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Page titles

What to do

A page should have a short title that describes its topic and sufficiently distinguishes it from other pages.

Why it matters

Descriptive titles allow users to determine what page they are on.

Examples

Better page titles

  • Center for Academic Excellence | Appalachian State University
  • About | Center for Academic Excellence

Poor page titles

  • Welcome to home page of Center for Academic Excellence
  • Center for Academic Excellence | About Us

Headings

What to do

Sections should be identified with headings. Headings should be formatted with heading elements, as opposed to using font size or styles. Headings should not be used for formatting alone. Headings should be properly nested (i.e., don't jump from heading 1 to heading 3).

Why it matters

Headings allow assistive technologies to navigate page structure and more quickly find the content of interest, similar to the way a sighted user scans the page to look for large, bold text.

Examples

Better headings

Section 1 (formatted with Heading 1 markup)

Paragraph text.

Section level 2a (formatted with Heading 2 markup)

Paragraph text.

Section level 3a (formatted with Heading 3 markup)

Paragraph text.

Section level 3b (formatted with Heading 3 markup)

Paragraph text.

Section level 2b (formatted with Heading 2 markup)

Paragraph text.

Poor headings

Section level 1 (formatted with a bold font instead of Heading 1 markup)

Paragraph text.

Section level 3 (formatted with Heading 3 markup, level 1 and 2 skipped)

Paragraph text.

Paragraph text. (formatted with Heading 2 markup only to make text bigger)

Lists

What to do

List content should be formatted as numbered or bulleted with list elements, as opposed to manually entering numbers or asterisks.

Why it matters

Assistive technologies can allow users to navigate from list to list or item to item.

Examples

Better lists

  1. List level 1 (formatted with numbered list markup)
    1. List level 2
      1. List level 3
      2. List level 3
    2. List level 2

Poor lists

* List level 1 (formatted with a manually entered asterisk)

* List level 2 (formatted with tab and manually entered asterisk)

* List level 2

Content references

What to do

Content should not only be referenced by shape, size, sound, or location.

Why it matters

People who have visual impairments can locate content that is specified by label using assistive technologies, as opposed to content that is only referenced by its appearance or location.

Examples

Better content references

Use the list of links below with the heading Related Articles to navigate to additional resources.

Poor content references

Use the list of links below to navigate to additional resources.


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