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Re: Officially suggested keyboard interaction for sub-menu items in the "navigation"?

From: Ian Yang <ian@invigoreight.com>
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2012 15:21:30 +0800
Message-ID: <CABr1FseJm5uqwP0-39fKpWrNNBxLoDwXTkRmTLY+PbhjTh=4Lw@mail.gmail.com>
To: Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM, Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis <
bhawkeslewis@googlemail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 2:00 AM, Ian Yang <ian@invigoreight.com> wrote:
> > Do we have a conclusion? Taking a look on the previous code again, and
> there
> > is a dilemma: when the focus is on the "About" menu item, should hitting
> > Enter key toggle the sub-menu or take users to about.html? There is no
> > specification addresses this issue. So it seems to be wrong to put a
> > "menubar" in the "navigation"?
> Yes. The problem is navigation lists have different user expectations
> from application menu bars, precisely because the top-level items
> often have a primary purpose of acting as links!
> I think there are are two good approaches here that don't violate user
> expectations:
> 1. If the top-level items take the user to hub pages from which their
> child items are themselves accessible as links, don't try to make the
> child items keyboard navigable (leave their container display: none or
> remove it from the DOM). They can be quick-access lists on hover for
> mouse users. Keyboard users access the subitems through the hub pages
> (or site search, or a sitemap, or an external search engine).
> 2. If there's an icon indicating a top-level item has a child list
> such as a downwards pointing arrow, you can turn that into a separate
> button for opening the sublist as a popup with alternative text like
> "Open about sub-links". You may wish to markup the list opening button
> with @aria-haspopup and mark the opened list up as a dialog:
> http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/complete#aria-haspopup
> http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/complete#dialog
> http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/commands.html#the-dialog-element

Hi Benjamin,

Thanks. You mentioned a good point: navigation lists have different user
expectations from application menu bars. Menubar is application, while
navigation is not. Ultimately, I think "menubar" shouldn't appear in the

And thanks for the advises. It's a pity that I don't have downwards arrow
icons, so I guess I will use the old school method to let keyboard users
tab through all items like this

Ian Yang
Received on Monday, 30 July 2012 07:21:59 UTC

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