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Re: Tab navigation for non-interactive content?


From: Andrews, David B (DEED)
Date: Oct 27, 2016 1:40PM

You are right ... for a one-time application, lists of hot keys probably aren't worth it. Further, there are no standards for hot keys, so conflicts can happen, and unless you use something a lot, you just don't remember.

At one time frames were a problem, for screen readers, but any modern screen reader should be able to handle them. As a design mechanism, they have gone out of favor, but personally I like them for some applications. My grocery shopping site, local, used to use them, with your shopping list in a frame, and other sections in their own frames. It worked great, but of course they took them away and didn't put anything in their place. Headings is probably the best, and easiest way to navigate larger sections, you could have each section of the test as a H2 and individual pieces under each as H3's.


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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Erik Conrad
Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:05 PM
Subject: [WebAIM] Tab navigation for non-interactive content?

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 conrad