I do not recommend putting the navigation after the content. In fact I would go 
as far as to say it's a really bad practice because it violates every user's 
expectation of where the navigation will be. Using CSS to position it above the 
content makes things even worse because the tab order no longer follows the 
visual order.

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines specifically state that the DOM order 
should match the visual order - see 

I have no problem with the 'Return to top of page' link, although the purists 
would argue that it is merely replicating the function of the Home key. Of 
course tablets and mobile phones don't have a Home key, which sort of 
undermines that argument.


From: li...@webstandardsgroup.org [mailto:li...@webstandardsgroup.org] On 
Behalf Of Kevin Rapley
Sent: 05 June 2012 22:37
To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
Subject: Re: [WSG] WCAG 2.0 compliance and best practise on the "Skip to" 

I agree with the consensus that less is more with the skip navigation links at 
the top of the document. "Skip to main content" in the majority of cases will 
be all you need. If you are getting to a point where by rights you need a skip 
link, to skip the list of skip links, as they have grown so long you know you 
are following a bad path ;)

Another school of thinking is to write the HTML source order so that navigation 
appears after the content, and use CSS to relocate the menu to the top of the 
page for sighted users. Of course you would still benefit from a skip link at 
the start of the navigation menu to skip past it/return to start of content. 
Note, it is a common misconception that users of assistive technologies 
linearly read a web page, when in fact the tools they have at their disposal 
allow them to traverse a page in multiple different ways. For instance, they 
can call out a dialog which lists all of the links on the page, or gain context 
by traversing a semantic document tree of the nested headings on the page. In 
these contexts, skip navigation is largely useless.

This may be overkill, I will be interested to hear opinions, but I also place a 
note with ability to return to the top of the page too:

                                    <div class="accessibility" role="note">
                                                <small>End of page.</small>
                                                <hr />
                                                <a href="#page">Return to top 
of page</a>
                                    </div><!-- / .accessibility -->

I guess this could be extended to have a further link to "Return to start of 
content." The idea with this is to notify the user that they have reached the 
end of the document, and rather than leave them at a loose end, give them 
options to traverse elsewhere.

On 5 June 2012 05:49, Blumer, Luke 
<luke.blu...@ato.gov.au<mailto:luke.blu...@ato.gov.au>> wrote:

Hi All,

We are currently in the process of redesigning our website and are looking into 
the "Skip to" functionality.

We are currently considering using:

  *   Skip to Search
  *   Skip to Primary Navigation
  *   Skip to Secondary Navigation
  *   Skip to Main Content
  *   Skip to Sitemap

We are wondering if there is any information on best practice for the "Skip to" 
function and whether there is a generally acceptable limit as to how many "Skip 
to" links should be used?

We are also wondering whether we should be considering other ways for users to 
navigate around our pages such as AccessKey 
http://validator.w3.org/accesskeys.html and whether this technique should be 
used to reduce the number of "Skip to" links we have listed above?

Is there any native browser functionality that performs any of these functions 
that we should account for?

Thankyou in advance for any advice.


Luke Blumer
Web Project Officer | Corporate Relations
Australian Taxation Office
Phone: 02 6216 2970

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Kevin Rapley / User Experience Consultant
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