Navigating a web page quickly

Brian K. Lingard

Dear John & List:

I found a while ago, that when trying to navigate a web page I am unfamiliar with, if customer service says press the green button in the top left corner, I just say I am using speech output. Is it an actual button or a link?
Have also had some pages where they say it is a button, I look for a button and say, sorry page has no buttons my screenreader can find.

Will look usually for a link and find it quickly.

Seems some web authors love using non-standard controls, especially buttons that are not a button to your screen reader!

Have also found that, with some screenreaders, despite you setting them to use screen layout mode, at times they do not seem to do so.


From: [] On Behalf Of
John Isige
Sent: Friday, July 27, 2018 3:35 AM
Subject: Re: [NVDA] "Cart" page with JAWS & NVDA

Agreed. I almost never use the lists; I cannot remember when the last time was
That I used one, though I probably did once. Let us see, headings, sometimes
Landmarks if I remember them, tab, and arrows, and page-up or down if I
know I am skipping some significant text, and find from top of page as
You have thoroughly described, naturally. That is pretty much how I navigate
Pages. Usually stuff like 'n' does not work for me on pages, same with visited
And unvisited links. That is under multiple screen readers, mind you. So to my
mind, you should at least know the commands if for no other reason than
You will know what to do when the ones you find to be easier do not work.

I would not go so far as to say use screen layout under NVDA, but just for fun
I am trying it. What used to happen to me is that if you let it read the page
Automatically, it would read a line of links, but if you used the arrows, it
would only read the first link, and that just messed with my head. But at least
In my quick Facebook test in latest Firefox, it actually read the whole set of
Links with the arrows, so now I am giving it a shot to see what it is like.

On 7/27/2018 0:02, Gene wrote:
This message is long but people may find it useful. In addition, it would be
nice if those who teach enough to be known in the field, would
advocate that teaching be changed as I describe.
I have maintained for almost as long as I have known about these
completely artificial, screen-reader created constructs, that they are
not good to use on unfamiliar pages. Now, you are giving excellent
arguments why they should not be used on familiar pages.
In my strong opinion, people are much better off using the page as the
page. I realize it is the page as presented in the browse mode
buffer, but it is the page as we generally work with it and it and it
is not a completely artificially construct that goes outside of any
unified page-as-structure gestalt, to use a fancy word meaning
picture or mental construction or framework.
It removes the user from the interface and makes him/her reliant on
instructions on how to do this or that thing, as you illustrate in
your example. Just think how much more natural and directly working
with the page, as presented, it is to tell the student, make sure you
are at the top of the page, and then search for the word cart. Repeat the
search if necessary until you get to the cart. Then explain how to
move through the cart. I almost never use amazon so I do not recall
the best ways. In addition, this is true on page after page. What about a
newspaper site where you want to find the editorial section on the
home page. Instead of using the links list, search for edito. Repeat
if necessary.
What about a radio station site? If you want to listen, search for
listen. If you find nothing, search for the word live or the word
click. Using the links list and using first letter navigation to find
the word listen will not do any good if the link says click here to
listen live. Nor will using first letter navigation help when looking
for the word "live." You have to find the word click with first
letter navigation. It makes much more sense to search for words like
listen and live or click using my method. You will find the link
every time because all three words are in the link, just not
necessarily in the limited and arbitrary way this completely
artificial structure imposes on looking for them.
What if you are on an unfamiliar site and all you want to do is get
contact information or use a contact form. From the top of the page,
search for the word "contact." Again, what if the link says click
here to contact us." What if it says, to contact us, use this form,
where "this form" is the link. Best of luck finding it with the links
list. Using search, you will find the word contact and the link is in
the sentence. This also leads to micro memorization of pages. Page x
has something you switch to the headings list to find. Site Y has
something you look for using the buttons list. It is not a natural way
to work with web pages and you are reporting increasing
dissatisfaction with how sites label structures that are not how they
As I say from time to time, blind people shouldn't rely on the
kindness of strangers when navigating web pages.
I want to be very clear on the next point. I am not advocating not
using heading movement to skip navigation links on unfamiliar pages.
Nor am I saying that the skip blocks of links should not be used. Those
uses move you past generally used patterns on a page to get to where
you want. I am advocating against using the links list in examples
such as I give above when you are on unfamiliar pages and want to find
something more specific than the general beginning of text beyond a
usually present structure such as navigation links. In addition, I am
advocating using search for finding something in the links list on
unfamiliar pages where you cannot assume what the link says as the
first word in the link. I am also arguing that in teaching, using the
links list removes the user from the structure of the page and should
never be used or taught until the end of web page navigation
instruction, if the instructor wants to teach it. The more the
student works with the web page, the better.
The links list, this, what I consider, very improper way of teaching
web page navigation has become unquestioned dogma. I did a tutorial
years ago on Internet use. It is the only one I know that tells
users, do not use the links list on unfamiliar pages. If you want to
use it on familiar pages, that's alright but I specifically tell them
not to use the links list when using the tutorial even if they already
are familiar with it.
The other tutorials I have seen teach it near the beginning of teaching
page navigation. It is far past time someone with enough influence in
the field that others will at least pay attention and think, make this
----- Original Message -----
*From:* Brian Vogel <>
*Sent:* Thursday, July 26, 2018 10:05 PM
*To:* <>
*Subject:* Re: [NVDA] "Cart" page with JAWS & NVDA


Thanks. I have figured some of this out but it is still
insane. Being sighted, it is making me crazy that there is a trend
toward making objects look like other objects that they are not. I
cannot fathom why you would make a button visually appear as a link.
I have experienced the reverse, too.

It does no one any good on either side of the equation. I
hate telling a client something like "bring up the list of links" then
use first letter navigation by 'D' to get to that Delete link that is
not, in actuality, a link. I came to the conclusion using the
elements lists and cycling through the various elements.

I still find it strange that the Delete (which is
accompanied by the full name of the item) button also shows up in the
list of form fields. Of course, when I see form field I think edit
box and perhaps that is my problem. I do not think of "form field" as
the generic term for "object that can be interacted with on the page,"
and am starting to think that may be what it actually means.

It does not help when I am trying to "think JAWS" and "think
NVDA" in rapid succession, either, when it comes to terminology.

Brian *-*Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134

/A little kindness from person to person is better than a vast love
for all humankind./

~ Richard Dehmel

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