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Number of posts in this thread: 30 (In chronological order)

From: Tyler Shepard
Date: Fri, Dec 13 2019 3:46PM
Subject: heading question
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Hi all,
I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes they should change the heading put it as an h2.  It doesn't damage the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Fri, Dec 13 2019 3:56PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?


How big is the page?

If it has 10,000 words including 32 headings… would the problem still be “small”?

If it had deeply nested content (i.e., sub-sub-sections and sub-sub-sub-sections, etc.), would the problem still be “small”?

Duff.

From: glen walker
Date: Fri, Dec 13 2019 6:08PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

It's not an automatic failure to skip heading levels. It's a best practice
to not skip but that doesn't make it a failure.

Heading issues typically fall under 1.3.1 or 2.4.6.

1.3.1 says that "Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through
presentation...". So if the h3 visually looks like the next logical
heading after an h1, then *maybe* it's a violation. It's a little
subjective. If the h3 looks like it's two levels down from the h1, then it
would be ok.

2.4.6 just says the heading must be descriptive of the section. That's
kind of subjective too but doesn't really have anything to do with the
heading level.

If you're not sure if it's a failure, you could mention it in your report
as a suggestion to fix but not a requirement.

From: L Snider
Date: Sat, Dec 14 2019 1:50PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.

Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one) has
told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my view it is
a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen reader, and not
knowing what was going on, because the headings were totally out of whack.
After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the first
place?

I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.

Cheers

Lisa



On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an h1,
> the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes they should
> change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage the flow. Am I over
> reacting over something so small?
> > > > >

From: Jeffrey (JDS)
Date: Sat, Dec 14 2019 1:52PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

I myself find a lack of a heading order adds an extra complexity.
I rely on headings to build a mental hierarchy of what I'm working through.
Is it a complete barrier, no; is it a pain in the but, yes.


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of L
Snider
Sent: December 14, 2019 3:51 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.

Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one) has told
me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my view it is a
problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen reader, and not
knowing what was going on, because the headings were totally out of whack.
After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the first
place?

I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.

Cheers

Lisa



On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes they
> should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage the
> flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
http://webaim.org/discussion/archives

From: David Engebretson Jr.
Date: Sat, Dec 14 2019 2:16PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Howdy!

Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general accessibility
presentations I give.

I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page - then
the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.

It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's difficult to
create the awareness that it is important.

I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind developer and
a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that they can always
adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted digital document. CSS is
simple but not all sighted folks know how to use it. I don't know how to use
it either so I'm super empathetic. I can't tell if I'm causing text
collisions with my styling adjustments.

It's a bit of a conundrum, no?

Best,
David


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of L
Snider
Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.

Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one) has told
me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my view it is a
problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen reader, and not
knowing what was going on, because the headings were totally out of whack.
After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the first
place?

I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.

Cheers

Lisa



On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes they
> should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage the
> flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
http://webaim.org/discussion/archives

From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Sat, Dec 14 2019 4:42PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the
text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the
same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where
skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a
dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text,
then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2,
it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more
appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good
practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've
found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them
much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about
it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general accessibility
> presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page - then
> the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's difficult to
> create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind developer and
> a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that they can always
> adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted digital document. CSS is
> simple but not all sighted folks know how to use it. I don't know how to
> use
> it either so I'm super empathetic. I can't tell if I'm causing text
> collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of L
> Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one) has
> told
> me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my view it is a
> problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen reader, and not
> knowing what was going on, because the headings were totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the first
> place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes they
>> should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage the
>> flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > > >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Steve Green
Date: Sat, Dec 14 2019 6:47PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Patrick H. Lauke
Date: Sun, Dec 15 2019 2:38AM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Although specifically about a technique, this short discussion may be of
interest https://github.com/w3c/wcag/issues/655

In short, it reinforces the view of WCAG/the AGWG that skipped levels
are "ok" as long as they are still reasonably hierarchical (i.e.
subordinate headings have an appropriately lower level than their parent
headings).

P
--
Patrick H. Lauke

www.splintered.co.uk | https://github.com/patrickhlauke
http://flickr.com/photos/redux/ | http://redux.deviantart.com
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Sun, Dec 15 2019 2:32PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

> On Dec 14, 2019, at 18:42, Birkir R. Gunnarsson < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the
> text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the
> same size but one has an underline or a different color).
> Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where
> skipping heading levels is justified.
> For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a
> dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text,
> then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
> The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2,
> it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more
> appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.

How would you represent semantic structures (content section headings) in an environment that uses heading levels as you’ve suggested?

> These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good
> practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
> In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've
> found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them
> much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about
> it.

Was this true for both HTML and PDF content?

Duff.

From: L Snider
Date: Sun, Dec 15 2019 2:39PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Birkir,

The question I would have is why they do that...from people I talk with it
is because they have given up trying to get a proper heading structure, so
they take what they can get. Not sure you know that answer, but it would be
interesting to know...

Cheers

Lisa


> On Dec 14, 2019, at 18:42, Birkir R. Gunnarsson <
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> > These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good
> > practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
> > In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've
> > found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them
> > much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about
> > it.
>
>

From: Michael Ausbun
Date: Sun, Dec 15 2019 5:28PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

In my experience as a screen reader user and former assistive technology instructor, most students who receive vocational rehabilitation services or blindness adjustment and orientation training in the United States (A) use JAWS; and (B) navigate using the general heading shortcut key (H for jaws). The following observation will be framed in the context of jaws:
The population of people receiving vocational rehabilitation services in the United States is fairly substantial, and, the age ranges anywhere from 14 in some states to 90. For example, in Utah alone, approximately 11,000 people receive services through the department of services for the blind and visually impaired. When people receive computer services, most are provided a windows PC with JAWS and instructed how to use the basics for daily living, including basic web browsing (I believe students should learn multiple screen readers, but my opinion is a minority thought).
My thought:
Heading hierarchy is really, really important for spatial and contextual orientation to web pages.
General belief:
With the inconsistencies in:

