WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Tab navigation for non-interactive content?


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Oct 27, 2016 1:21PM

I can totlly see your dilemma there.
Making non-interactive focusable adds keystrokes for the keyboard only
user and can potentially confuse screen reader users navigateing the
page with the tab key. (screen readers are not user what text to read
when an element without a role gets focus).
So generally speaking this is not a good idea, but we are not
generally speaking. ;)
Have you considered using something like the PayPal skip to widget:
If you us that, together with marking important section headingsup
correctly, you may be on to a winner (headings work for the screen
reader user and provide targets for the skip link for keyboard only
The keyboard only user can always get to the top of the page
(ctrl-home) and tab to into the widget, then select the heading and
go, so.
So you achieve keyboard navigability without cluttering up the focus
order and confuse the heck out of the screen reader.
Of course there could be technical reasons why this solution doesn't
work, but it sounds like a promising first attempt.

On 10/27/16, Erik Conrad < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I am relatively new to designing for accessibility, and while I have been
> reading and researching as much as I can, I have some questions about the
> specifics of my design problem where any advice from those with more
> experience (as users, designers, or developers) would be greatly
> appreciated.
> I am working on user interfaces for online tests that are rendered in HTML
> like a web page, but otherwise work more like an application. I have
> noticed that many web applications have extensive lists of hotkeys (like
> gmail, twitter, etc.) to facilitate keyboard navigation and get around
> their UIs. In my case, I do not believe that this is useful, as most users
> will only ever take a test once, so learning a bunch of custom key combos
> has limited use.
> Depending on the test, there are a few major sections of the UI that serve
> different purposes: timing, various kinds of information, navigation, the
> question(s), etc. I think (possibly incorrectly) that adding the major
> sections of the UI to the tabindex makes it easy to get around the UI with
> the keyboard, while only adding a few extra tab stops. (Also, many of the
> UI sections are in separate frames - old school frames, not iframes - which
> I know can cause problems with screen readers and such, but there is
> nothing that I can do about that).
> I know that having a tabindex on non-interactive content is not a best
> practice and may be unexpected or annoying for users who normally use the
> keyboard to navigate, but as someone with experience in UI design but new
> to accessibility, it seems like a fair trade off. I would greatly
> appreciate any opinions about how wrong (or right?) I am about that.
> Thank you for reading my long post, I would greatly appreciate any feedback.
> -Erik
> --
> erik conrad
> http://www.peripheralfocus.net
> > > > >

Work hard. Have fun. Make history.