Web checklist

Checkpoint AA3.2.3: *WCAG 2.0 AA* Consistent Navigation

Navigational mechanisms that are repeated on multiple Web pages within a set of Web pages occur in the same relative order each time they are repeated, unless a change is initiated by the user.


Rationale

This checkpoint involves designing a consistent layout that enables users to predict where repeated elements on a Web site should appear. A consistent layout helps users quickly locate elements that appear repeatedly throughout a Web site. For example, a low-vision user may depend on a search field that appears in the same location on each page of a Web site. To better locate the home link in the left navigation area, a low-vision user may depend on the link appearing in the same relative order on each of the Web site's pages.

This checkpoint does not restrict removing or adding content to a page. It requires only that repeated content on multiple pages remain in the same relative order. For example, links may be removed from the left navigation area of a Web site as a user navigates the site. However, the links that are present must remain in the same relative order.

Required development and unit test techniques


To comply with this checkpoint, you must meet the following technique. This technique is defined in WCAG 2.0 Level AA Success Criterion 3.2.3 (link resides outside of ibm.com).

  1. Repeated components: Present repeated components in the same relative order each time they appear.

Note: The examples presented in the techniques are not exhaustive. They are meant to illustrate the spirit of this checkpoint.

General examples

  1. Repeated components: Present repeated components in the same relative order each time they appear.

    To comply with this technique, you must implement all of the following examples.

    General example 1

    Ensure elements have the same relative order.

    A Web page contains a logo at the top of the page, a left navigation area and a search text box in the upper right corner. Each time these elements appear on other pages, they appear in the same relative order. Although several of the site's pages may not contain a search field, the logo and navigation area appear in the same relative order when the search field is not present.

    General example 2

    Ensure elements have the same relative order.

    A Web page contains a left navigation area with links to other pages on the site. As a user navigates the site, links in the navigation area may appear and disappear. However, the links that are present must remain in the same relative order.

    Required unit tests for general development technique 1

    Manually review the content to confirm that all repeated components, such as the left navigation area, list of links in the left navigation, a search text box, link to the home page and so on, appear in the same relative order.


Recommended development techniques

Although you are not required to implement the recommended development techniques in order to comply with this checkpoint, you should review these techniques because they can improve the accessibility and usability of the application. Refer to the WCAG 2.0 Additional Techniques (Advisory) for Success Criterion 3.2.3 (link resides outside of ibm.com) for a list of techniques and examples.


©2011 IBM Corporation

Last updated May 1, 2011.

W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ (link resides outside of ibm.com)
Copyright 1994-2009 W3C (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, Keio University), All Rights Reserved.