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Re: headings


From: KNOCK Alistair
Date: Feb 21, 2005 9:31AM


"Authors should use the TITLE element to identify the contents of a
document. Since users often consult documents out of context, authors
should provide context-rich titles. Thus, instead of a title such as
"Introduction", which doesn't provide much contextual background,
authors should supply a title such as "Introduction to Medieval
Bee-Keeping" instead."



The W3C are fortunate in that, after reading a sentence or two of any
document on their site, it quickly becomes apparent where you are, as
you get that sinking feeling once again.

My thoughts:

The index/home page of a site will usually have a h1 that details the
name of the website. This is because the index/home page usually does
nothing other than act as a splash screen with an introduction nobody
reads and links which everyone hurriedly pursues.

On other pages, the h1 should not be the name of the website, it should
be the overall heading of the page. This probably means it's the same
as what's in title, and that's OK with me, because I don't want to be
bookmarking 10 links on a site and find that they show up in my
favourites as all beginning with "The World Wide Web Consortium:
Introduction / SubIntroduction /" and finally get to the juicy bit.
That's not helpful to any user.

If you are browsing using headings and came to this page from the index,
everything's smashing. You know what website you're on, and you know
how the document is structured.

If you are browsing using headings and came to this page from elsewhere,
you'll either have some idea where you are because you "clicked" on a
link and presumably didn't do this merely out of spite, and also because
thoughtful developers will have provided a Home link which you can use
to orientate yourself again.

If you are browsing visually and came to this page from the index, it's
all cool too.

If you are browsing visually and came to this page from elsewhere, this
is where it might be useful to incorporate some non-heading based
branding somewhere on the screen.

BUT! What if you have a user using a text-based browser who has
disabled hyperlinking and images?!

(answer: look at the URL..)

Finally, this is my opinion, and this question isn't answerable purely
because the web allows for such diversity in content. The W3C actually
DO produce documents, rather than pages, which they then split up into
chapters. They're one of the few examples of this kind of content
production on the web - there are many, many different ways of
organising content and providing navigation. It's about
context-specific decisions, and you as a web developer deciding what's
best for each situation. That's what separates the good guys from
FrontPage 2000.

(finally for real: navigation isn't part of content. It should be
separated and I'm hoping it will be properly in future. Content is why
you come to a page; navigation is what you do after that.)

Happy Mondays,

> -----Original Message-----
> From: foliot [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: 21 February 2005 15:38
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] headings
> michael.brockington wrote:
> > Conversely, if the site name is not a header, does AT have any
> > standardised way of advising the user on what site they are
> currently?
> Uhmm... What about ? Puleezz.....
> Perhaps spending some time with AT instead of making
> assumptions about it would benefit all developers on this
> list? At the very least, perhaps some "real world" testing
> would be appropriate?
> JF
> ----
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