WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

RE: UDM from Brothercake for drop-down menus


From: Austin, Darrel
Date: Oct 17, 2005 9:20AM

Replying to a few comments...

> > I haven't tried this one myself but definitely worth a look:
> >
> > http://www.onlinetools.org/tools/yadm
> >
> > (Im sure christian will give more advice on it if needed)

I hadn't seen the YADM solution. For starters, thanks, Chris, for making
a nice CC-licensed solution.

It seems good, but, from what I can see, lacks two features:

- delayed hide of fly-outs (a usability issue--having a delay
allows one to mouse out of the main link, across others, and
then back into the sub-menu without it disappearing)

- submenus don't seem to appear via keyboard (though you can
get to the links). That might just be my browser configuration.

That said, it seems as if ALL fly-out menu systems lack one feature or
another, so one just needs to evaluate each one based on their
particular site's needs.

> A "perfect" solution would be brothercake's with an AJAX
> layer only loading the content of the sub sections when you
> activate a main section.

That's an interesting idea. Might be a bit slow, but interesting

> Or - here is an idea - make a basic navigation that gives
> _only what makes sense in this section_ and *offer* the fancy
> dropdown menu as an option!
> http://www.icant.co.uk/articles/navigation/

That's the solution I'm proposing for our new site (IF the powers that
be insist on adding the fly-out to begin with). We'd start with your
basic navigation system only showing the sub-pages of the section you
are in, and then we'd provide a check-box to enable the 'fancier'
fly-out navigation for those that want it. We've found internal folks
really want the fly-out, namely because they're only interested in their
section of the web site.

> Can we see an actual example of this :-) Better yet, forget
> the example - I think your best advice might be to drop back
> 10 yards and dispense with drop-down menus completely.

That sometimes is the best solution. More often than not, fly-out
navigation systems are used for all the wrong reasons and the site could
definitely benefit if they just got rid of them.

The issue between Al and the list (which seems to be a recurring thing
now? ;o) isn't an uncommon debate. It's the issue of 'technical
accessibility' vs. 'practical accessibility' that always pops up when
discussing accessibility issues. It's not an either-or, of course...one
needs to strike a balance between the two on a project by project basis.