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Re: Placing generic navigation links

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charlesn@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 14:47:53 +1000 (EST)
To: Eileen Bonfiglio <pinesnet@putergirl.com>
cc: WAI <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.SUN.3.91.980719144012.23009A-100000@sunrise.srl.rmit.edu.au>
Hang on. The way I read it, Jamal was saying:

If you can live without the links on every page, do so.

I take it you object to this. I certainly think it can only work on a 
tiny site, although I see it on a lot of badly designed larger ones.

Then he said:
If not, put them at the bottom.

I think he is quite right here. Putting them anywhere else can cause 
useability problems. The most common technique currently is a table, using
the left-hand column for links.

As Nir pointed out, this makes life INCREDIBLY difficult for people 
relying on Screen readers, although it works fnie for people using 
non-table capable browsers, or full graphic browsers.

Jamal half-covered this by saying
If the links aren't at the bottom, provide a link through them to the 
content.

This is no more difficult than providing a standard link to 'top of the 
page', and certainly entirely scaleable. However it does not solve the 
screen reader problem. The ways of doing that are to use frames/seperate 
windows, which provides the same look and feel without making life 
difficult for the users, but means that you still need to provide the 
links at the bottom of the page.

In short, the answer is to put them at the bottom. This is said in the 
same way as 'number your pages consecutively'. There is nothing to stop 
your page numbers (in a print book) going 4 7 2 6 6a 88 11 45 32 7b 1, 
but it make life difficult for the people who are using the product, and 
that reflects badly on the producers.

Charles McCathieNevile
Received on Sunday, 19 July 1998 01:09:34 GMT

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