W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 1998

Re: Placing generic navigation links

From: Eileen Bonfiglio <pinesnet@putergirl.com>
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 16:09:22 -0400
Message-ID: <35AFAF72.300050E3@putergirl.com>
To: Jamal Mazrui <empower@smart.net>
CC: paul.adelson@citicorp.com, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Just my 2 cents on this..... small sites may be able to live with this
kind of guideline, but, as a person working on several large sites, I
can tell you this is not really very feasible.  A site with 10 major
departments will most likely have 5 or 10 subsections, if you bypass the
navigation, you will never experience anything past the first few pages.
Some of us go out of our way to incorporate the navigation into the
overall look and feel of a site, making graphics multipurpose.  Kind of
like having a web site and not submitting it to the engines, no one
knows where it is, same concept, you  have a beautiful site no one can

Navigational aides have traditionally been placed at the bottom of each
page...was there something wrong with that method? I thought it worked
real well in Lynx


Jamal Mazrui wrote:
> In my opinion, general navigational links at the top of each web page of
> a site have become one of the most significant usability barriers to
> browsing the web.  I have not found any reliable technique with a screen
> reader to skip such links and get to the unique content of a page.  Thus
> tedious and time-consuming navigation past those links is necessary to
> determine whether a page is of particular interest to me.
> I prefer that pages other than those intended as a table of contents do
> not include general site-navigation links.  If enough sighted users
> depend on such links for their usability, however, I prefer that the
> links be placed either at the bottom of the page or in a separate frame.
> The best compromise I've encountered, however, is on the web site of the
> American Council of the Blind (http://www.acb.org).  Site navigation
> links are at the top of each page, but the very first link allows one to
> skip such links and go to the unique content of the page.  I suggest
> this approach as a W3C accessibility/usability guideline.
> Regards,
> Jamal
> On 1998-07-15 paul.adelson@citicorp.com said:
>    NIs there any consensus on the following, or has anyone had
>    Nexperience or done usability studies to determine which is better
>    Nfor accessible web design:
>    NFor a site that has a standard set of links on every page (e.g.
>    NHome | Products | Employment | Contacts), is it better for
>    Naccessibility to have those linkes at the top of every page or at
>    Nthe bottom?
>    NDoes the answer change if seeing/hearing the bottom of the page will
>    Noccasionally require scrolling the page? In other words, the user
>    Nmay get used to browsing the site without needing to scroll and then
>    Nunknowingly come to a page where either the standard links or the
>    Nnon-standard links are not visible/screen-readable without
>    Nscrolling.
>    NThanks,
>    N-- Paul
> Net-Tamer V 1.11 - Registered

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                   Eileen Bonfiglio
             Internet Presence Specialist                   

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          "...and I think to myself, what a wonderful world!"
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Received on Friday, 17 July 1998 16:12:23 UTC

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