Friday, June 28, 2002

Making your weblog more usable

Day 15: Defining keyboard shortcuts. One of the least known features of HTML is the accesskey attribute for links and forms, which allows the web designer to define keyboard shortcuts for frequently-used links or form fields. On Windows, you can press ALT + an access key; on Macintosh, you can press Control + an access key. If the access key is defined on a link, your browser will follow the link; if defined on a form field, your browser will set focus on that field. Internet Explorer has supported access keys since version 4, Netscape since version 6. Older browsers simply ignore them, with no harmful effect. [dive into mark]

If you’re not reading this “30 days to a more usable weblog” by Mark Pilgrim, you’re missing out. This is a phenomnal tutorial on the intricacies of web usability, with remarkable tips and tricks. I can’t believe I can set keyboard shortcuts in webpages – why don’t more sites do this?! Mark’s other tips have been useful – you may not end up implementing all of them, but you’ll learn a ton about challenges faced by disabled (blind, deaf, etc.) web users.

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