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RE: Skipping of headings

From: Oscar Cao <oscar.cao@live.com>
Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:33:41 +1100
Message-ID: <DUB405-EAS11822F16E82B96F4ACEE2C88C910@phx.gbl>
To: Taliesin Smith <talilief@gmail.com>
CC: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I'm glad others have also found this discussion helpful.
For those interested, I followed the approach of using H2s in the other columns - in favour of accessibility over SEO.

Regards
Oscar

Sent from my Windows Phone
________________________________
From: Taliesin Smith<mailto:talilief@gmail.com>
Sent: ‎25/‎10/‎2014 12:09 AM
To: Oscar Cao<mailto:oscar.cao@live.com>
Cc: WAI Interest Group<mailto:w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: Re: Skipping of headings

Thanks everyone for this super fruitful discussion. I am a bit of a
stickler on heading structure and I have really enjoyed the discussion. I
will be studying this thread in more detail.

Oscar, I understand your choices for H5s and H6s for your sections in the
sense that you want to de-emphasize them for SEO purposes, but I personally
don't think it is the best approach in terms of accessibility.

I feel our main goal as inclusive developers/designers is to put peoples'
needs first (accessibility needs first). SEO is important, but not the
primary goal.

It is also important to remember that nothing on a webpage is inherently
visual (Lewis, C. 2013
http://www.fcc.gov/events/accessibility-innovation-initiative-speaker-series-presents-clayton-lewis-future-inclusive-de).
As other people of mentioned page hierarchy consistency is the best way to
communicate the page's structure to people who are non-visual.

Specifically,  "<h5>Left Hand Navigation</h5>" doesn't really mean anything
to someone using a screen reader. With styles turned off, that block of
navigation will just fall in the flow of the page. It will be neither on
the right nor the left. It will just be there.

I would suggest that use functionally specific content for the headings
like, main navigation, secondary navigation or archives or whatever. Try
not to define your blocks in reference to something visual.

Through html structure you are not only communicating to eventual
non-visual users of your site, you are also communicating to future
maintainers of the site.

In my opinion, the best way to know if your decisions on the the h5s and
h6s works as you think it should is to test it with some people who use
screen readers. And then document your decision for your development team.

Again, thanks for asking this important question.

Taliesin L. Smith


On Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 9:27 AM, Oscar Cao <oscar.cao@live.com> wrote:

> 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>
>
> </header>
>
> <div>
>
> <nav role=”navigation”>
>
> <h5>Left Hand Navigation</h5>
>
> <ul>…</ul>
>
> </nav>
>
> </div>
>
> <section role=”main”>
>
> <h1>main heading</h1>
>
> <p>…</p>
>
> <h2>second level heading</h2>
>
> <p>…</p>
>
> <h3>third level heading</h3>
>
> <p>…</p>
>
> Etc…
>
> </section>
>
> <aside class=”side”>
>
> <h6>Some heading</6>
>
> </aside>
>
> <footer role=”contentinfo”>
>
> <h6>Footer Links</h6>
>
> </footer>
>
>
>
>
>
> 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?
>
>
>
> Thanks,
>
> Oscar
>
Received on Sunday, 26 October 2014 08:34:22 UTC

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