3.5 Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc.
WAI Checkpoint 13.8
Full WAI text: "Place distinguishing information at the beginning of headings, paragraphs, lists, etc." Provide concise up-front information.
Users come to web sites to find specific information or functionality and have little time to waste. Content should be presented in such a way that makes it easy to scan.
Visually reading online content is tiring and uncomfortable for most users but for users with low vision, it can be painful.
Users prefer to scan through headings, titles, paragraphs and lists to quickly find what they want. Scanning is made easier when the purpose and content of each chunk of content on the page is communicated at the beginning of each chunk.
Directions and Techniques
State the topic of the sentence or paragraph at the beginning of the sentence or paragraph
This will help users who visually skim or who use screen readers. Screen reader users skim by jumping from heading to heading, or paragraph to paragraph, listening to just enough to determine whether the current chunk of information (heading, paragraph, link, etc.) interests them.
Use meaningful, concise headings and link descriptions
Link titles should make sense when read out of context or as part of a series of links (Some users browse by jumping from link to link and listening only to link text.) Meaningful headings help users scan a page quickly for information.
Involve a technical writer and work to a style guide
If you publish a lot of content, you should involve a technical writer or a trained editor and set up an editorial process, involving a style guide to ensure that content is always well written.
How you could check for this:
There are no specific test methods recommended for this guideline.