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Re: headings for links list


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: May 16, 2011 3:36PM


I think your question comes down to a topic that requires further
research; how do screen reader users navigate a web page they do not
know for the first time. How does that differ from how they navigate
web pages they know better.
For me personally, I like html elements on a page that will get me
quickly to the element I need on that page.
To this end I can use pretty much any html element. For basic GMail
for instance, I use either x to get to the first check box (in front
of the first message in the inbox), or the alt-i AccessKey.
If there is a heading or a list I can get to quickly, I use that.
A key I use a lot, as a Jaws uer, is "n" which jumps to the first
piece of text after a group of links.
I use this a lot to navigate a page, and my biggest qualm with using
NVDA for browsing is their lack of support for this method (of course
we're all creatures of habit).
I hardly ever use navigation menus/same age links, too often they're
incorrectly implemented in any case. I find that breadcrum navigation
mens are confusing and take up a lot of space on a page, and I wish I
could get rid of them (again, I am clearly expressing my own opinions
as a user).
So, to this end, I would say the principle is to design a page in such
a way that elements people are likely to use often, can be reached
with the minimum number of keystrokes.
If this is the only list of links on the page, it does not require a
heading, since pressing l in most screen readers will take you
directly to it.
If it is one of many lists you may want to put a heading there to
allow for quick navigation (though if the page is full of headings,
you need to think about the level of your heading, try to make it so
that user can get there in under 5 key strokes, ideally 3 or less).
If there is a grou of links, then text, then the list, the n key will
get you to that text as well and arrow keys will get user to the list.
I navigate www.bbcnews.com this way. Pressing "n" in Jaws will get me
directly to the text of the first news item on the page.
Of course you could look into using landmarks as well if other html
elements do not fit with what you want to do.
hope this helps, and will start a larger discussion with the resident experts.

On 5/16/11, Angela French < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Today I realized how hard it is to find something specific within the WCAG
> 2.0!
> Can anyone tell me if there is anything that indicates that a heading should
> be used to introduce a list of links that would reside in the content of a
> page (as opposed to providing a heading on a navigation menu)? I thought
> there was, but now that I am looking for it specifically, it eludes me.
> To those of you who are screen readers, how important is it to you that a
> list of links have some sort of introductory heading, as opposed to
> discovering the nature of the links list by its context in the page content?
> Thank you.
> Angela French
> Internet Specialist
> State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
> 360-704-4316
> http://www.checkoutacollege.com<;http://www.checkoutacollege.com/>;