Usability & Accessibility on the FaQ Pages

Website Feedback

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Following up on this post. The new Paizo FaQs have highlighted the problems some users experience with these pages.


Page Names

Ezekieru wrote:

"The FAQ page is now (finally) including both errata and clarifications, so I would rename the tab as "FAQ/Errata".


Drakvamp wrote:

"…it is miss labeled when we are looking for something called an errata, and it's in a tab called the FAQ, which right now doesn't function as written it functions as the errata, so you might as well call it that."



Several users mentioned wanting PDF versions of the FaQs they could print or store on their devices.

In the meantime I have made these myself.


Usability just means how easy an interface is to use. Some people on the forums have found the FAQ pages difficult to navigate. I believe this NNG article sums up the core issues at stake (as well as why accordion menus may be an acceptable use case for some). Here is a collection of feedback gathered from elsewhere:

Drakvamp wrote:

"Burying something you want the community to access more often, at the bottom of a menu tab, is not good menu design…"


BigNorseWolf wrote:

"I don't like the new drop down per question thing, which always breaks and is terrible to search"



Pirate Rob]"As a perfectly normal and average Pirate Rob, despite not getting mobile scrolling frozen I find the page nearly unusable on mobile and an unwieldily pain to use on desktop."


Note that some users don't find this a problem:

Graystone wrote:

"You can have the best of both worlds by just clicking every dropdown when you want the long list so you can ctrl f for what you're looking for."


"No... I JUST did this to find something and it was quick to find what I was looking for. You start at the bottom dropdown and work your way up and that took maybe a second or two. Ctrl f and shifting through took another few seconds. So maybe 10-15 seconds to find what I waned. If that's too long, I don' know what to tell you."




Some users have pointed out issues with the code. These are not always replicable for all users.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Graystone wrote:
"No... I JUST did this to find something and it was quick to find what I was looking for. You start at the bottom dropdown and work your way up and that took maybe a second or two."

"Tried this. Click Interstellar species no problem. Click An actual FAQ question and open it, the screen breaks.

Firefox broke after one FAQ. Chrome broke after 4 ish."


Errenor wrote:

"Yep, it's completely broken on (my) Firefox: when you open one list, it doesn't allow you to scroll up or down anymore at all, even if you close the list. Only reloading helps."


Ravingdork wrote:

"There's something weird going on with pages that have collapsible menus. At a certain point, everything locks up and you can't scroll up or down, preventing you from reading everything on the page.

The phenomenon seems to be rather prevalent with the PFS pages, which have a lot of collapsible menus.

I've tried it on both my desktop and on my phone, in Chrome, and it happens on both devices. I've heard other people having similar issues as well, so it's not just me."




Screen Readers

I personally have a really hard time navigating the page with a screen reader (while I am not visually disabled I do try to test things as a blind user at times). The accordion menus on the Org Play FaQ pages seem excessive whereas the Pathfinder FaQs hide mountains of text in unordered lists behind single accordion buttons.

Dennis Muldoon wrote:
Graystone wrote:
"AGAIN, my point is that there is virtually no difference between no hidden content and hidden content that can be unhidden in seconds"

"This is only true if it can truly be unhidden in seconds for everyone, which I highly doubt is the case here. For instance, I suspect the current setup is more challenging if you're searching for something on that page using a screen reader."


Aria Elements

A Lighthouse audit found accordion button aria attributes do not match their roles. Screenshot. In addition, multiple navigation landmarks with the same parent region are not distinguished from one another because they have the same "" label.


Heading elements are not always in a sequentially-descending order.

I also personally wonder if placing FaQ section titles inside paragraph tags inside `faq__category-title` spans that style them to look like title headings is good semantics.

Visually Hidden Content is Picked up by Assistive Devices

The PFS/SFS FaQs contain hidden sharing buttons. They are set to transparent color with CSS, meaning they are visually hidden but picked up by screen readers.

I can't help but wonder why these elements have been obfuscated. If they were meant to be removed they should also be flagged as aria-hidden. That said, direct-linking a FAQ item would be a super useful feature!

Search Results

Results UX

The search expands accordions and then fades out the rest of the text to leave the results highlighted in the foreground. This means you have to scroll around a lot on the page to locate your result (gif example).

This makes it really difficult to locate what you want, especially if there are multiple results in multiple FaQs.

Fuzzy search or autocomplete may also be useful as a search for "flick" yields no results but "flickmace" gets you to the errata 4 entry. Many users may not know the exact keyword they want (I suspect most users would not know their exact keyword).

Color Contrast

Search highlights relevant key words but the `match` css is red (#ff0000), which is too low contrast for small text on a white background (3.69:1; WCAG 2.0 level AA requires a contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for small text like this). Adding simple CSS to highlight that class with a yellow background-color would help.

Red is also a problem color for red/green colorblind people such as myself. This is an issue I have on play-by-post as well because the dice roller is a small green font on white background.


I have intentionally left my own opinions or ideas for solutions out of the conversation for now. Usability is about more than one person's subjective opinion or even a small sample size of one person or group. Accessibility is much more than just passing an automated checker.

It would be amazing if more people need to share their experiences, so we can better understand one another. Hopefully, the Paizo team would be interested in hearing about this stuff.

Wayfinders Contributor

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Accessibility is important. My friend Kris is legally blind. He games with me in my Adventure Path group and finds it difficult to access your FAQ. I wound up giving links to Doug's guides to my gaming group.

Meanwhile, I find it really challenging to search the original FAQ. And I'm a librarian. Research is my thing.

Accessible design improves things for all users.

Thanks for listening.

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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Thank you SO much for making this thread, Doug Hahn!

I'm hoping these issues get addressed soon. Many are pretty serious obstacles to people wanting to navigate the site and play the game.

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Please pay attention to the problems that people with low vision have been reporting for years.

Loving the game cannot overcome the physical barriers you are imposing between us and the material you produce.

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Note that in order to get it to work, graystone had to start at the bottom, click, open, click open. This is the opposite of how anyone else would naturally do it, clicking from the top down. (and I really question how fast anyone can reasonably do this unless they're a human aimbot)

If you click from the top and try to scroll down it breaks immediately (Which is why graystone suggested going bottom up)

So the problem isn't any limited segment of the population, its EVERYONE.

IF it worked the opening sections thing would make the page moderately more usable than plain text. But it's not working.

I really don't understand why this hasn't been changed to a plain text page, and then if a solution comes up you use that instead. Its like not driving your car because you insist it has to have power windows but they're shorting out the battery.

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