When a time limit is set (like a session timeout), it must be possible for the user to turn it off, delay it, or extend the length of time.
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This ensures that people who need longer to complete tasks because of cognitive or mobility impairments, are able to do so comfortably.
2.2.1 Timing Adjustable: For each time limit that is set by the content, at least one of the following is true: (Level A)
- Turn off: The user is allowed to turn off the time limit before encountering it; or
- Adjust: The user is allowed to adjust the time limit before encountering it over a wide range that is at least ten times the length of the default setting; or
- Extend: The user is warned before time expires and given at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit with a simple action (for example, “press the space bar”), and the user is allowed to extend the time limit at least ten times; or
- Real-time Exception: The time limit is a required part of a real-time event (for example, an auction), and no alternative to the time limit is possible; or
- Essential Exception: The time limit is essential and extending it would invalidate the activity; or
- 20 Hour Exception: The time limit is longer than 20 hours.
Note: This success criterion helps ensure that users can complete tasks without unexpected changes in content or context that are a result of a time limit. This success criterion should be considered in conjunction with Success Criterion 3.2.1, which puts limits on changes of content or context as a result of user action.
See the W3C’s detailed explanation of this guideline with techniques and examples.