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Re: Skip Nav (was RE: "Think EUO, not SEO"/Google)

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Jun 2003 16:21:03 -0700
Cc: "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: "John Foliot - WATS.ca" <foliot@wats.ca>
Message-Id: <B36E4833-9DF5-11D7-AEE2-000393D9E692@idyllmtn.com>

On Friday, June 13, 2003, at 06:21 AM, John Foliot - WATS.ca wrote:
> Assuming 100% compliant adherence to CSS positioning (a stretch, but 
> work
> with it), it could be argued that placing the main content ahead of the
> supporting information (including navigation) in the linear 
> composition of
> the HTML document would make more sense, and then style it to appear 
> "at the
> top" or "along the left hand side".

This is how I have been laying out pages for some time now.  Truth to 
tell,
now that I've started this, I can't imagine doing it any other way!

However, I usually provide "skip to navigation" links when I'm on the 
ball, or
even a <link rel="bookmark"> (which is the standards-compliant way to 
introduce
entry points, as you allude to later).

> For the visual user, this fits within
> the traditional model they have come to expect (see Jacob Neilson, 
> Steve
> Krug(1), et al), but for linear users puts the reason for the page 
> front and
> center (to paraphrase a song title "don't bore us, get to the 
> chorus").  But
> if the document content is "long", linear users must "read" the entire 
> page
> BEFORE they can get to the almost equally important navigational 
> elements.
> In this case a "skip TO" navigation link should be the first thing
> encountered on a page, allowing new users to review their navigational
> options without the need to process the entire page content.
>
> In either scenario, the use of named anchors within a document 
> enhances it's
> accessibility and usability for users of these more linear 
> technologies.
> You state: "I suspect that having pure navigation and pure content 
> pages is
> best, anyway."  How can this be done?

Well, this could be a good argument for frames.

I'm serious.  If you have one frame for navigation and another for 
content,
and they're properly labeled and used, it _would_ solve this problem.  
Your
navigation and your content will be separated quite nicely.

There are other factors, of course, but this, perhaps, is one case where
frames can be used to enhance non-visual usability.

--Kynn

> --
Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                     http://kynn.com
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain                http://idyllmtn.com
Author, CSS in 24 Hours                       http://cssin24hours.com
Inland Anti-Empire Blog                      http://blog.kynn.com/iae
Shock & Awe Blog                           http://blog.kynn.com/shock
Received on Friday, 13 June 2003 19:15:50 GMT

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