Navigable Content

Problem

Websites often contain blocks of content which are repeated on multiple pages (e.g. website header, navigation links, blocks of advertisements). People who navigate through content sequentially (e.g. using screen readers) are often forced to read through this repeated content without having the option to skip to the main content of the web page in a quick and direct way.

How to Fix

  • Provide a "Skip to Main Content" link at the top of each page that goes directly to the main content area.
    • The link must be the first focusable control encountered by the screen reader.
    • The link text must communicate that it links to the main content.
    • The link can be either always visible or only visible when it has keyboard focus.
  • Ensure that each section of the webpage has a clear heading element which follows a logical hierarchy.
  • If you are familiar with the ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) specification, consider using ARIA landmarks to give roles to each section of the page (e.g. banner, navigation, search, main, etc.)

Take it to the Next Level (AA)

Provide users with two or more ways to access content on a website. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • a search mechanism
  • a fully-functioning sitemap
  • on each page, a list of links to navigate to related web pages
  • on each page, a list of links to navigate to all other web pages on the website (suitable for small websites)
  • on the homepage, a list of links to all pages on the site (suitable for small websites)

Maintain consistent presentation and layout so that users can quickly located repeated content. Ensure that navigational mechanisms on the website occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user.

External Resources

  1. Understanding Success Criterion 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Level A)
  2. Understanding Success Criterion 2.4.5 Multiple Ways (Level AA)
  3. Understanding Success Criterion 3.2.3 Consistent Navigation (Level AA)