* Heading application
* Heading sequential ordering
* Heading placement
* Heading hierarchy
* Heading text
Relying on headings for orientation and navigation is inefficient. If headings are well structured; and, if headings are used for each section of a web page; and, if headings are sequentially ordered; and, if heading texts are clear, concise, and descriptive; then, using the 1-6 heading level navigation coupled with JAWS+F6 for curating all headings on a page is helpful. However, because most are not, using the H key is sufficient beyond familiar documents.
Thought:
If we as a community pushed harder for a consistent structure-similar to the way header, nav, main, aside, footer, etc. landmark regions have been implemented in HTML5, I think the efficiency would be significantly improved, and, the instruction within rehabilitation instruction would significantly improve as well.
Right now though, a rather substantial population-at least in the US-is being instructed more to rely on general V. specific navigation methods. With the poor quality of assistive technology instruction in the K-12 system, and with the increase of blindness as a result of aging, I tend to believe this trend will continue, with the majority of users who are not experts (most) following this pattern.
Not really sure any of this is helpful, but I had to get my thoughts out-they have been floating around my head all weekend.
Hope all is well!
Respectfully,
,Michael

From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Sun, Dec 15 2019 7:31PM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Our usability testing has focused on first time users of an unfamiliar
website (users could learn to use headings more effectively in the
context of a site or site section that they frequent).
So far the testing has been solely focused on web content (not PDF),
though our plan is to expand our testing into PDF and mobile apps.
Sadly the use of landmarks for navigation has been on the decline
among screen reader users, according to the latest WebAIM screen
reader survey (too lazy to Google the URL right now).
In our testing, which is limited and focused more on non-technical
users, not a single users knows what landmarks are, let alone how to
navigate by them.
My recommendation is to mark header, footer and main content as
landmarks but I see a lot less value in the semantically specific
things like complementary, I think authors have a hard time
understanding wen to use it, let alone users.
I use h2s to mark start of header and footer and h1 to mark the start
of the main content (this is to ensure that users do not think h3 or
h4 headings in the footer are subheadings of content on the main page,
which could be an h2 or h3).
I try to keep headings sequential and make sure they describe the
underlying content structure, it can be tricky when using a variety of
card components that are built separately and then plopped down on the
same page, but we do a fairly good job keeping it consistent.


On 12/15/19, Michael Ausbun < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> In my experience as a screen reader user and former assistive technology
> instructor, most students who receive vocational rehabilitation services or
> blindness adjustment and orientation training in the United States (A) use
> JAWS; and (B) navigate using the general heading shortcut key (H for jaws).
> The following observation will be framed in the context of jaws:
> The population of people receiving vocational rehabilitation
> services in the United States is fairly substantial, and, the age ranges
> anywhere from 14 in some states to 90. For example, in Utah alone,
> approximately 11,000 people receive services through the department of
> services for the blind and visually impaired. When people receive computer
> services, most are provided a windows PC with JAWS and instructed how to use
> the basics for daily living, including basic web browsing (I believe
> students should learn multiple screen readers, but my opinion is a minority
> thought).
> My thought:
> Heading hierarchy is really, really important for spatial and contextual
> orientation to web pages.
> General belief:
> With the inconsistencies in:
>
> * Heading application
> * Heading sequential ordering
> * Heading placement
> * Heading hierarchy
> * Heading text
> Relying on headings for orientation and navigation is inefficient. If
> headings are well structured; and, if headings are used for each section of
> a web page; and, if headings are sequentially ordered; and, if heading texts
> are clear, concise, and descriptive; then, using the 1-6 heading level
> navigation coupled with JAWS+F6 for curating all headings on a page is
> helpful. However, because most are not, using the H key is sufficient beyond
> familiar documents.
> Thought:
> If we as a community pushed harder for a consistent structure-similar to the
> way header, nav, main, aside, footer, etc. landmark regions have been
> implemented in HTML5, I think the efficiency would be significantly
> improved, and, the instruction within rehabilitation instruction would
> significantly improve as well.
> Right now though, a rather substantial population-at least in the US-is
> being instructed more to rely on general V. specific navigation methods.
> With the poor quality of assistive technology instruction in the K-12
> system, and with the increase of blindness as a result of aging, I tend to
> believe this trend will continue, with the majority of users who are not
> experts (most) following this pattern.
> Not really sure any of this is helpful, but I had to get my thoughts
> out-they have been floating around my head all weekend.
> Hope all is well!
> Respectfully,
> ,Michael
>
> > > > >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Steve Green
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 12:14AM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

We see exactly the same in our user testing. Our participants range from fairly proficient to extremely proficient in terms of their ability to complete tasks efficiently, but none has any significant technical knowledge. They use a variety of strategies such as in-page search, headings list or H key to navigate by headings, and a surprisingly low number use the E key to jump to textboxes. Almost no one uses any other shortcut keys. I have never seen anyone navigate to a region and very few know how to navigate in data tables.

Nevertheless, I advocate using landmarks and other semantic mark-up correctly because user's proficiency cannot improve if that is not done. Also, the semantics can be used by user agents (and particularly browser extensions) to support people with other disabilities.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 16 December 2019 02:31
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Our usability testing has focused on first time users of an unfamiliar website (users could learn to use headings more effectively in the context of a site or site section that they frequent).
So far the testing has been solely focused on web content (not PDF), though our plan is to expand our testing into PDF and mobile apps.
Sadly the use of landmarks for navigation has been on the decline among screen reader users, according to the latest WebAIM screen reader survey (too lazy to Google the URL right now).
In our testing, which is limited and focused more on non-technical users, not a single users knows what landmarks are, let alone how to navigate by them.
My recommendation is to mark header, footer and main content as landmarks but I see a lot less value in the semantically specific things like complementary, I think authors have a hard time understanding wen to use it, let alone users.
I use h2s to mark start of header and footer and h1 to mark the start of the main content (this is to ensure that users do not think h3 or
h4 headings in the footer are subheadings of content on the main page, which could be an h2 or h3).
I try to keep headings sequential and make sure they describe the underlying content structure, it can be tricky when using a variety of card components that are built separately and then plopped down on the same page, but we do a fairly good job keeping it consistent.


