We are a seo company with a passion for accessible website design (and naturally search engine optimisation) but we think twice about including access keys to our website because of the issues surrounding them.
The access key attribute, introduced in HTML4.0, is intended to provide keyboard shortcuts in that they provide an alternative form of navigation. This addition allows users with limited physical capabilities to navigate the organisation’s website more easily.
There are some drawbacks with website access keys, for example:
- functionality depends on the type of operating system you are using,
- the attribute is only supported by MS Internet Explorer 4 and above and by Netscape 6x versions,
- with Windows-based systems the user has to press the ‘Alt key’ and the access key, and
- with the Macintosh system the user has to press the ‘Ctrl key’ and the access key
- design defined access keys may conflict with user defined access keys currently in use.
Listed below is the recommended UK Government access keys standard:
S – Skip navigation
1 – Home page
2 – What’s new
3 – Site map
4 – Search
5 – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
6 – Help
7 – Complaints procedure
8 – Terms and conditions
9 – Feedback form
0 – Access key details
Test it out. Hobo at one time used UK Government Access Keys Standard but after much consideration – we removed access keys from the site because of interactivity issues.