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Re: Rethinking "Skip to Content"


From: julian.rickards
Date: Dec 2, 2004 9:30AM

Interesting thoughts Dagmar.

Those who use JAWS as the screen reader tend to use IE as the browser and
presumably do not disable styles in IE. Based on this series of assumptions,
JAWS will read the content in "visible" order, not necessarily source order.
Therefore, content appears after navbars (except footer navbars).

If you were to use CSS for layout, you can change the source order of the
content so that the content appears first, then navbars, etc. However, the
JAWS/IE assumption I made earlier would still read the page in visible order
but for those who either disable styles or use another browser that does not
support styles, they would read the content first. I personally create the
HTML in the same order as it ends up being styled: top-bottom, left-right
because it is easier to create a floating layout but other orders are
possible with a bit more effort to style the page so that the content
appears as header/navbar/content/footer from top-bottom, left-right.

It is difficult to know what the end user wants when they encounter a page.
They may know that the page they wish to read is three links from the home
page of the site and therefore would want to use the navbar to get to that
page. In other cases where the article is divided into multiple pages such
as those you find at webmonkey.com, sitepoint.com, and webreference.com (and
others of course), they may wish to simply skip from the "bottom" of one
page in the article to the top of the next page in the article and skip past
the navigation, advertising, etc just as sighted persons skip past this

Yes, "skip" may not be the best word, "go to" may be a better choice.