On 12/15/19, Michael Ausbun < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> In my experience as a screen reader user and former assistive
> technology instructor, most students who receive vocational
> rehabilitation services or blindness adjustment and orientation
> training in the United States (A) use JAWS; and (B) navigate using the general heading shortcut key (H for jaws).
> The following observation will be framed in the context of jaws:
> The population of people receiving vocational
> rehabilitation services in the United States is fairly substantial,
> and, the age ranges anywhere from 14 in some states to 90. For
> example, in Utah alone, approximately 11,000 people receive services
> through the department of services for the blind and visually
> impaired. When people receive computer services, most are provided a
> windows PC with JAWS and instructed how to use the basics for daily
> living, including basic web browsing (I believe students should learn
> multiple screen readers, but my opinion is a minority thought).
> My thought:
> Heading hierarchy is really, really important for spatial and
> contextual orientation to web pages.
> General belief:
> With the inconsistencies in:
>
> * Heading application
> * Heading sequential ordering
> * Heading placement
> * Heading hierarchy
> * Heading text
> Relying on headings for orientation and navigation is inefficient. If
> headings are well structured; and, if headings are used for each
> section of a web page; and, if headings are sequentially ordered; and,
> if heading texts are clear, concise, and descriptive; then, using the
> 1-6 heading level navigation coupled with JAWS+F6 for curating all
> headings on a page is helpful. However, because most are not, using
> the H key is sufficient beyond familiar documents.
> Thought:
> If we as a community pushed harder for a consistent structure-similar
> to the way header, nav, main, aside, footer, etc. landmark regions
> have been implemented in HTML5, I think the efficiency would be
> significantly improved, and, the instruction within rehabilitation
> instruction would significantly improve as well.
> Right now though, a rather substantial population-at least in the
> US-is being instructed more to rely on general V. specific navigation methods.
> With the poor quality of assistive technology instruction in the K-12
> system, and with the increase of blindness as a result of aging, I
> tend to believe this trend will continue, with the majority of users
> who are not experts (most) following this pattern.
> Not really sure any of this is helpful, but I had to get my thoughts
> out-they have been floating around my head all weekend.
> Hope all is well!
> Respectfully,
> ,Michael
>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Mark Magennis
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 3:27AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Steve Green
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 4:45AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Karlen Communications
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 5:57AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Part of the answer to the increased use of headings as navigational points
is that those of us who teach/train accessible document design stress that
headings are not only navigational points for those of us who use adaptive
technology, the use of sequential headings is just good document design. As
more document authors receive training on the use and implementation of
sequential headings, more documents will reflect good document design and
ore of us can rely on consistent navigation in documents.

I've been teaching/training the importance of sequential headings as
navigational points since 2004 in Word doucments and prior to that for HTML
content.

Cheers, Karen


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 5:28 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that
users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen
reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an
uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When
navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g.,
"Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful".
Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings
has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they
use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy
page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%,
2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during
hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to
navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to
be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so
small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to
occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built
from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for
subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text,
which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but
one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping
heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a
dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then
there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does
not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely
more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice,
but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found
that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my
surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
http://webaim.org/discussion/archives

From: Mark Magennis
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 6:56AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Andrews, David B (DEED)
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 7:01AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.


But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 7:13AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL]heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

All good points.
I expect that those who are aware of and respond to the WebAIM survey
tend to be technology enthusiasts, at least enough to follow the world
of accessibility, so the sample will be skewed somewhat towards
proficient users.

It's true that, both with headings and landmarks, the key to them
being useful is consistent and logical application by authors, it's
the chicken and egg problem.

If headings are not consistently applied they are not very useful, if
they are not very useful they are not often used, if they are not
often used authors see no reason for carefully considering their
heading structure.

I think this happened a bit by landmarks, authors got confused, pages
saw a bit of an influx of superfluous landmarks, screen reader users
complained of "noise" (our users often refer to long semantic
descriptions as "screen reader noise", and there is something to
that), vendors took a step back in their landmark announcements (Jaws
no longer exposes landmarks in browse mode unless you change verbosity
settings to reveal them).
This is bad because landmarks are better than heading levels in two
respects, a. the boundries (beginning and end) of a landmark region is
available and 2. they are consistent across the page layout (headings
describe the content, landmarks describe the page).

I think, as advocates, the best we can do is to build towards
consistent use of headings and landmarks, just like we have been
doing.
I think/hope web navigation techniques can be a larger part of
assistive technology user training.



On 12/16/19, Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the
> heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and
> jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys
> important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two
> things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It
> is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level
> number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else.
> The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about
> skipping a heading or anything.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
> Magennis
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> This message may be from an external email source.
> Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all
> suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.
>
> >
> But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe
> heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your
> experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".
>
> Mark
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
> Green
> Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen
> reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of
> the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top
> of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of
> some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings
> list.
>
> Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
> Magennis
> Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that
> users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.
>
> It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen
> reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an
> uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When
> navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g.,
> "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".
>
> 52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful".
> Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".
>
> As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings
> has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they
> use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy
> page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%,
> 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .
>
> Mark
>
> Mark Magennis
> Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
> Accessibility Specialist
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
> Green
> Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during
> hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to
> navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to
> be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so
> small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.
>
> That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to
> occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built
> from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for
> subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.
>
> Steve Green
> Managing Director
> Test Partners Ltd
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Birkir R. Gunnarsson
> Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text,
> which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but
> one has an underline or a different color).
> Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping
> heading levels is justified.
> For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a
> dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then
> there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
> The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does
> not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely
> more in line with the visual presentation.
> These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice,
> but WCAG does not outright require them.
> In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found
> that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my
> surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.
>
>
>
> On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>> Howdy!
>>
>> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
>> accessibility presentations I give.
>>
>> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
>> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
>> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
>> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>>
>> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
>> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>>
>> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
>> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
>> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
>> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
>> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
>> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>>
>> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>>
>> Best,
>> David
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
>> L Snider
>> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
>> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>>
>> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>>
>> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
>> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
>> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
>> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
>> totally out of whack.
>> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
>> first place?
>>
>> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Lisa
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
>> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>>> >>> >>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>>> >>>
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
>> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
>> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
>> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
>> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
>> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
>> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
>> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
>> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
>> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
>> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
>> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
>> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
>> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
>> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
>> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
>> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
>
>
> --
> Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
> > > > > >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Steve Green
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 7:30AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. Extremely few people seem to form a mental model of pages that is as detailed as including heading levels. They may do if they use a website frequently, but in that case they should also have enough familiarity to be able to cope with any skipped heading levels

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Andrews, David B (DEED)
Sent: 16 December 2019 14:02
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.


