Millions of Americans are unable to use a mouse for various reasons. To give you an idea of what it’s like, ditch the mouse (and trackpad) and try to navigate using only your keyboard.
How to navigate a website without your mouse.
Let us introduce you to the “tab” key. It will move you around to things that can receive focus like links, buttons and parts of a form. Press the “enter” key to interact with it. “Shift + tab” will move you backwards.
Things to consider during your quick test:
- The item you tabbed to should have an obvious style like a blue border or color change.
- The items should remain in the order as they appear on the page.
- You should not be jumping around the page.
- You should be able to avoid repetitive content (like the main navigation) using a skip link. A skip link will only appear when you tab to it. You cannot get to a skip link using a mouse.
If you are able to use only your keyboard to clearly move around the page and interact with it, then the website passed the quick test. If your test was unsuccessful, you now understand the frustrations some people feel when they are unable to navigate. This is a great exercise that anyone can do to quickly test for accessibility.
We keep accessibility in mind at Laughlin Constable by designing and developing websites so that people with disabilities can navigate, interact with and understand. Everyone should have equal access to the information on the web. We encourage you to learn more about web accessibility and how you can bring awareness. Visit WebAIM.org to learn more.