RE: New technique: Technique 13.1.1 [priority 2] Verify that the target of each link is clearly identified.

What's here looks good. I'd still advocate the check for TITLE attributes of
links. Here's my thinking -

I never understood what possible reason there would be to have them (I
thought HTML 4 was just being thorough) until I heard a presentation[1] at a
conference last year. The presentor, based at the University of Manchester,
had been doing research into the experience of visually impaired people
compared to non-visually impaired people, and come up with the notion of the
importance of "previewing" that sighted people take for granted. The
suggestion was that the TITLE attribute of links can provide more detailed
information about what's there than is actually in the link text (which of
course still needs to be good) and help a user decide whether to follow the

This is a major benefit to users with screen readers who might otherwise
follow a link, have to deal with all the navigation stuff at the top etc.
before they get to the content and discover the page isn't relevant. It also
helps people who don't want to wait for the download or who read slowly and
might take time to discover that the page doesn't have what they were
looking for.

At CAST we've been experimenting with this on the development version of our
own web site and we all really like how this works. Of course it's only
supported by later browsers... Anyway, I think this is a rationale that
using link TITLEs can significantly increase accessibility and falls
appropriately under this checkpoint.


[1] Harper, S., Stevens, R., and Goble, C. (1999). Towel: Real World
Mobility on the Web. In Vanderdonckt, J. and Puerta, A., eds.:
Computer-Aided Design of User Interfaces II. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer
Academic Publishers.

Regrettably this paper is not online because of copyright.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Wendy A Chisholm
> Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 6:58 PM
> To:
> Subject: New technique: Technique 13.1.1 [priority 2] Verify that the
> target of each link is clearly identified.
> Michael wrote:
> <blockquote>
> Checkpoint 13.1 - Clearly identify the target of each link
> New Technique: check for common bad link phrases such as "click here".
> New Technique: check for validated TITLE attribute of link.
> </blockquote>
> I propose:
> <blockquote>
> Technique 13.1.1 [priority 2] Verify that the target of each link is
> clearly identified.
> Discussion Status:
> awaiting discussion
> Evaluation:
> Check for commonly used non-meaningful phrases such as "click here" and
> "more" as link text.
> Check that if link text is not unique, duplicates link to the same place.
> Example Language:
> Link text should be meaningful enough to make sense when read out of
> context -- either on its own or as part of a sequence of links. Link text
> should also be terse.
> Repair Technique:
> Retrieve the TITLE of the target page and suggest that as link text.
> </blockquote>
> --
> wendy a chisholm
> world wide web consortium
> web accessibility initiative
> madison, wi usa
> tel: +1 608 663 6346
> /--

Received on Tuesday, 1 February 2000 10:28:37 UTC