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Re: Rethinking "Skip to Content"


From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Dec 2, 2004 11:09AM

mark.magennis wrote:

> Dagmar, I think you're touching on an interesting point here. A "skip
> navigation" link makes sense only because the current mode of Web design
> has the content after the navigation and a lot of the time you want to
> get past the navigation to get to the content.

Keep in mind, though, that "content first, navigation later" can be just as
annoying to users who actually *do* want to get to the navigation, in cases
where there are a kit if links or form elements in the main content.
There is
no single order that will work for all users or in all scenarios...

> What I'd like to know is what other arrangements of content and
> navigation might be possible and useful now. We have ,navigation first
> then content' and 'content first then navigation'. Are there other
> alternatives?

In an ideal world, navigation would be completely separated from actual
content. This can already partially be achieved by using
elements, but it's obviously not workable for mainstream sites
(and not just because IE completely fails to expose those navigation
links to the user in any way). However, this could be an option if you
have server-side capabilities like XSLT - you could allow users to choose
their preferred delivery method: content/navigation, navigation/content,
content plus navigation as link elements...

> Incidentally, you could drop the "Go to" and the "web" parts of your
> link titles because they are implicit. You only need "Page content" and
> "Site menu".
Indeed, screenreaders would more than likely announce something like
"same page link" (JAWS at least). but still, for those people not using a
screenreader, it may still not be clear enough that those links don't go
to a separate page, but are just there to access certain parts of the
current page.

Patrick H. Lauke