Accessible Navigation

· 390 words · 2 minute read

Keyboard navigation is key to allow all users navigating your page.

Many users rely on their keyboards to navigate. This could be due to a motor disability, or a personal preference for using keyboard shortcuts. In fact, some users might use alternative input devices that mimic keyboard functionality. Without keyboard navigation, these users could find it difficult or even impossible to use your website.

The cornerstone of keyboard navigation is keyboard focus. When a user can “tab” through the elements on a page (such as links, forms, and buttons), those elements are “focusable”. A visible focus indicator is also important, as it allows users to see where they are on the page.

Here are some tips to implement keyboard navigation:

1. Use Semantic HTML: Semantic HTML elements like <button>, <a>, <form>, and <input> are focusable, so they automatically work with keyboard navigation. Use them, and avoid creating custom interactive elements if a semantic HTML element can do the job.

2. Ensure a Visible Focus Indicator: Most web browsers have a default focus indicator, but it might not be clearly visible on all websites. Ensure your design includes a clear and visible focus indicator. You can use CSS to customize the appearance of the focus indicator.

3. Mind the Order: The tab order should follow the logical reading order of the page, usually from left to right and top to bottom in languages that read in this direction. This can be controlled by structuring your HTML in a logical order.

4. Avoid Tabindex > 0: Using tabindex="0" allows elements to be focusable in the order they appear in the HTML. However, using a tabindex greater than 0 can disrupt the natural tab order and create a confusing experience for keyboard users, so it’s best avoided.

By considering all users in your web design and development process, you’re contributing to a more inclusive digital world. Remember, an accessible website is not just beneficial for users with disabilities—it improves the user experience for everyone.

  1. Web Accessibility, a short introduction
  2. Understanding the Power of Semantic HTML Tags for Web Accessibility
  3. Mastering ARIA: Harnessing the Power of Accessible Rich Internet Applications
  4. Inclusive Design: A Guide to Implementing Adequate Color Contrast on Your Website
  5. Accessible Navigation: The Importance of Keyboard Navigation and How to Implement It
  6. Auditory Accessibility: Incorporating Captions and Audio Descriptions in Multimedia Content