Accessibility question - position of navigation

C

cephelo

My navigation is a set of nested lists. It reads very well in a screen
reader. It is absolutely positioned and I am wondering where I should
put it. I can either put it at the top or the bottom, it still renders
fine in all browsers.

Another thought was putting it at the top on the front page but on the
bottom on the inner pages.

I want to help blind users to actually get to the content instead of
having to skip over the navigation lists every new page.

Has anyone dealt with blind users and could offer any insight?

Thanks!
 
A

Adrienne Boswell

Gazing into my crystal ball I observed (e-mail address removed) writing in
My navigation is a set of nested lists. It reads very well in a screen
reader. It is absolutely positioned and I am wondering where I should
put it. I can either put it at the top or the bottom, it still renders
fine in all browsers.

Another thought was putting it at the top on the front page but on the
bottom on the inner pages.

I want to help blind users to actually get to the content instead of
having to skip over the navigation lists every new page.

Has anyone dealt with blind users and could offer any insight?

Thanks!

Personally, I think that navigational items should stay in one place
throughout the site. If you have a menu, keep it in the same place, if
you have breadcrumbs, keep them in the same place.

I like the ability to skip links, and have a skip links link positioned
off the page for screens, but it is available for text only, or small
devices like phones.
 
A

Andy Dingley

Another thought was putting it at the top on the front page but on the
bottom on the inner pages.

Put it in both places on all pages. Use CSS to control the relative
prominence of both. This is particularly beneficial on long pages,
where navigation might need to be used without scrolling back to the
top ("Back to top" links are a bad idea, as they're adding an extra
navigation step).

IMHO, the idea of saving blind users (or anyone else stuck with a
purely linear serialisation of the page) from "excess" repeated
navigation elements is over-emphasised. Go easy on the screen
furniture by all means, but few people using a site of moderate
complexity are going to object to a little generosity in presenting the
major navigation elements to them. It's better to waste a little time
sometimes than to make this hard to locate.
 
T

Toby Inkster

cephelo said:
My navigation is a set of nested lists. It reads very well in a screen
reader. It is absolutely positioned and I am wondering where I should
put it. I can either put it at the top or the bottom, it still renders
fine in all browsers.

By "put it", do you mean where it should lie in the HTML code -- that is
where it should be rendered by a non-CSS user-agent? Or do you mean where
you should physically position it on your CSS layout?

If the former, then put it towards the end, but you might want to add some
sort of:

<a href="#nav"><img src="1x1.png" alt="Skip to navigation"></a>

near the top of your content. (Though hopefully most people *won't* want
to skip straight to your navigation without reading the content!)

If the latter, try to make it "above the fold" when rendered on most
sensible screen resolutions.
 
J

Jukka K. Korpela

Toby Inkster said:
<a href="#nav"><img src="1x1.png" alt="Skip to navigation"></a>

That's not very accessible when someone uses a graphic browser fairly
normally, with image display enabled, just using the tab key to move from
one link to the next. He will be puzzled when tabbing to an invisible link.

<a href="#nav">Skip to navigation"></a>
is easier and better _if_ you include such a "skip link".
 

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