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Re: ARIA for main navigation bar


From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Apr 23, 2015 4:27PM

On 23/04/2015 22:52, Jennifer Sutton wrote:
> I tend to think that a flyout menu, such as the tutorial describes, more
> typically represents what would be needed on a Web site; whereas, using
> the ARIA menubar would be more for a Web *application*. I guess the
> simplest way I can put it is that even if something looks like a
> menubar, is it really *acting* like one?
> One of the things that I find with ARIA (and perhaps it's with the
> mis-application of it) is that one can spend a lot of time going in and
> out of application mode to make selections (with JFW, for example).
> There are absolutely cases where this is necessary, but I am not
> convinced that menus are necessarily one of them, except when the
> Web-based product is working like software.
> My last point would be that when I'm navigating a menu, I want to get
> where I'm going (and figure that out) as quickly as possible, and I find
> that over-ARIA-fication can slow me down.

I'd echo Jennifer's comments here. I've also found (speaking to a few
other AT users, and from my own experience in development/testing) that
overly complex ARIA patterns are sometimes overkill (and the more
complex they are, the less likely they seem to be to work on anything
other than desktop machines with a keyboard, as many of the patterns
rely on custom keyboard event handling - on mobile devices, it seems
that it's up to the AT/browser to work out appropriate gestures/controls
purely from the assigned roles/attributes, meaning that any slight
deviation from a particular complex pattern can result in completely
unusable / unsupported constructs).

In fact, I'm currently considering pulling some of the (well meaning,
but not always helpful/appropriate) ARIA-fied things from the next
version of Bootstrap (for instance, the current pattern used for
menus/dropdowns, which attempts to follow the more application-centric
approach, while most authors seem to be using them primarily as
navigation tools).

Patrick H. Lauke

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