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RE: Site Maps and nested navigation

From: Rebecca Cox <rebecca.cox@signify.co.nz>
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2005 11:20:42 +1300
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <20051207222047.D2316354B@hume.signify.co.nz>

Hi all

I agree - vast lists not a good thing. However, if you have to use them, and also have to present them as dropdown menus, have you looked at UDM? 

See http://www.udm4.com/

These do offer good keyboard accessibility - you can use the arrow keys to move around the navigation, without having to tab through the entire list. 

The only other decent way I can think of to deal with this issue is to offer maybe two versions of a navigation page / sitemap for those who would prefer it. You could have a couple of versions - one with "nested pages of links", with just one level presented per page, that you could click through to drill down, and the other with the entire sitemap in headings / list markup. It could be that a client who insists on dropdowns will be OK with these options being provided as well. 

I think you have to look at what function dropdowns provide - eg an easy way to access deep links in a large site, and a way to quickly get an idea of the structure and content of a site. And then try to provide that in a couple of ways so people who can't use the dropdowns for some reason still get those benefits. Also, working with some users who actually use the internet this way will help you to get it right!


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Stuart Smith
Sent: Thursday, 8 December 2005 1:27 a.m.
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: Site Maps and nested navigation


Thanks Julian, your view corresponds with my own considered feelings. The problem is in the case the client (an internal one) may well insist so it may have to be a compromise of long lists for screen readers.

Seems to me that the solution lies with the middleware producers, the screen reader and browser makers. Nested unordered lists essentially have a cascading structure, main section, sub-section, etc. This could be re worked in a screen reader to create an list with anchor points to allow skipping. It would of course would rely on good mark-up so it can be correctly interpreted but then doesn't everything!

Anyone else got a view?



-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Julian Voelcker
Sent: 07 December 2005 12:00
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Site Maps and nested navigation

Hi Stuart,

> ome menus like the
> dropdowns on Suckerfish

I've always avoided the drop down lists.  The problems are:

There is no consistent way of operating them across sites so can be confusing for the user. i.e. do you click to expand a menu or hover over a menu item. Also bear in mind that people are either used to the menus on Macs or PCs which operate differently.

It is a lot of overhead to be carrying around on every page.

They are confusing to use from a screen reader point of view due to the vast number of links.


Julian Voelcker
Cirencester, United Kingdom
Received on Wednesday, 7 December 2005 22:22:57 UTC

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