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RE: Rethinking the necessities of ARIA landmark role "main" and HTML5 <main> element

From: Steve Green <steve.green@testpartners.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2013 18:12:35 +0000
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>, Ian Sharpe <themanxsharpy@gmail.com>
CC: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <6BDDA23E03987E4C90F4F8B4127D3B7A1489E9C5@THHSLE14MBX1.hslive.net>
If there are multiple sections of uninteresting content it is necessary to perform multiple 'skip' actions in order to get to the interesting content. This is a poor user experience compared with performing a single 'skip' action to get to the main content.

Steve Green

-----Original Message-----
From: Ian Hickson [mailto:ian@hixie.ch] 
Sent: 26 March 2013 18:10
To: Ian Sharpe; Steve Green
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Rethinking the necessities of ARIA landmark role "main" and HTML5 <main> element

On Tue, 26 Mar 2013, Ian Sharpe wrote:
> I use a screen reader myself and while I do want to be able to skip 
> over uninteresting content, I would also like to be able to go 
> directly to what the author of a site has designated as the main 
> content and suspect I'm not the only one with this view.

If you are skipping past the uninteresting content, what content is it that you are landing on that isn't the interesting content?

> Even if a page is marked up semantically well using the new HTML5 
> structural elements or ARIA landmarks, I still might have to hit my 
> screen readers landmark hotkey several times before I reach the 
> "interesting" content which is just tedious and time consuming, 
> particularly when visiting an unfamiliar site.

What content would the screen reader be jumping to if not the interesting 
content, if it's skipped all the uninteresting content?

On Tue, 26 Mar 2013, Steve Green wrote:
> "what users want is not to jump to a specific place in the document but 
> to jump _past_ uninteresting content in the document"
> Have you ever heard a user express that desire? I haven't, and I do a 
> lot of user testing. In my experience they do want to jump to a specific 
> place (mostly the main content, sometimes the site search textbox and 
> rarely anything else). That is particularly the case for screen reader 
> users because they have limited ability to see ahead, and they don't 
> know how many sections of 'uninteresting' content they would need to 
> jump past in order to get to the main content.

My point is that the user interface option I'm talking about should skip 
all sequences of uninteresting content. You wouldn't ever need to know how 
many sections one is skipping to get there.

> Why would you not want to provide a means to jump directly to the most 
> important content on a page?

The user interface I'm suggesting user agents provide is exactly that. You 
don't need <main> or role="" to do that. You just need to have the user 
agents skip past the parts of the document that are marked up as tangential.

Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 18:13:07 UTC

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