DES 2.4 Allow users to easily bypass information

Provide ways to ensure that some people will not be forced to listen to, or tab through, items such as menus and links before getting to the content that they want.

  • Specify that you need 'skip links' that link the main content on the page:
    • The text of the link should be 'skip to page contents';
    • They should be the first thing that appears when the page gets coded.
  • Make the skip link visible if possible:
    • This makes it useful for keyboard users as well as screen reader users;
    • If you can't use a visible link then you can still include a skip link but specify that you want it to be invisible (the developer has various ways of achieving this.)
  • Group related links and objects together and provide a way to bypass the group, e.g:
    • Use headings;
    • For forms specify the use of Fieldset and legend (see DES 5.1.)
  • Specify the coding of accesskeys:
    • These are keyboard shortcuts that can benefit some users;
    • Don't overdo it but provide for major sections and document the accesskeys in an accessibility statement;
    • NB: be careful with the choice of accesskeys because they can cause conflicts with browser software and adaptive technology. this situation is unfortunate as it limits the usefulness and memorability of the accesskeys. a safe option is to use the keys recommended by the UK government in their accesskey standard (see list in examples section), or generally just numbers.
Example of visible skip links - this includes an aditional skip link to another important section

UK Government accesskeys standard:

S - Skip navigation

1 - Home page
2 - What's new
3 - Site map
4 - Search

5 - frequently asked Questions (FAQ)
6 - Help
7 - Complaints procedure
8 - Terms and conditions

9 - Feedback form
0 - Access key details