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4. Skip Nav

A “Skip Navigation” solution is present for pages with repeated navigation.

If the webpage has a header navigation, then a method needs to be provided to skip past it and directly to the content. This way a keyboard only user can bypass the navigation that appears on every page and go directly to the unique page content. Rarely, some pages may not have a main navigation, and in that case, a skip navigation link is not necessary. 

Most websites will hide the skip navigation link until focused upon, and this is perfectly acceptable. To test, press the tab key to highlight the first link on the page, which should be the skip nav link, which must become visible if it was not already. Then activate that link and make sure that the focus is on the body of the page. This can be done by pressing the tab key again and noting that the next link in focus should be now in the body. 

A skip nav link that becomes visible on focus on the Stanford homepage. 

Scoring Guide

  • Pass: There is a skip nav link, it becomes visible on focus, and it correctly targets the unique content on the page.
  • Partial Fail: There is a skip nav link, but the focus shifts to a place on the page that is inappropriate, but still above the body of the page.
  • Fail: There is not a skip nav link that functions as expected. 
  • Not Applicable: The pages do not have a main navigation that requires skipping, or this is downloadable software (Mac, Windows, iOS, etc.) rather than a web page. 
  • Unknown: This should not be used. 

More Information

More information about skip navigation links is available here:

Relevant WCAG Information

Last modified October 30, 2023