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menu / link location for accessibility?

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 5:27 pm
by raging storm
Concerning accessibility for sight impaired users, I read on the Compass Designs tutorial that a text reader would scan your page from the left modules, main area, then right modules.  I currently have my main menu on the right, and my news blocks on the left.  This was in part out of respect to the previous version of my site, which had a 2-column design with news on the left, and no main menu other than a topmenu. 

My question is, is it better to have latest news type modules or main menu links in the left column?

Also in my left column are my virtuemart modules, some of which are unpublished until my store is more fleshed out.  But what I've got on the left would be read first for most of my pages, and also wouldn't change.  Things like latest products, featured products, and shopping cart for example.  Should these move to the right to avoid being read a dozen times by a text reader?

thanks

_J

Re: menu / link location for accessibility?

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 9:23 am
by absalom
raging storm wrote: Concerning accessibility for sight impaired users, I read on the Compass Designs tutorial that a text reader would scan your page from the left modules, main area, then right modules.  I currently have my main menu on the right, and my news blocks on the left.  This was in part out of respect to the previous version of my site, which had a 2-column design with news on the left, and no main menu other than a topmenu. 
Screen readers don't do this. They parse linearised.. which means if the template is designed with the left first, then the main content, then the right area, then and only then would it read it out. I're replicated this numerous times with JAWS and other screen readers (apart from when in link mode - which is basically speaking out what links are in the page).
raging storm wrote: My question is, is it better to have latest news type modules or main menu links in the left column?
The ideal solution would be to have the main menu, then latest news, on the proviso that there is a skip to content function.
raging storm wrote: Also in my left column are my virtuemart modules, some of which are unpublished until my store is more fleshed out.  But what I've got on the left would be read first for most of my pages, and also wouldn't change.  Things like latest products, featured products, and shopping cart for example.  Should these move to the right to avoid being read a dozen times by a text reader?
Potentially.

Re: menu / link location for accessibility?

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 3:57 pm
by raging storm
I think I understand.  So if the code was ordered main, right, left, that is the order it would be read in, without re-ordering the site, right?

Re: menu / link location for accessibility?

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2006 11:25 pm
by absalom
Right.