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Re: headings


From: Chris Heilmann
Date: Feb 18, 2005 9:47AM

>> Headlines structure a document, not a web site.
>> http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/struct/global.html#h-7.5.5
> Thanks for the explanation, but I'm still none the wiser.
> What is wrong with every page on a site having the site name in an H1 and
> the
> first content heading in an H2? Am I only allowed to have the site name as
> a
> logo, or in the address bar?
> I see nothing in the link above to support your argument - on an Intranet
> the site name may not be important, but on the WWW it is very important: a
> similar looking document from one site should not carry the same weight as
> one from a reputable site. For that reason the site name is the most
> important header on any page, so unless you want to put it into a banner
> image then it should be an H1, and has indeed become a de-facto standard,

I cannot follow that argument at all. Isn't the content of the document
more important than the place it resides on? As your visitor, I'd think

>> Furthermore, they are a navigational aid for assistive
>> technology inside the current document.
> I didn't think that I was suggesting that we abuse them, rather I was
> trying
> to establish how they are/should be used.

You can use them any way you want to, but they are a tool to give the
current document a structure. When using the Site Name as the main header,
you give away one level of that structure.
You can do that, however it makes more sense to keep the structure on a
document level rather than mixing site structure and document structure.
As the whole discussion here shows, the logical way to go further would
then be to use headlines as a representation of the site structure.

company XYZ
About Us
Department XYZ

What happens when you need four levels in the document of that department?

Why is the site name the most important element? As a visitor, I don't care.
An example would be a product page, if I search for an MP3 Player with
256MB I will look for that. If that information is in the H1 of the
document I am more likely to find it. That it is a product of ABC is of no
signifance for me unless I search for that directly and use the product
search on the company web site.
As a user of assitive technology I don't want to hear the name of the site
on every page I am on as the first headline, I know already that I am

The same applies to titles of documents, IMHO:

Little cuddly green frogs at etoys.com

Makes a lot more sense than

Etoys.com - all toys - plush toys - frogs

Chris Heilmann
Blog: http://www.wait-till-i.com
Writing: http://icant.co.uk/
Binaries: http://www.onlinetools.org/