What the issue is
Repetitively using the same word or phrase in a page title can cause confusion and diminish the usefulness of a title for providing unique and helpful context to users, especially those relying on assistive technologies.
This issue can occur when titles are automatically generated based on content management systems or templates that append or prepend site-wide phrases to every title, without consideration for uniqueness or relevance. Such repetitive titles can dilute the distinctiveness between pages, making orientation and navigation more challenging.
Why this is important
Unique, descriptive page titles are pivotal for users to discern between pages, especially when using assistive technologies like screen readers. Repetitive phrases or words in titles can make it difficult for users to identify the current page's content or purpose against other pages on the same site. This lack of distinctiveness can lead to increased cognitive load as users try to remember which page is which, or could result in frustration if users end up on the wrong page because the titles were not clear or descriptive enough.
Who it affects
This issue affects:
- Users of screen readers and other assistive technologies who rely on clear, descriptive titles to navigate between pages efficiently.
- Users with cognitive disabilities who benefit from straightforward, unique titles for better comprehension and orientation within a site.
- General users looking to quickly identify and switch between tabs or pages, where repetitive titles can blend together, making specific pages harder to locate.
How to remediate the issue
- Review existing page titles to identify and eliminate unnecessary repetition of words or phrases.
- When setting up templates or automatic title generation methods, ensure that they are configured to provide unique, context-relevant titles that avoid unnecessary repetition.
- Engage in user testing, particularly with individuals who use assistive technologies, to gather feedback on title clarity and uniqueness, adjusting based on findings.
- Consider the overall site structure and common user journeys to align page titles with the content and function of each page, thereby avoiding confusion and enhancing navigation.
Guidance on creating unique, descriptive titles can be found at WCAG Quick Reference on Page Titled.