> Is there a prevailing wisdom in this matter?
> Content first? Or navigation first?

This is a "jury is still out" issue since nobody has comprehensive
data, just small studies and opinion informed by observation of a
relatively small number of users.

What I think we can say for sure:

1) No matter which way you go, be consistent across the site so users
can learn how your site works and trust it to work the same way as
they move through the site.

2a) Either way, include skip/jump links; but
2b) Include visible skip links where possible or use
invisible-but-accessible skip links (ie. do not use display: none; to
hide skip links as a very large number of users will never be able to
access them). If they are hidden, try to make them visible on focus so
sighted keyboard users can see them.

3) Use meaningful link text and a logical heading structure. Not only
is this just good practice and good for SEO... the
accessibility-oriented reason people say this is that some (many?
most?) screen reader users don't actually read a page from top to
bottom. They use features which extract all the headings or links into
a list; read just that list then use that to jump around content. Once
they identify that they're on the page they really need, then and only
then will they read the whole page.

I will no doubt be corrected for saying this - please note that I am
not saying *all* screen reader users do this. Screen Reader users have
habits which are just as varied as other web users. No two people use
the web in precisely the same way - but overall trends and common
approaches can be identified. Enough disclaimer? :)


--- <http://weblog.200ok.com.au/>
--- The future has arrived; it's just not
--- evenly distributed. - William Gibson

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