Initial Focus Does not Help with Navigation

Short Description

Initial focus when page loads is on a location other than what a user is likely to want to find

Long Description

    Some pages have specific information a user is most likely to want to access or a particular task to complete, i.e. a log-in page, an article, or frequently changing announcements.
  • There are a number of visual cues indicating where a user should start on a page, such as large print, color, and being set apart by lines or white space. Screen reader software does not access this information.
  • Since the initial activity of the screen reader occurs where the cursor appears, putting the cursor at a location on the page where a user is likely to want to start navigating is a way to indicate the most important information to a screen reader user.

Example of Issue

Example where focus is not used to help user navigate efficiently



Impacted Assistive Technology

Screen Reader
Screen Magnifier

Impacted Type of Device



  • Direct initial focus to where you attract a sighted user's attention visually or to the beginning of a task if the task is the point of the page.
  • If a user might want to do several things on a page, direct focus to the top of the page or the heading level 1.