But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 7:41AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

It's also likely that for many simple web pages the heading level isn't as important -- especially if the heading text is explanatory and the progression of headings implies meaning. In other cases the general order of the heading levels may be enough -- h3 may not come directly have an h1 but most folks would agree that an h3 is of less importance or a sub section. I'd agree with Birkir that landmarks have the potential to be better in many situations. For example, using just heading levels the main part of a page would have an h1 and the sections of a footer would have to have h2 to conform to the level approach. However, you don't have any details that they are in the footer and they actually probably should be less important than an h2 -- for example an h4. This gets into the messy world of headings where they denote structure but also can communicate importance in terms of weight. Most web pages don't visually show the headings needed for complete levels for screen re
aders and this would necessitate adding off-screen headings.

In terms of other types of document such as legal, financial, or research documents where the heading text is not clear and the order heading levels is necessary to understand the content then the order is absolutely needed in order to understand the relationship of text and headings. So it really depends on the context and that is why the WCAG criteria is flexible in determining when it is a failure or not.

Jonathan

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Andrews, David B (DEED)
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 9:02 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.


But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: Mark Magennis
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 8:02AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

I expect the difference in the reported and observed value users place on heading levels is very likely due to different user samples, which illustrates a problem area for accessibility. As Birkir says, the WebAIM survey may represent a user population more advanced in their screen reader capabilities than the general population. Although it may not even be apt to talk about "the general population" in relation to the audience for a specific product. I think the lack of rich, reliable, sample controlled user experience data is a real drawback for accessibility. I've done a lot of user testing in the past, mostly for general usability but also for accessibility, and I'm inclined to agree with what Jakob Nielsen said when he was asked "what makes someone a usability expert?". His answer was (paraphrased, I can't remember exactly) "someone who has witnessed hundreds of user tests". There's more to it than that of course (e.g. knowledge of processes, tools and techniques used in UX, dev and QA), but I've found user testing to be very insightful. Not just for myself, but also for designers and developers who often experience a moment of profound realization the first time they witness an AT user using their product. I also find it very insightful to see data or reports from user tests I've not witnessed myself, although testing with one audience doesn't necessarily translate to another and can even be very misleading so you have to be careful when drawing inferences. I hope to be doing a lot more accessibility user testing next year but resourcing it is always a challenge ☹.

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 14:31
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. Extremely few people seem to form a mental model of pages that is as detailed as including heading levels. They may do if they use a website frequently, but in that case they should also have enough familiarity to be able to cope with any skipped heading levels

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Andrews, David B (DEED)
Sent: 16 December 2019 14:02
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.


But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009P.8%, 2012`.8%, 2014e.6%, 2017g.5%, 2019h.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

From: McGehee, Michele
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 8:36AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

I started in desktop publishing back in the 1990s, and heading structure was important then and continues to be for both visual and nonvisual people. Document structure helps convey the information in a meaningful and structured presentations that guides the person through the information for both print and web. I would push back and say that heading structure is very important and though not all users rely on it now, if there was more consistency, we could change that trend. We can make it easier for all users to understand our information in a way that is meaningful and useful. It sure doesn't harm users.

My two cents....

Michele

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 6:02 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.


But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%, 2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

NOTICE: This message (including any attachments) may contain information that is privileged, confidential, proprietary and/or otherwise protected from disclosure to anyone other than its intended recipient(s). Any dissemination, copying, retention or use of this message or its contents (including any attachments) by persons other than the intended recipient(s) is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please immediately notify the sender by reply e-mail or telephone and permanently delete all copies of this message and any attachments. Thank you for your cooperation.

From: chagnon@pubcom.com
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 8:55AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Same as Michele, but going back further before digital typesetting and
desktop publishing.
A consistent hierarchy of heading levels has been required in the editorial
and publishing worlds for well over 100 years. Hierarchy helps convey the
information to everyone.
Essential for some, beneficial for everyone.
-Bevi


- - -
Bevi Chagnon
- - -
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
consulting . training . development . design . sec. 508 services
Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes
- - -

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
McGehee, Michele
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 10:36 AM
To: Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >; WebAIM Discussion
List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I started in desktop publishing back in the 1990s, and heading structure was
important then and continues to be for both visual and nonvisual people.
Document structure helps convey the information in a meaningful and
structured presentations that guides the person through the information for
both print and web. I would push back and say that heading structure is very
important and though not all users rely on it now, if there was more
consistency, we could change that trend. We can make it easier for all users
to understand our information in a way that is meaningful and useful. It
sure doesn't harm users.

My two cents....

Michele

From: Karlen Communications
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 9:01AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

+1!

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
McGehee, Michele
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 10:36 AM
To: Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >; WebAIM Discussion
List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I started in desktop publishing back in the 1990s, and heading structure was
important then and continues to be for both visual and nonvisual people.
Document structure helps convey the information in a meaningful and
structured presentations that guides the person through the information for
both print and web. I would push back and say that heading structure is very
important and though not all users rely on it now, if there was more
consistency, we could change that trend. We can make it easier for all users
to understand our information in a way that is meaningful and useful. It
sure doesn't harm users.

My two cents....

Michele

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 6:02 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the
heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and
jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys
important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two
things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It
is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level
number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else.
The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about
skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all
suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.


