The recent design change of adding a visible border around textboxes when they're focused is a good thing IMO.

However, when applied to elements such as radio buttons, it can just look weird, e.g. in the close dialog:

radio button with border when focused appears weird

I can't see how this improves accessibility or overall user experience on the site.

Can the border please be applied to textboxes only, when in focus?

  • You can navigate to a radio button without selecting it: i.sstatic.net/Xzv4N.png Furthermore, there are other elements like checkboxes: i.sstatic.net/5biQD.png
    – VLAZ
    Commented Feb 22 at 16:05
  • @VLAZ well it's not terrible, just looks weird. And yes, I know there are other elements, but the border around them doesn't really add anything either, hence the request is to leave it only for textboxes, where the border is indeed a good thing. Commented Feb 22 at 16:09
  • 7
    Navigating to an element like a checkbox via the keyboard then allows you to check/uncheck it via the keyboard. Removing the focus highlight entirely means there would be no indication of what (if anything) you would check or uncheck. Same with radio buttons but there is no way to unselect (other than selecting something else). You can still navigate to an unselected one and choose to select it. This is true for other intractable elements, too - like navigating to a button to click it: i.sstatic.net/IvoAw.png i.sstatic.net/oApQK.png
    – VLAZ
    Commented Feb 22 at 16:17

1 Answer 1


Having a visual indicator when an element has keyboard focus is a required aspect of web accessibility. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2, Success Criterion 2.4.7, "Focus Visible", states:

Any keyboard operable user interface has a mode of operation where the keyboard focus indicator is visible.

Removing this focus would make the site less accessible, and contradicts earlier requests to be more consistent about displaying the focus (disclaimer: the request is mine).

  • Well, I don't agree with this and just find it visually odd, but I'm no accessibility expert. Thanks for the digging. :) Commented Feb 22 at 19:15
  • There's a new meta post up with additional details about the new focus state.
    – Carrott Staff
    Commented Mar 26 at 16:04

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