Hi Dave, thanks for your response and questions…here you go:
“Would you ever dare to suggest a label could be dropped in a specific scenario?”
Yes, if there was sound rationale behind doing so, that it made the experience better (without hurting differently-abled people).
“Is it a rule that should NEVER be broken?”
I haven’t yet, had someone provide solid rationale that abides by the answer I gave to the first question, but doesn’t mean there isn’t a sitch.
“Are there any A/B tests regarding Apple’s design?”
Not sure. I’d love to know.
Feedback on your article:
“Reasons: improved layout and saved space,”
I am not aware of the accessibility features native apps provide — I am specifically talking about the web. In this case, I don’t think the rationale is worthy of ditching labels, and relying on icons and placeholders. There are many reasons why this is problematic. If interested, you can read this to begin with: