Talk
Find out more about website accessibility audits 
Discuss having an accessibility audit of your website
Have a 1-hour consultation on any aspect of website accessibility 

Clive Loseby
Access by Design

Beautiful, WCAG Compliant, Accessible Website Design
Delivering an Outstanding Website Accessibility Audit
Award-winning Web Design, Chichester

Related posts  

would you like to talk to experts
in accessible web design?

Thank you for coming to visit our website.
Whatever brought you here, whether you are looking for a new accessible website, an accessibility audit or help with any other aspect of digital accessibility, we are here to help you.

Please get in touch with us today!