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Re: skip link breaks back button


From: Whitney Quesenbery
Date: Mar 17, 2014 7:44AM

Slight digression into another challenge of navigating content-rich pages:

Although not the same as skip links, an "on this page" menu of links is
very helpful for many users, improving the usability for everyone.

I've done usability testing on several large sites that use them, working
with diverse people interacting with the site in a wide variety of ways,
and they have always worked, when designed appropriately.

* On one site, the pages were structured with good headings. A screen
reader user quickly found that he could jump to the third <H> on the page
to reach them. He was one of the most efficient (fastest) at finding
specific information on a large page, because he jumped directly to the
correct section without scanning other text.

* On another site, we saw the "On this page" (OTP) links used differently
by frequent and new users of the site: new users engaged in typical
F-pattern reading, jumping from heading to heading (visually or
non-visually) to make sure they had seen all of the info on the page; those
who used the site frequently used the OTP menu to jump directly to the
section they needed.

We derived some design heuristics. The OTP menu:

* Had to be near the top of the page, usually on the right, in a visually
distinct presentation.

* They had to be part of the semantic structure (Headings, ARIA)

* They had to be in a consistent place in the visual and semantic
presentation on all pages.

* They could not come before, and interrupt, the visual reading pattern,
though they could come before the main content in the semantic code.

This is a good example of a way to solve both a usability and accessibility
problem (navigating a large page) with a universal design.

Whitney Quesenbery
www.wqusability.com | @whitneyq


- A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User
- Storytelling for User
- Global UX: Design and research in a connected

On Mon, Mar 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM, Hewitt,Susan (DSHS) <
<EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> I do not believe WCAG 2.0 AA includes skip links/bypass criterion as A
> does. But I don't think this is a good reason to abandon them. WebAIMs last
> motor disability user survey had roughly 60% saying skip links are somewhat
> to very useful (surprisingly they didn't find links that become visible on
> focus that useful.) Low vision users also found them useful. (
> http://webaim.org/projects/motordisabilitysurvey/)
> For this reason, and considering how easy it is to use them without a
> sacrifice of functionality or visual design, why we should stop using them?
> Until it becomes easier for non-mouse users to take advantage of ARIA (yes
> there are means for them to do so now but it's going to take education and
> outreach to make this known,) why deprive anyone of something that's
> potentially beneficial?
> Susan Hewitt
> EIR Accessibility Coordinator
> Texas Department of State Health Services
> <EMAIL REMOVED> | 512-776-2913
> -----Original Message-----
> From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto:
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Stanzel, Susan - FSA,
> Kansas City, MO
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 7:56 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] skip link breaks back button
> Good morning Listers,
> I had been under the impression we could stop using skip links, but I
> gather for keyboard only users they are still necessary. Is this correct?
> Susie Stanzel
> -----Original Message-----
> From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto:
> <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Patrick H. Lauke
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2014 4:52 AM
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] skip link breaks back button
> On 17/03/2014 09:39, Thaddeus Cambron wrote:
> > Which is better. Skip links or landmarks
> Landmarks are only of use to users of AT like screenreaders.
> Keyboard-only users without AT cannot take advantage of them (unless they
> employ some form of additional extension/plugin such as
> http://blog.paciellogroup.com/2013/07/enabling-landmark-based-keyboard-navigation-in-firefox/
> ).
> P
> --
> Patrick H. Lauke
> www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
> http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
> twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke
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