Extraneous Content Interferes with Navigation

Archived Issue

Current Iteration of Issue

Current Iteration as Reference

Short Description

Content not related to main purpose of page interferes with navigation and de-emphasizes the more critical content or function of the page

Long Description

  • Someone using a screen reader generally navigates through a page with a keyboard. There are ways to jump around the page more efficiently such as by type of element and designated landmarks. However, the ability to navigate more efficiently depends on how the creator marked the content in the beginning. Extraneous content can interfere with moving through and finding relevant information.
  • When someone uses a screen magnifier, they are only looking at part of the screen at a time. While someone with enough vision to read a screen without any aid might find it annoying to sort through content they are not looking for, it can be that much harder for someone using a screen magnifier, because they have to sort through a limited portion of the screen at a time.
  • Each page in a site or part of an app should have a specific purpose that the designer can articulate. Each section of the page or app should then have a specific purpose related to the overall purpose of the page or app, whether it be to drill down deeper into more specifics related to the page's purpose, to go to the next step in the app's process, to back up to higher levels of organization, to move to related information on the same level, or to complete tasks related to the current one in the app or related to the content on the current page.
  • Examples of content that does not directly relate to the purpose of the page and that add to the difficulty of navigation with a screen reader or magnifier include social media links and ads. A series of social media links usually adds several keystrokes every time they appear, and using them is not why people came to the page or app in the first place. Furthermore, social media links are frequently unlabeled, meaning a screen reader user has to navigate past a series of links without identifying information. Ads can involve several additional keystrokes, as well as getting stuck in an area and having to find other ways to continue navigating. For someone using a screen magnifier, extraneous content means clutter they have to sift through in order to find what they actually want.

Example of Issue


  • Use less content versus more. Decide if content truly is necessary before adding any.
  • Provide methods for people to easily skip from one piece of content they probably care about to the next, such as headings, landmarks, etc.
  • Make sure someone navigating with a keyboard does not get stuck in added content.
  • Whenever possible, put ads and social media links at the bottom of the code so it will appear to a screen reader at the bottom of the page.
  • Ads are designed to be a distraction. Place them somewhere on the page so they are easier to move past visually and so they do not keep reappearing as someone searches a page.



Impacted Assistive Technology

Screen Reader
Screen Magnifier

Impacted Type of Device