No Lists for Navigation?

Using lists for navigation makes it difficult for blind visitors to navigate your site. This came as news to me. I had always thought that lists and nested lists were the most accessible way to code website navigation. The article Navigation in Lists: To Be or Not To Be by Chris Coyier on the CSS-Tricks website has convinced me otherwise.

The author reports that at a January 2011 Refresh event Reinhard Stebner, who is blind, suggested not using lists for navigation but instead use divs and spans. He uses JAWS as a screen reader and said navigation in lists makes it harder for him. Other attendees add that the list structure is not conductive to the screen reader’s logic and that divs and spans are the way to go as they’re invisible to screen readers.

Read the full article to find out what other attendees at the event had to say. Be sure to read the comments at the bottom. There is a great discussion amongst developers about the topic.

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