Re: Strategies for navigating YouTube comments using NVDA?
Hi Gene,toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
That makes sense that content may be getting dynamically hidden or displayed based on the user's device or position within the site. Good hypothesis! That would explain the seemingly sporadic nature of whether or not I can find the comments section.
As for moving through the comments, that's a good idea about finding something I can search for that is common to each comment. I generally try to use a similar strategy in forums or other feeds by finding an element, be it a button, link, graphic or certain heading, that is common to each post, but unfortunately each YouTube post contains multiple links, UI elements and no headings so that doesn't work so well. I'll try what you suggested and report back. :)
I've also emailed the Google Accessibility team with the suggestion of providing keyboard shortcuts for easy single-key traversal of comments similar to what Reddit has done.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 11:48 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Strategies for navigating YouTube comments using NVDA?
I'd have to look at the comments section for a few videos but one reason you may be having problems is that increasingly, sites change as you move through them. This is to accommodate mobile devices. The whole page isn't shown, but parts of it are and those parts change as you move through the page. On The New York Times home page, for example, a section called something like other news isn't shown when you are at the top of the page.
If I move to something close to where that section would be, to a feature called editor's picks, then move down, by headings since that is the convenient way to move through stories and sections on the site, the other news section opens as I move to it and I can move through it and see that it is there.
That may be happening with the comments section on Youtube.
When you get to the comments section, look above it. What is above it. Is there an item you can conveniently move to or use the search of your screen-reader to move to? If so, and if it is shown on the page when you are at the top, in other words you don't have to have it open as you move down, you can move to it then continue to move and be in the comments section. I'll add that I'm not sure if the comments section will open immediately. You may have to move back to where you were than wait a moment and move down again, just as you may have to on The Times site.
Maybe this is a good system for sighted users, I don't know. It isn't for blind people since you don't know if you are missing part of a page unless you move through it in some way, from article to article, for example. If you find what you want without doing so, that's fine. But you may miss content you might be interested in on an unfamiliar page and not even know that it is available.
As far as moving from comment to comment, once in the section, when you come to the end of a comment, is there an item that is repeated at the end of every comment that will allow you to move from comment to comment by doing an initial search then using the repeat search command if you want to skip to the next comment. The search command is one of the most powerful and least used methods of web navigation by blind people. I suspect that one reason for this is that it isn't taught thoroughly in a lot of training material.
From: Luke Robinett
Sent: Thursday, December 31, 2020 1:30 PM
Subject: [nvda] Strategies for navigating YouTube comments using NVDA?
I find navigating the YouTube comments section on the desktop site using my
Windows machine to be cumbersome. First, getting to the comments section
itself can be a chore. It sits under a level 2 heading but pressing “2” in
browse mode sometimes reports no heading at level 2 and other times it takes
you there as expected. Sometimes it helps to go to the end of the page and
then press shift “2,” but even this seems hit-or-miss.
Once you’ve made your way into the comments section, there doesn’t seem to
be any easy way to quickly move from one comment/reply to the next. Just
pressing control and down arrow to move through elements takes a long time
because each comment has numerous elements – screen name, timestamp, comment
itself, any links or hashtags they may have included, like button, dislike
button, reply button and so on. On the iOS YouTube app using VoiceOver, each
comment is treated as a single object and you can use the rotar to interact
with it, but there doesn’t seem to be anything resembling that behavior with
I pressed question mark to get Google’s list of keyboard shortcuts for
YouTube but they’re all mostly related to controlling video playback. Does
anyone have any tips or suggestions?