I agree that every page in a site should have a unique TITLE, and that every page should have one and only one H1 element, but should the text of each H1 be completely unique too?
Instinctively one would think so, but there are potentially many cases where (IMHO) mind this doesn't make sense and attempting to do so will impair the user experience & presentation of the page - for example, where pages are part of a closely related cluster, e.g. a multi-step process/tool/wizard.
Surely the process name should go in the H1 (e.g. "Pregnancy Planner"), and the current step you're on should be marked up as a H2 (e.g. "Step 1 - Trying for a baby"), rather than shoehorning both into a single H1 together (e.g. "Pregnancy Planner - Step 1 - Trying for a baby")?
Not only does this make the H1 rather long and potentially impact the presentation of the page, I would argue that in combining both into one you also lose semantic goodness, as the page is surely semantically richer by keeping parent (process) and child (step) as separate, nested headings?
Furthermore, the current proposal I have read is that on the first page the H1 should be the name of the process and the first step an H2, but on subsequent pages the same text should not be a H1 at all (just text styled exactly the same as an H1) and the current step should become the H1 instead. For me this is introducing unnecessary complexity to the page authoring/production process, and inconsistency in the semantic structure of the pages within the stepped process.
So it all comes back to the basic assertion that each H1 must be completely unique, which I question. Can you convince me that this should be so and that the cost/complexity of implementing this (especially in situations such as that above) is worth it?
Your thoughts please...