But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe
heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your
experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen
reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of
the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top
of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of
some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings
list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that
users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen
reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an
uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When
navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g.,
"Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful".
Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings
has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they
use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy
page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%,
2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during
hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to
navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to
be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so
small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to
occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built
from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for
subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text,
which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but
one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping
heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a
dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then
there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does
not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely
more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice,
but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found
that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my
surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
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NOTICE: This message (including any attachments) may contain information
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From: Barry Hill
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 9:18AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

I agree with you there, Michelle. If we have a mechanism that improves
access to a website, not using it because only a limited number of users use
it seems to be detrimental to the accessibility cause.

For me, I would prefer a guideline that calls for correct hierarchy but
gives examples of when it can be flexible, such as with Footers.

Cheers

Barry

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
McGehee, Michele
Sent: 16 December 2019 3:36 PM
To: Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >; WebAIM Discussion
List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I started in desktop publishing back in the 1990s, and heading structure was
important then and continues to be for both visual and nonvisual people.
Document structure helps convey the information in a meaningful and
structured presentations that guides the person through the information for
both print and web. I would push back and say that heading structure is very
important and though not all users rely on it now, if there was more
consistency, we could change that trend. We can make it easier for all users
to understand our information in a way that is meaningful and useful. It
sure doesn't harm users.

My two cents....

Michele

-----Original Message-----
From: Andrews, David B (DEED) < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 6:02 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the
heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and
jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys
important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two
things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It
is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level
number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else.
The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about
skipping a heading or anything.

Dave



-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
Magennis
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

This message may be from an external email source.
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But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe
heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your
experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".

Mark

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
Green
Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen
reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of
the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top
of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of
some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings
list.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark
Magennis
Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that
users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.

It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen
reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an
uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When
navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g.,
"Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".

52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful".
Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".

As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings
has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they
use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy
page has increased as follows. 2009=50.8%, 2012=60.8%, 2014=65.6%,
2017=67.5%, 2019=68.8% .

Mark

Mark Magennis
Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
Accessibility Specialist


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve
Green
Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during
hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to
navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to
be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so
small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.

That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to
occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built
from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for
subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text,
which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but
one has an underline or a different color).
Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping
heading levels is justified.
For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a
dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then
there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does
not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely
more in line with the visual presentation.
These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice,
but WCAG does not outright require them.
In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found
that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my
surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.



On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Howdy!
>
> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
> accessibility presentations I give.
>
> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>
> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>
> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>
> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>
> Best,
> David
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> L Snider
> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>
> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
> totally out of whack.
> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
> first place?
>
> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>
> Cheers
>
> Lisa
>
>
>
> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >
> > > https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
> webaim.org%2F&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data=02%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.

NOTICE: This message (including any attachments) may contain information
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From: chagnon@pubcom.com
Date: Mon, Dec 16 2019 9:34AM
Subject: Re: heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Birkir Gunnarsson wrote:
Quote: In our testing, which is limited and focused more on non-technical
users, not a single users knows what landmarks are, let alone how to
navigate by them. End Quote.

We've found similar results, too, as well as the complaint about screen
reader noise (or TMI, too much information that tires my ears).

During the last few years of standards development, I've wondered if we've
over-engineered them too much. Example: Aria is so complicated -- and so
poorly documented -- that it's nearly impossible for content developers and
A T manufacturers to build to it, let alone for end users to use it. A good
example is the number of questions on this list about making Aria work. To
be successful, a standard must be much easier to figure out than that.

I don't intend to single out Aria for this "code bloat:" HTML5, CSS, PDF/UA
and EPUB are following the same path.

It's hard to find the balance between what's helpful and what's overkill. I
like Birkir Gunnarsson's statement: Aria landmarks are for regions of a page
(or document for PDFs and EPUBs), and tags are to label the specific types
of content in those regions.

This type of balance gives users the capability to read the content any way
they need to.

If they want to navigate by heading levels, fine. It's there with a logical
hierarchy when that's needed in a technical document or textbook. If they
want to quickly find a particular section, fine. It's there with Aria
landmarks.

And always KISS -- keep it simple, sweetie.

If we make the system so difficult and costly to implement for developers,
designers, and authors, then it just won't get done at all or at least very
poorly, and that doesn't help anyone.

- - -
Bevi Chagnon, founder/CEO | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
- - -
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
consulting . training . development . design . sec. 508 services
Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes
- - -
Latest blog-newsletter - Accessibility Tips at www.PubCom.com/blog

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2019 9:31 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question

Our usability testing has focused on first time users of an unfamiliar
website (users could learn to use headings more effectively in the context
of a site or site section that they frequent).
So far the testing has been solely focused on web content (not PDF), though
our plan is to expand our testing into PDF and mobile apps.
Sadly the use of landmarks for navigation has been on the decline among
screen reader users, according to the latest WebAIM screen reader survey
(too lazy to Google the URL right now).
In our testing, which is limited and focused more on non-technical users,
not a single users knows what landmarks are, let alone how to navigate by
them.
My recommendation is to mark header, footer and main content as landmarks
but I see a lot less value in the semantically specific things like
complementary, I think authors have a hard time understanding wen to use it,
let alone users.
I use h2s to mark start of header and footer and h1 to mark the start of the
main content (this is to ensure that users do not think h3 or
h4 headings in the footer are subheadings of content on the main page, which
could be an h2 or h3).
I try to keep headings sequential and make sure they describe the underlying
content structure, it can be tricky when using a variety of card components
that are built separately and then plopped down on the same page, but we do
a fairly good job keeping it consistent.


