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.
Although innovative, floating menus present the following accessibility issues:
- Incorrectly coded menus may not work on screen readers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 – “Keyboard Accessible. Make all functionality available from a keyboard.”
- According to a usability study by Jakob Nielsen, the most effective drop down menus show all options available.
- 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 – “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.”