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Definition

A floating menu is one that appears when you roll your mouse over a target area. Floating menus may be found on some service sites such as Box at Penn State and other Web sites.

Potential Accessibility Issues

Although innovative, floating menus present the following accessibility issues:

  1. Incorrectly coded menus may not work on screen readers.
  2. Users with mobility impairment may find it difficult to move the mouse and click on the correct option. The more options in the menu, the more significant the problem.
  3. If only part of the hierarchy is visible at any one time (as with scrolling menus), users with memory or cognitive disabilities may have difficulty locating a given menu.

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Recommendations

  1. If your Web site includes a drop-down menu, ensure that menus can be accessed by tabbing on a keyboard and that users can also navigate through the menu with a keyboard.

    WCAG 2.0 Guideline 2.1 ā€“ “Keyboard Accessible. Make all functionality available from a keyboard.”

  2. According to a usability study by Jakob Nielsen, the most effective drop down menus show all options available.
  3. A text-based menu should also be included in the Web site which can be accessed via a visible link.

    WCAG 2.0 Guideline 2.4.5 ā€“ “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.”

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