On 12/15/19, Michael Ausbun < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> In my experience as a screen reader user and former assistive
> technology instructor, most students who receive vocational
> rehabilitation services or blindness adjustment and orientation
> training in the United States (A) use JAWS; and (B) navigate using the
general heading shortcut key (H for jaws).
> The following observation will be framed in the context of jaws:
> The population of people receiving vocational
> rehabilitation services in the United States is fairly substantial,
> and, the age ranges anywhere from 14 in some states to 90. For
> example, in Utah alone, approximately 11,000 people receive services
> through the department of services for the blind and visually
> impaired. When people receive computer services, most are provided a
> windows PC with JAWS and instructed how to use the basics for daily
> living, including basic web browsing (I believe students should learn
> multiple screen readers, but my opinion is a minority thought).
> My thought:
> Heading hierarchy is really, really important for spatial and
> contextual orientation to web pages.
> General belief:
> With the inconsistencies in:
>
> * Heading application
> * Heading sequential ordering
> * Heading placement
> * Heading hierarchy
> * Heading text
> Relying on headings for orientation and navigation is inefficient. If
> headings are well structured; and, if headings are used for each
> section of a web page; and, if headings are sequentially ordered; and,
> if heading texts are clear, concise, and descriptive; then, using the
> 1-6 heading level navigation coupled with JAWS+F6 for curating all
> headings on a page is helpful. However, because most are not, using
> the H key is sufficient beyond familiar documents.
> Thought:
> If we as a community pushed harder for a consistent structure-similar
> to the way header, nav, main, aside, footer, etc. landmark regions
> have been implemented in HTML5, I think the efficiency would be
> significantly improved, and, the instruction within rehabilitation
> instruction would significantly improve as well.
> Right now though, a rather substantial population-at least in the
> US-is being instructed more to rely on general V. specific navigation
methods.
> With the poor quality of assistive technology instruction in the K-12
> system, and with the increase of blindness as a result of aging, I
> tend to believe this trend will continue, with the majority of users
> who are not experts (most) following this pattern.
> Not really sure any of this is helpful, but I had to get my thoughts
> out-they have been floating around my head all weekend.
> Hope all is well!
> Respectfully,
> ,Michael
>
> > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >


--
Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
http://webaim.org/discussion/archives

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Wed, Dec 18 2019 10:51AM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | Next message →

Had a little time, so wanted to offer a few thoughts about what’s bothering me in this discussion:
Various people are saying that headings matter, although opinions differ on whether it’s the mere fact of a heading that matters, or the heading level as well.
No-one has explained how users are supposed to be able to know when heading levels are structural (i.e., when the organization of headings structures the content) rather than merely indicating “importance”. These two uses are seemingly impossible for users to disambiguate. As a result, AT users doubtless fail to spot cases in which navigating headings is essential to comprehending the document. Presumably, they suffer a dramatic shortfall in equal access as a result.
In short, it feels a lot like web accessibility folk tend to assume that:
content occurs in short web-pages
content doesn’t rely on nested heading levels for organization
This might be true for most web pages, but it would be wrong to premise generic content accessibility standards on these presumptions.

I come from the land of PDF. It’s a land of large documents (tens, hundreds, thousands of pages) and deeply structured documents (some have thousands of headings). In PDF we sometimes see documents with 7, 8, 9 or more heading levels. We have documents with “front matter” and “backmatter” and other concepts that are foreign to web content and thus relatively less considered by WCAG.

PDF 2.0, published in 2017 and soon to be updated in 2020, introduces a <Title> structure element that functions similarly to HTML’s <title> element, but occurs on the PDF page rather than in the page’s <head>. Accordingly, in PDF 2.0, document titles aren’t tagged <H1> as this is a heading tag, not a document title tag. This allows for clear disambiguation of titles from headings, and reserves headings for the vital task of structuring the document in an accessible manner.

A member of the PDF Association’s PDF/UA Technical Working Group recently wrote an article discussing this question:

https://www.pdfa.org/how-to-tag-titles-in-pdf-documents/

NOTE: the PDF/UA Reference Suite on pdfa.org <http://pdfa.org/>; is not yet updated along these lines; this is in part because this specific suite needs to remain PDF/UA-1 conforming files, which means PDF 1.7. Nonetheless, we’re currently upgrading the files in that suite to make them forward-compatible with the forthcoming PDF/UA-2, and will let the group know when available.

Duff.


> On Dec 16, 2019, at 09:41, Jonathan Avila < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> It's also likely that for many simple web pages the heading level isn't as important -- especially if the heading text is explanatory and the progression of headings implies meaning. In other cases the general order of the heading levels may be enough -- h3 may not come directly have an h1 but most folks would agree that an h3 is of less importance or a sub section. I'd agree with Birkir that landmarks have the potential to be better in many situations. For example, using just heading levels the main part of a page would have an h1 and the sections of a footer would have to have h2 to conform to the level approach. However, you don't have any details that they are in the footer and they actually probably should be less important than an h2 -- for example an h4. This gets into the messy world of headings where they denote structure but also can communicate importance in terms of weight. Most web pages don't visually show the headings needed for complete levels for screen re
> aders and this would necessitate adding off-screen headings.
>
> In terms of other types of document such as legal, financial, or research documents where the heading text is not clear and the order heading levels is necessary to understand the content then the order is absolutely needed in order to understand the relationship of text and headings. So it really depends on the context and that is why the WCAG criteria is flexible in determining when it is a failure or not.
>
> Jonathan
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Andrews, David B (DEED)
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 9:02 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.
>
>
> Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> This message may be from an external email source.
> Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.
>
> >
> But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".
>
> Mark
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
> Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.
>
> Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Mark Magennis
> Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.
>
> It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".
>
> 52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".
>
> As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009P.8%, 2012`.8%, 2014e.6%, 2017g.5%, 2019h.8% .
>
> Mark
>
> Mark Magennis
> Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
> Accessibility Specialist
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
> Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.
>
> That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.
>
> Steve Green
> Managing Director
> Test Partners Ltd
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Birkir R. Gunnarsson
> Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
> Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
> For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
> The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
> These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
> In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.
>
>
>
> On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>> Howdy!
>>
>> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
>> accessibility presentations I give.
>>
>> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
>> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
>> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2 with
>> subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>>
>> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
>> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>>
>> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
>> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
>> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
>> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
>> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
>> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>>
>> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>>
>> Best,
>> David
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
>> L Snider
>> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
>> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>>
>> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>>
>> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
>> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
>> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
>> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
>> totally out of whack.
>> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
>> first place?
>>
>> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Lisa
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
>> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>>> >>> >>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist
>>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e
>>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%
>>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2BB
>>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40s
>>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b
>>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXS
>>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>>> >>>
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
>> webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
>> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
>> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
>> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
>> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
>> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
>> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
>> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
>> webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e13
>> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C0
>> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKex
>> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwebai
>> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40sta
>> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c
>> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x2
>> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
>
>
> --
> Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
> > > > > > > >

From: David Engebretson Jr.
Date: Wed, Dec 18 2019 5:50PM
Subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] heading question
← Previous message | No next message

Personally, as long as there is 1 heading level 1 on a page (and/or document) that matches the <title>, and logical heading structure is used from then on in the document, I don't mind hundreds of headings in the document. Also, I listen to all heading levels on a page to gather up the intended structure of the page. It's super useful.

