The user of heading with proper semantic markup is one of the basic principles of web accessibility. Why is the use of headings so important?
Who benefits from Headings?
- Individuals who are blind or visually impaired often choose to browse a webpage by headings. This gives them a good idea of what is on the page and of what material on the page is most important. It is a far quicker process than reading a page line by line or even link by link.
- Individuals who can only use the keyboard for navigation can browse a webpage much faster if the page contains proper headings.
- Individuals who have difficulty organizing and prioritizing materials they encounter on a webpage can better understand the page as they see its organization reflected by the proper use of headings.
Some considerations for Headings
- Use proper semantic markup. Headings need to be identified by <h1> through <h6> tags. Styling for visual effects can be done through CSS, but style alone does not constitute true headings. Proper semantic markup is essential for assistive technology to recognize headings.
- Follow a logical outline in organizing the content on your page. Use logical heading levels to delineate main points and subpoints of your material.
- Don’t skip heading levels on a page. For example, try not to go from a level 2 heading to a level 5 heading. Remember – it’s all about organization and consistency.