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If it's interactive, it needs focus styles

One of my least favorite “things” in web development is this persistent belief that :focus styles—those blue rings that show up around buttons and fields when you’re using them—are bad.

Focus styles serve a critical role in accessibility: they let sighted users who navigate with a keyboard know where exactly they current are in the UI.

Not everyone who uses a keyboard to navigate the web is visually impaired or uses a screen reader. People with Parkinson’s, ALS, or other neuromuscular diseases might find moving a cursor with a mouse challenging. Someone with a broken arm or temporary disability may not be able to use a mouse for a short period of time.

My friend Eric Bailey gives a wonderful talk on focus styles, and how they don’t have to be ugly, called “If it’s interactive, it needs focus styles.” Here he is sharing his talk at A11Y Chicago.

You can see more of Eric’s work at