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RE: Skipping of headings

From: Oscar Cao <oscar.cao@live.com>
Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 07:35:09 +1100
Message-ID: <DUB405-EAS97E0E845164A7D715253168C940@phx.gbl>
To: Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo <coordina@sidar.org>
CC: 'WAI Interest Group' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Emmanuelle and Richard

Have a look at the foreword/notes just before Example 2 in the screen grab of H42 that I sent in my previous email.
It states the level of the headings outside is irrelevant to the main content and should be at the level one chooses best fit the purpose. To me, the content within the main content area is the most important & the focus of the page, therefore I give the headings outside the main content area low heading levels.
I hope everyone agrees with this approach.


Sent from my Windows Phone
From: Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo<mailto:coordina@sidar.org>
Sent: ‎21/‎10/‎2014 11:02 PM
To: 'Oscar Cao'<mailto:oscar.cao@live.com>; 'Jonathan Avila'<mailto:jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>; 'Jon Gibbins'<mailto:dotjay@dotjay.co.uk>
Cc: 'WAI Interest Group'<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Skipping of headings

Hi Oscar,

Yes, you are right because the different blocks of content do not have to maintain an order of priority among them. But they have to keep to the main content.

What is odd in the example you provided is that the navigation block is identified with a h5.


Emmanuelle Gutiérrez y Restrepo

Patrono y Directora General

Fundación Sidar - Acceso Universal

Email:  <mailto:coordina@sidar.org> coordina@sidar.org

Personal:  <mailto:Emmanuelle@sidar.org> Emmanuelle@sidar.org

Web:  <http://sidar.org> http://sidar.org

De: Oscar Cao [mailto:oscar.cao@live.com]
Enviado el: martes, 21 de octubre de 2014 12:23
Para: 'Jonathan Avila'; 'Jon Gibbins'
CC: 'WAI Interest Group'
Asunto: RE: Skipping of headings

Thanks Jonathan.

After looking at the second example in the H42 link you mentioned. I’ve gotten my answer – it is perfectly OK to skip headings outside the main content area; attached a screen grab for reference.



From: Jonathan Avila [mailto:jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 11:09 AM
To: Jon Gibbins
Cc: WAI Interest Group
Subject: RE: Skipping of headings

Ø  The "Organizing a page using headings" technique applies to Level A's SC 1.3.1, Info and Relationships, and Level AAA's SC 2.4.10, Section Headings:

Note 2from normative WCAG document SC 2.4.10 also says: This success criterion covers sections within writing, not  <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#user-interface-componentdef> user interface components. User Interface components are covered under Success Criterion 4.1.2 <http://www.w3.org/TR/2008/REC-WCAG20-20081211/#ensure-compat-rsv> .


From: Jon Gibbins [mailto:dotjay@dotjay.co.uk]
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2014 10:37 AM
To: Jonathan Avila
Cc: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: Skipping of headings

The "Organizing a page using headings" technique applies to Level A's SC 1.3.1, Info and Relationships, and Level AAA's SC 2.4.10, Section Headings:


It says:

"To facilitate navigation and understanding of overall document structure, authors should use headings that are properly nested (e.g., h1 followed by h2, h2 followed by h2 or h3, h3 followed by h3 or h4, etc.)."

Whether or not skipped heading levels cause problems is down to a user's preferred means of navigation. Personally, I like to see a clearly structured main content, and consistent use of headings in other page areas. In the majority of cases, I don't believe it is difficult to maintain heading structures.


On 20 October 2014 14:16, Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com> wrote:

Ø  headings outside the “main content area” should be allowed to skip heading levels

If you look at H42 (http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20130905/H42) which is a sufficient technique for SC 1.3.1 it does not have a test step to verify the order doesn’t skip levels.  My understanding is that not skipping levels is considered advisory for Level A and AA.

I know many US government agencies require heading levels match the visual levels – matching is different from not skip any heading levels.  I’d say matching the visual levels is what is most important as it conveys the same structure as what is presented visually.


From: Oscar Cao [mailto:oscar.cao@live.com]
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2014 7:57 AM
To: 'WAI Interest Group'
Subject: Skipping of headings

Hello All

I’m sure there’s been quite a bit of debate on the skipping of headings issue. I totally agree headings that reside within the “main content area” of the page should not have any skipping of headings whatsoever. However, for SEO and various other reasons, headings outside the “main content area” should be allowed to skip heading levels. What I mean by this is, for example:

<header role=”banner”>

<h2>My website’s name</h2>



<nav role=”navigation”>

<h5>Left Hand Navigation</h5>




<section role=”main”>

<h1>main heading</h1>


<h2>second level heading</h2>


<h3>third level heading</h3>




<aside class=”side”>

<h6>Some heading</6>


<footer role=”contentinfo”>

<h6>Footer Links</h6>


What I would like to know is, what is the official WCAG 2.0 stand on this specific scenario. Is this conforming to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines or non-conforming; if it is the latter, what is the correct solution/markup to use?







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Received on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 20:36:05 UTC

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