What I've seen in this thread, after listening to most of the comments, is that people prefer logical heading structure. The main sticking point seems to be that WCAG doesn't require that a web designer NEEDS to use logical heading structure. Even though WCAG might not _require_ logical heading structure to be compliant, I require logical heading structure to be happy with the developers I work with every day. It just seems logical (hahaha) to me.

My previous comments should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm assuming my browser and screen reader can handle that much information. Browsers and assistive technologies change so fast now-a-days that it can make it difficult to track down issues. Keep It Simple, Silly is my mantra.

So, in conclusion) 1 heading level 1 per page and/or document. Use heading level 2 for major sections, heading level 3 for sub-sections, heading level 4 for sub-sub-sections, etc.

I'd love to see a document with thousands of headings to see what my assistive technology, browser, and operating system can do with it!

Best,
David

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Duff Johnson
Sent: Wednesday, December 18, 2019 9:52 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question

Had a little time, so wanted to offer a few thoughts about what’s bothering me in this discussion:
Various people are saying that headings matter, although opinions differ on whether it’s the mere fact of a heading that matters, or the heading level as well.
No-one has explained how users are supposed to be able to know when heading levels are structural (i.e., when the organization of headings structures the content) rather than merely indicating “importance”. These two uses are seemingly impossible for users to disambiguate. As a result, AT users doubtless fail to spot cases in which navigating headings is essential to comprehending the document. Presumably, they suffer a dramatic shortfall in equal access as a result.
In short, it feels a lot like web accessibility folk tend to assume that:
content occurs in short web-pages
content doesn’t rely on nested heading levels for organization This might be true for most web pages, but it would be wrong to premise generic content accessibility standards on these presumptions.

I come from the land of PDF. It’s a land of large documents (tens, hundreds, thousands of pages) and deeply structured documents (some have thousands of headings). In PDF we sometimes see documents with 7, 8, 9 or more heading levels. We have documents with “front matter” and “backmatter” and other concepts that are foreign to web content and thus relatively less considered by WCAG.

PDF 2.0, published in 2017 and soon to be updated in 2020, introduces a <Title> structure element that functions similarly to HTML’s <title> element, but occurs on the PDF page rather than in the page’s <head>. Accordingly, in PDF 2.0, document titles aren’t tagged <H1> as this is a heading tag, not a document title tag. This allows for clear disambiguation of titles from headings, and reserves headings for the vital task of structuring the document in an accessible manner.

A member of the PDF Association’s PDF/UA Technical Working Group recently wrote an article discussing this question:

https://www.pdfa.org/how-to-tag-titles-in-pdf-documents/

NOTE: the PDF/UA Reference Suite on pdfa.org <http://pdfa.org/>; is not yet updated along these lines; this is in part because this specific suite needs to remain PDF/UA-1 conforming files, which means PDF 1.7. Nonetheless, we’re currently upgrading the files in that suite to make them forward-compatible with the forthcoming PDF/UA-2, and will let the group know when available.

Duff.


