Navigating a website may be a simple as clicking few links where the website is small such as a new conference website. The same process will be complex in case of large websites having hundreds and thousands of pages. A retail shopping website can have thousands of products having detailed description of each product in a separate page. A large banking website may have information about their products, services, branch information and many other details for their customers and potential customers. Navigating to a particular web page in these large websites may be complex if some specific easy navigation mechanisms are not maintained.
WCAG success criteria 2.4.5 Multiple ways requires website authors to maintain functionalities that can allow users to quickly navigate to the required page. The techniques that are proposed by WCAG Working group as sufficient techniques are as follows. Further WCAG requires to have two or more of the following techniques to pass this success criteria.
Sufficient techniques for 2.4.5 Multiple ways
- Links to navigate to related web pages (G125).
- Providing a table of contents (TOC (G64).
- Providing a site map (G63).
- Providing a search functionality to look for required web page (G161).
- Providing list of links to navigate to all other pages of the website (g126).
- Linking all other pages of the website from the home page (g185).
Validation for website navigation
- Open the website on the browser.
- Check if the website is a small or large. Considr a website having 10 to 15 pages as a small website.
- If the website is small, check if all the web pages are properly interlinked. This means users should be able to navigate to any page from any page of the websites with not more than two clicks.
- If such relation is provided, consider this success criteria as passed, else failed.
- If the website is having more pages then check for the availability of the techniques defined above.
- If two or more of sufficient techniques are part of the website, this success criteria is considered as passed, else failed.
There are some exceptions for this success criteria. Consider them before deciding if the success criteria is passed or failed.
- If the page is a result of a multistep process such as confirmation screen of a third party transfer in a banking website, such page can be exempted.
- If the page is a step within the process of multistep process, e.g. cart summary on a retail website in the process of check-out, such pages can be exempted.
- If certain pages can only viewed by the logged in users where the current test is only for non-logged in user, this success criteria does not apply for such pages.