Page - Page Title - Excessively Long or Overly Complicated Page Title

What the issue is

While having a descriptive page title is crucial for accessibility, an excessively long or overly complicated title can also pose problems. Titles that are burdened with too many keywords, contain complex jargon, or try to describe too much can be difficult to understand and process, especially for users with cognitive disabilities or those who rely on screen readers. Such titles may be cut off by browsers or screen readers, potentially omitting important information. Additionally, overly complicated titles may be challenging to remember or make sense of, hindering the ability to navigate or understand the purpose of the page.

Why this is important

Page titles serve as an essential navigational aid and are often the first piece of content that users interact with when browsing a website or using assistive technologies. They need to be concise yet descriptive to effectively communicate the page's purpose. Excessively long or complicated titles can confuse, leading to a poor user experience, reduced comprehension of page content, and difficulty in navigation. This issue is particularly significant for individuals with cognitive impairments or those using technologies that present titles audibly, where clarity and brevity are key.

Who it affects

This issue affects:

  1. Users with cognitive disabilities or those who have difficulty processing complex information.
  2. Users of screen readers and other assistive technologies, where long titles can be truncated or difficult to follow when read aloud.
  3. General users trying to locate specific information through browser tabs or history, as excessively lengthy titles can be cut off or overwhelming.

How to remediate the issue

  1. Review and edit page titles to ensure they are clear, concise, and directly relevant to the page content or purpose.
  2. Avoid stuffing titles with keywords or making them overly detailed; aim for a balanced description that users can easily understand and remember.
  3. Test with various devices and screen readers to ensure titles are fully accessible and not truncated in a way that loses essential information.
  4. Seek feedback from users with cognitive disabilities to ensure titles are effective and not overly complicated.

Guidance on creating clear and concise titles can be found at WCAG Quick Reference on Page Titled.