Re: NVDA cursor automatically placed in conversations list in gMail standard view

Nimer Jaber


While I find the standard view of Gmail different, I don't find it to be worse than the Basic HTML. In fact, I find it allows for much greater productivity and functionality. We've discussed this on the chat subgroup, but I'll address it again here, as this topic has come up.

Gmail is a web app, and many individuals aren't used to, nor have they learned how to interact with web apps. I recommend learning about web apps, even if you choose not to use them, as they can make the use of many sites much easier. Examples are Twitter, Facebook, Google Calendar,, Office 365 and Google Workspace, etc., etc. As a screen reader user myself, I've been using the standard view of Gmail for years, and find that it allows me to be quite productive, as much or more than many common mail programs, for instance. While I provided technology training, I discovered that web apps make students' lives easier in the long run as well, as they are forced to learn, early on, about the various modes of screen readers which, while potentially confusing, leads to a much better awareness of the power of the screen reader. In addition, they will work with most any screen reader and browser combination, and will do so without any setup, thus making it much easier for individuals who need to transition to a new version of an app, or a new computer. Gmail's web interface requires keyboard shortcuts to be enabled for the first time. Once enabled, they don't require enablement again. Any labels/folders created will always be there, any preferences you set up, including signatures, will be there, so on and so on.

While I completely understand that change is difficult, that Gmail's web interface is different, that in some instances, you may prefer mail programs for accomplishing a specific task, web apps don't have to be so scary, and can be beneficial should you take the time to get accustomed to using them. And, at the end of the day, if you learn them and don't like them, go back to what you were using before. But you will have gained a better awareness of how to interact with web apps, and how to interact better with your screen reader.

And, to answer the question that started this thread: NVDA automatically goes into focus mode and places you in the list of emails, similar to a mail program. If any alerts appear on screen, you should hear them spoken verbally. One such alerts is to enable notifications.

On Tue, Sep 27, 2022 at 3:59 PM Louise Pfau <louise.pfau@...> wrote:
Hi.  Gmail appears to have just phased out the basic html view, so I have to use the standard view now.  I noticed that when I log in, NVDA is automatically placed in focus mode, and the cursor is placed in the conversation list.  Is there a way to set NVDA to place the cursor at the top of the page, so that you can see if there is other important information?  With the basic html view, that's how it worked.  In my opinion, the basic html view worked better with a screen reader.




Nimer Jaber

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