Accessibility Checking for Large Sites

Rocket Validator integrates axe-core version 4.4, into an automated web site scanner.

Elements should not have tabindex greater than zero

A tabindex attribute must never have a value greater than 0 to prevent an unexpected tab order that can give the appearance of skipping some elements entirely.

Using tabindex with a value greater than 0 can create as many problems as it solves. It creates an unexpected tab order, which makes the page less intuitive and can give the appearance of skipping certain elements entirely.

Here are some of the problems that tabindex (with a value of 1 or greater) causes:

  • Unexpected tab order: From the perspective of the user, tabindex changes the default tab order in unexpected ways, possibly causing disorientation.
  • Items can appear to be skipped entirely: Items appear in the tab order only once. If a user tabs past the tabindex items and continues through the rest of the web page, at some point the user arrives at the location of the tabindex items, but the tabbing process skips over these links, because the user already tabbed through them at the beginning of the cycle. Incorrect tab orders are frustrating when users are unable access items, and may not know that (s)he needs to cycle through the entire set of links on the page to reaccess those links.
  • All tabindex items are tabbed to before any non-tabindex items. If you want to change the tab order of the first items AND of a section later in the page, you would need to set the tabindex value for every single item through to the end of the modified section. Taken to a bit of an extreme, if you have 20 links on a page, and if you set the tabindex of one of those links to tabindex="100", the user tabs to that link first, even though there are fewer than 100 links on the page. There is no way to modify the tab order of sections later in the page unless you manually set the tab order of all the links before that section.

Learn more about this accessibility rule at Deque University >>

Other WCAG: Best Practice accessibility rules checked by Rocket Validator