Using navigation landmarks
Léonie Watson, Posted on: 27 May 2016
Code, Content, Design
When a sighted person visits a page on the GOV.UK website, they can take it in at a glance. They can quickly identify the header and footer, the main content area and navigation, and other things like a search. Someone who is blind and who uses a screen reader cannot do this, but a feature of the GOV.UK website provides a practical alternative.
Every page on the GOV.UK website includes landmarks. Like landmarks on a map, landmarks on web pages are recogniseable features used for navigation. The landmarks on GOV.UK match the visible features of each page – the header (banner), main content area, navigation, footer (content info) and search area.
How does this help screen reader users?
Screen readers recognise these landmarks and provide shortcut keys for finding them. In this video a screen reader user is moving between landmarks on the GOV.UK homepage. As the screen reader moves to each landmark it announces which bit of the page it has reached.
The transcript for the video is: