Understanding WCAG 2.0

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Multiple Ways:
Understanding SC 2.4.5

2.4.5 Multiple Ways: More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process. (Level AA)

The intent of this Success Criterion is to make it possible for users to locate content in a manner that best meets their needs. Users may find one technique easier or more comprehensible to use than another.

Even small sites should provide users some means of orientation. For a three or four page site, with all pages linked from the home page, it may be sufficient simply to provide links from and to the home page where the links on the home page can also serve as a site map.

  • Providing an opportunity to navigate sites in more than one manner can help people find information faster. Users with visual impairments may find it easier to navigate to the correct part of the site by using a search, rather than scrolling through a large navigation bar using a screen magnifier or screen reader. A person with cognitive disabilities may prefer a table of contents or site map that provides an overview of the site rather than reading and traversing through several Web pages. Some users may prefer to explore the site in a sequential manner, moving from Web page to Web page in order to best understand the concepts and layout.

  • Individuals with cognitive limitations may find it easier to use search features than to use a hierarchical navigation scheme that be difficult to understand.

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

(none currently documented)

Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 2.4.5 by the WCAG Working Group.

(No failures currently documented)

Key Terms

Web page

a non-embedded resource obtained from a single URI using HTTP plus any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be rendered together with it by a user agent

Note 1: Although any "other resources" would be rendered together with the primary resource, they would not necessarily be rendered simultaneously with each other.

Note 2: For the purposes of conformance with these guidelines, a resource must be "non-embedded" within the scope of conformance to be considered a Web page.

Example 1: A Web resource including all embedded images and media.

Example 2: A Web mail program built using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX). The program lives entirely at http://example.com/mail, but includes an inbox, a contacts area and a calendar. Links or buttons are provided that cause the inbox, contacts, or calendar to display, but do not change the URI of the page as a whole.

Example 3: A customizable portal site, where users can choose content to display from a set of different content modules.

Example 4: When you enter "http://shopping.example.com/" in your browser, you enter a movie-like interactive shopping environment where you visually move around in a store dragging products off of the shelves around you and into a visual shopping cart in front of you. Clicking on a product causes it to be demonstrated with a specification sheet floating alongside. This might be a single-page Web site or just one page within a Web site.


series of user actions where each action is required in order to complete an activity

Example 1: Successful use of a series of Web pages on a shopping site requires users to view alternative products, prices and offers, select products, submit an order, provide shipping information and provide payment information.

Example 2: An account registration page requires successful completion of a Turing test before the registration form can be accessed.

set of Web pages

collection of Web pages that share a common purpose and that are created by the same author, group or organization

Note: Different language versions would be considered different sets of Web pages.