[thelist] Access Keys

Osaurus osaurus at blueyonder.co.uk
Thu Feb 5 14:44:49 CST 2004

I'd like to raise a quick question on this before it's wrapped up. As
access-key '0' is often assigned to a 'Skip Navigation' anchor, what exactly
is the motive behind this 'Skip Navigation' anchor? I realise that the user
can use this to skip the navigation menu but is it implemented so that the
focus is skipped to the top of the main content (i.e., a <div> element
perhaps) or to the next available link within the main content?

The reason I ask is as follows. I have one website where the relevent
access-key/link takes the user to the top of the main content <div> and then
using the tab-key they can tab through further links in the main content
without having to trawl through the site menu. On a second site I have a
similar system where the 'Skip Navigation' link also takes the user to the
top of the main content <div> yet the next press of the tab-key does not
jump to the next link in the main content but rather the first link in the
document. I realise that this may be a structural (nested <div> elements or
the order in which they're placed) problem to be resolved. I have
'corrected' the problem by assigning the 'Skip Navigation' link to the first
available link in the main content.

Is the 'Skip Navigation' link purely for the purposes of tabbing through
links and therefore missing out the main menu links on each page, or is it
more specifically designed for the users of screen-reading software - for
the same purpose of missing the main navigation but *not* any main content
text before the next link?

Yours curiously,


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Holloway" <daveholloway at spamcop.net>
To: <thelist at lists.evolt.org>
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 6:26 PM
Subject: Re: [thelist] Access Keys

> David Dorward wrote:
> > All of them
> I agree with David completely on this one. I have recently installed the
> German version of Windows 2000 with IE6Deutsch and Firebird0.7Deutsch.
> These browsers all have different shortcut keys so accesskeys really
> should be avoided unless you want to confuse and bewilder your visitors.
> Instead, use numbers (as already suggested) or design the site with
> tight and simple navigation that can be easily accessed quickly using a
> text-browser or a visual browser by using the tabkey.
> Regards
> Little Dave
> -- 
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