Enhancing UI Accessibility in iOS: Setting Custom Identifiers for UIAlertControllers

Enhancing UI Accessibility in iOS: Setting Custom Identifiers for UIAlertControllers

5 April 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment Tech-Help

When developing iOS applications, enhancing user interface accessibility is crucial for creating inclusive products. One common element in many applications is the alert dialog, presented via UIAlertController. However, developers often face the challenge of setting custom identifiers for these alerts, especially when it comes to UI testing or accessibility features. In this guide, we will explore a solution to set a custom accessibility identifier for a UIAlertController.

Setting a Custom Accessibility Identifier

Assigning a custom accessibility identifier to a UIAlertController can be instrumental for UI testing frameworks like Appium, as it allows testers to easily reference and interact with alert dialogs. Let’s dive into how you can implement this in your code.

Implementing the Solution

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting a custom accessibility identifier for your alert controller:

  1. Begin by creating your UIAlertController with the appropriate title and message:
  2. let alert = UIAlertController(title: title, message: message, preferredStyle: .alert)
  3. Set the accessibilityIdentifier and accessibilityValue for the alert’s view:
  4. alert.view.accessibilityIdentifier = "custom_alert"
    alert.view.accessibilityValue = "\(title)-\(message)"
  5. Add any actions you require for the alert:
  6. alert.addAction(
            title: "ALERT_BUTTON_OK".localized,
            style: .default,
            handler: handler
  7. Present the alert controller:
  8. present(alert, animated: true)

By following these steps, you can now access the alert by the accessibility identifier and check its contents in the accessibility value.

Accessing the Alert in UI Tests

Once you have set the accessibility identifier, you can reference the alert dialog in your UI tests as follows:

let emailAlert = app.alerts["custom_alert"]

This allows you to interact with the alert in a straightforward and consistent manner across your test scripts.


Improving the accessibility of your application’s UI components is not only a best practice for inclusivity but also facilitates more robust UI testing. By setting a custom accessibility identifier for UIAlertController, you can make your alert dialogs easily identifiable and manipulable in test automation frameworks. While the solution presented is effective, it’s important to note that accessibility requirements can evolve, and it’s always good practice to stay updated with the latest guidelines and tools provided by Apple.

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