> On Dec 16, 2019, at 09:41, Jonathan Avila < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> It's also likely that for many simple web pages the heading level isn't as important -- especially if the heading text is explanatory and the progression of headings implies meaning. In other cases the general order of the heading levels may be enough -- h3 may not come directly have an h1 but most folks would agree that an h3 is of less importance or a sub section. I'd agree with Birkir that landmarks have the potential to be better in many situations. For example, using just heading levels the main part of a page would have an h1 and the sections of a footer would have to have h2 to conform to the level approach. However, you don't have any details that they are in the footer and they actually probably should be less important than an h2 -- for example an h4. This gets into the messy world of headings where they denote structure but also can communicate importance in terms of weight. Most web pages don't visually show the headings needed for complete levels for screen re
> aders and this would necessitate adding off-screen headings.
>
> In terms of other types of document such as legal, financial, or research documents where the heading text is not clear and the order heading levels is necessary to understand the content then the order is absolutely needed in order to understand the relationship of text and headings. So it really depends on the context and that is why the WCAG criteria is flexible in determining when it is a failure or not.
>
> Jonathan
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Andrews, David B (DEED)
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 9:02 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.
>
>
> Actually what I think he is saying is that people don't pay attention to the heading number, whether it is a 2 or 3 or whatever. They use the h key and jump from heading to heading. Yes, the number, if used properly, conveys important information, but the heading itself also does. It says two things, this is important, and this is a change from what was before it. It is sometimes quicker just to use the h key instead of a heading level number. With nesting you might get it wrong and have to try something else. The h key is quick and moves to each heading, you don't have to worry about skipping a heading or anything.
>
> Dave
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Mark Magennis
> Sent: Monday, December 16, 2019 7:57 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> This message may be from an external email source.
> Do not select links or open attachments unless verified. Report all suspicious emails to Minnesota IT Services Security Operations Center.
>
> >
> But Steve, the WebAIM survey reports that 86.1% of respondents describe heading levels as "useful" to them. Which seems to be at odds with your experience that "they don't take much notice of the heading levels".
>
> Mark
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Steve Green
> Sent: 16 December 2019 11:46
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> I don't think our findings are at odds with the WebAIM survey. Most screen reader users do use headings to navigate, but they don't take much notice of the heading levels except for the <h1>, which they expect to be at the top of the main content. As long as the headings are marked up as a heading of some level, people can find them easily using the H key or the headings list.
>
> Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Mark Magennis
> Sent: 16 December 2019 10:28
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] [EXTERNAL] Re: heading question
>
> Great to hear results from real user testing Steve. Your experience that users rarely take notice of the heading level is really useful information.
>
> It seems a bit at odds with the findings from the latest WebAIM screen reader survey though (note that the WebAIM survey is based on an uncontrolled sample, I don't know about your testing). WebAIM asked "When navigating a web page by headings, how useful are the heading levels (e.g., "Heading 1", "Heading 2", etc.) to you?".
>
> 52.2% said heading levels are "Very useful" and 33.9% "Somewhat useful". Only 11% said "Not very useful" or "Not at all useful".
>
> As an aside, I note that the WebAIM survey indicates that use of headings has increased over the years. The numbers of respondents reporting that they use headings as their first approach to finding information on a lengthy page has increased as follows. 2009P.8%, 2012`.8%, 2014e.6%, 2017g.5%, 2019h.8% .
>
> Mark
>
> Mark Magennis
> Skillsoft | mobile: +353 87 60 60 162
> Accessibility Specialist
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Steve Green
> Sent: 15 December 2019 01:47
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: [EXTERNAL] Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> Birkir's experience of user testing is exactly the same as mine during hundreds of sessions over 15 years. Even when people use headings to navigate through a page, they rarely take notice of the level. It tends to be the most highly proficient users who take note of the heading levels, so small errors in nesting don't cause them any difficulty.
>
> That said, I think that errors in the heading structure should be limited to occasional skipped levels. That is often unavoidable when pages are built from common components in a CMS. However, it would not be acceptable for subheadings to have a higher level than their parent heading.
>
> Steve Green
> Managing Director
> Test Partners Ltd
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of
> Birkir R. Gunnarsson
> Sent: 14 December 2019 23:43
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>
> The heading levels need to correspond to the visual weight of the text, which of course can be subjective (what if heading text is the same size but one has an underline or a different color).
> Also, while levels are important I think there are sitautions where skipping heading levels is justified.
> For instance, if you have a book, its title is an h1, then there is a dedication or author's note that contains a sentence or two of text, then there are individual chapters and sub chapters.
> The text author's note should be a heading, but not necessary an h2, it does not mark a chapter in the book, an h3 or h4 is more appropriate and likely more in line with the visual presentation.
> These are the exceptions and consecutive heading levels are good practice, but WCAG does not outright require them.
> In recent usability testing with a number of screen reader users I've found that very few use heading levels or even pay attention to them much to my surprise. They do look for an h1 heading, but that's about it.
>
>
>
> On 12/14/19, David Engebretson Jr. < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>> Howdy!
>>
>> Heading structure is one of my main topics in the general
>> accessibility presentations I give.
>>
>> I always profess their should be 1 heading level 1 on a page (at the
>> beginning of the main region) that matches the <title> of the page -
>> then the sections of the page should be marked as heading level 2
>> with subsections at heading level 3 and sub-subsections at heading level 4.
>>
>> It's not difficult to provide semantic heading structure. It's
>> difficult to create the awareness that it is important.
>>
>> I think the most difficult aspect, at least for me as a blind
>> developer and a11y enthusiast, is to convince sighted developers that
>> they can always adjust styling through CSS in a properly formatted
>> digital document. CSS is simple but not all sighted folks know how to
>> use it. I don't know how to use it either so I'm super empathetic. I
>> can't tell if I'm causing text collisions with my styling adjustments.
>>
>> It's a bit of a conundrum, no?
>>
>> Best,
>> David
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf
>> Of L Snider
>> Sent: Saturday, December 14, 2019 12:51 PM
>> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] heading question
>>
>> I differ from others, heading order is crucial for me.
>>
>> Everyone I know who relies on a screen reader (I don't rely on one)
>> has told me this over the years. I know WCAG is different, but in my
>> view it is a problem. Think of reading things every day with a screen
>> reader, and not knowing what was going on, because the headings were
>> totally out of whack.
>> After all, I have to ask, why then do headings have numbers in the
>> first place?
>>
>> I know others will disagree, but I don't call it petty at all.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> Lisa
>>
>>
>>
>> On Fri, Dec 13, 2019 at 6:46 PM Tyler Shepard
>> < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>> I am reviewing a website which has headings. The first heading is an
>>> h1, the next is an h3. I feel a bit petty for putting in my notes
>>> they should change the heading put it as an h2. It doesn't damage
>>> the flow. Am I over reacting over something so small?
>>> >>> >>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flis
>>> t
>>> .webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44
>>> e
>>> 13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0
>>> %
>>> 7C0%7C637121014213137424&amp;sdata=1GDGVhNGevg6KnSzeRw%2FlvuuYvt7%2B
>>> B
>>> 6sIfey7BrEeGA%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweb
>>> a
>>> im.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40
>>> s
>>> tate.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26
>>> b
>>> 89c2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEX
>>> S
>>> c3x2MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>>> >>>
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
>> webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e1
>> 3
>> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C
>> 0
>> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKe
>> x
>> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> i
>> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40st
>> a
>> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89
>> c
>> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x
>> 2
>> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
>> >> >> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flist.
>> webaim.org%2F&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40state.mn.us%7C44e1
>> 3
>> a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89c2159828c%7C0%7C
>> 0
>> %7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=vGYc6CsR5ns70Gg%2BGEb%2BvdJ7hiTFI4uKe
>> x
>> T%2F2TbXDUs%3D&amp;reserved=0 List archives at
>> https://gcc01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fweba
>> i
>> m.org%2Fdiscussion%2Farchives&amp;data%7C01%7Cdavid.b.andrews%40st
>> a
>> te.mn.us%7C44e13a20da8d4dec1a2708d7822fd22d%7Ceb14b04624c445198f26b89
>> c
>> 2159828c%7C0%7C0%7C637121014213147417&amp;sdata=XzpQqHsFA7W5xJWEXSc3x
>> 2
>> MilvEeWmwNlb43V8NmUbc%3D&amp;reserved=0
>> >>
>
>
> --
> Work hard. Have fun. Make history.
> > > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> > > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>