The choice we’re considering for Shopify’s main web app is to allow placeholder text to fail WCAG, and to therefore treat it strictly as an enhancement. If the UI isn’t understandable without it, we know we need to clarify the UI — starting with a proper form field label.
In Plain Sight
Ryan Frederick

Qualifying information or features as “necessary” versus “enhancement” can get into questionable territory when it comes to accessibility.

In this case—do you even need placeholder text? Concise helper text above the input is usually clearer than placeholder text, and it also sidesteps any difficulty people with cognitive impairments might have with placeholder text.

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