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Re: drop down menus


From: Alesia Strawn
Date: Jul 31, 2003 7:42AM

>I have the same question concerning rollover menus. A new client is
>insisting they want them. This is a large non-profit so they should be
>concerned with accessibility. We informed them that rollvers are not
>accessible and that many of them don't work with all browsers ...

I agree.

>Their point is, if the top link in the rollover menu links to the second
>level page where all the other links that were in the rollover are listed
>anyway, they've met the accessibility issue.

I also *generally* agree; however, in addition to accessibility matters,
there are maintenance questions. Is it anticipated that the links in the
menus would change with any frequency? If the person who currently works
on the site changed, would maintenance of the menus continue to be
possible? Would the site still work okay if the menus were removed for
whatever reason? Is compromise possible, with menus on the home page, and
not on second level pages if all the information is still available? Is
there a site map? How is the site maintained, templates or includes for
common page elements, for example? Is the rest of the page, or site, U.S.
Section 508 and/or generally standard HTML compliant?

Another thing about menus is that they may add a lot of text to the source
file, therefore increasing the file size and download time (especially if
used in combination with a lot of graphics).

Every site, audience, purpose, etc., is different. Just throwing out an
incomplete list of things to consider.


>>On Wed, 30 Jul 2003, NutHouse Studios wrote:
>>>I was wondering if it's possible to make drop down menus for navigation that
>>>are accessible?
>>Depends on what you mean by accessibility, but the practical answer is
>>"no, and there's no need to". Dropdown menus for navigation are a bad idea
>>and cause serious usability problems. There's little need to consider
>>accessibility issues when we know that it's a wrong approach anyway.
>>Besides, designers who use drop down navigation menus on their pages
>>will hardly take the considerable extra work needed to remove some of
>>their accessibility problems.
>>For a detailed discussion of the drawbacks of navigational drop down
>>menus, as well as an advice on fixing some of the worst problem if you
>>have been forced to use them, please check
>>>For an example of what I'd like to do, see:
>> > http://www.wcc.cc.il.us/
>>Bad usability and lack of accessibility everywhere.
>>>I know that they're not using ALT tags,
>>Symptomatic, isn't it? But adding ALT attributes (sic) would be like
>>painting a collapsed building.
>>Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
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