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Thread: Should't I use Accesskeys?

  1. #1
    WebProWorld MVP Webnauts's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    European Community

    Should't I use Accesskeys?

    I am redesigning my website and I began implementing the accesskeys, using numbers instead of letters, to avoid conflicts as described here:
    Accesskeys and Reserved Keystroke Combinations

    But now I discovered that using numbers for accesskeys is not the solution:
    More reasons why we don't use accesskeys (accesskeyconflicts)

    And after all, I am now confronted with the solution below:
    Link Relationships as an Alternative to Accesskeys

    What do you think?
    John S. Britsios (aka Webnauts), UX & Semantic Search Consultant.

  2. #2

    A reason for avoiding accesskeys

    I've just had an enlightening meeting with a JAWS user (for those who don't know, JAWS is one of the most popular screen readers for visually impaired computer users). I listened to JAWS reading a prototype web site that included accesskeys. It read the accesskeys out loud after each link, which sounded very odd and didn't make much sense to the user. When I explained to him what they were, he mentioned that JAWS uses both letter and number keys as short-cuts and they would be quite likely to conflict.

    So it seems that if I add accesskeys to aid users with motor disabilities then I create confusion and conflicts with browser key strokes for visually impaired users.

    I think that, for now, I'm going to take the accesskeys out.

    I'd be interested to know if anyone has had any positive user feedback on accesskeys.

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