Present content in a meaningful order.
The meaning of content on your website relies on the order you present it. For example, in English we read from left to right and read a left-hand column before a right-hand column.
Users who rely on assistive technology (such as a screen reader) to interpret content, require content to be presented in a meaningful order. If this is presented out of sequence, users may become disorientated and may not understand the content.
How to Pass
Ensuring you present your content in a meaningful sequence is a wide-ranging part of web accessibility. It applies to all elements of all pages, so is as big or as small a task as your website.
A sequence is “meaningful” if the order of the content within it cannot be changed without altering its meaning.
Make sure you:
- Present all content in a meaningful order
- Separate navigation menus from the content
- Use paragraphs in order
- Nest headings from H1 downwards to show their relative importance
- Choose whether a list needs numbering or not
- Use valid HTML
Invest in some assistive technology and use it to browse your website.
Not all content has a meaningful sequence – for example, a sidebar next to the main article where it doesn’t matter if the user reads the sidebar or the article first
Turn off the site’s Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) and check that your web page displays in the correct order.
Using headings to show importance isn’t always straightforward. Headings on a web page are a great way to break up content and show your users the relative importance of each section. Headings in HTML range from H1 (the most important) to H6 (the least important). It’s best to have just one Heading1 (H1) on a web page, to show the title of that page.
However, headings don’t need to descend from 1 to 6 each time you use one. As well as headings that share levels, you can skip levels altogether if that fits your content.
- Guideline 1.3.1 – Info and Relationships
- Guideline 2.4.2 – Page Titled
- Guideline 2.4.3 – Focus Order
- Guideline 2.4.6 – Headings and Labels
- Understanding Success Criterion 1.3.2 (W3C)
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