I am assessing the accessibility of a site that uses search facets.

I am having difficulty finding information on how to evaluate search facets, maybe because many sites do not use them too much (Google, for example, does not).

I am making some assumptions that this site is accessible; but I have some reservations.

I am attaching a mockup which shows the tags used (I used the WAVE accessibility tool, but I am not too keen on showing the actual site, for a mixture of reasons).


Essentially, the search facets have h4 headings, with list elements underneath that have links..this seems a nice setup.

The search results, on the other hand, use a table-based layout.

The WAVE tool indicates "there is a table-based layout present". Based on reading this:


It seems a table-based layout is not necessarily inaccessible, and the fact the code does not use th tags seems to be a benefit (pseudo-HTML is below):

/* Search result starts table structure table tr td [Search result 1] */

/* Checkbox Number Cover Image/Title/Material type/Literary Form/Audience/Publisher/Other Title/Button to content/Rating/Tags/Add to Cart/

[end search result 1]

[new tr starts search result 2]

*/ Note there is a radio button where you can select the items

It seems according to the article referenced above, because it is detected as a table-based layout, a screen-reader would read it in code-order...because of that, and the order is logical, it should be okay.

I did notice that Google, Bing, Wikipedia and other search engines seems to use heading tags for search-result titles, and lists for details. Is this the ideal structure?

The other thing I observed is that the tab-order starts with facets, then goes to search-results. In my mind, it seems it would be more logical if the tab order was the search results first.

Thanks so much for any thoughts; I tried to do my homework, but want to confirm my instincts.

Questions: 1.) Should tab order be: a.) search results; b.) facets, in that order, or is it okay that the order is a.) facets b.) search results? 2.) Is it okay that the search results are using a table layout, or should they at some point be converted to the way Google does it (each search result title is a heading, and details below are list items)

closed as too broad by Matt Obee, Mayo, Devin, maxathousand, Izhaki Jan 19 '17 at 23:50

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    Can you clarify your question? I've read your post twice and other than stating you have 'reservations' I don't see an actual question or query you need help with. – DarrylGodden Jan 17 '17 at 6:56
  • I think there are several valid questions here but it needs to be broken up. Making the search filters and facets accessible is quite different from dealing with the presentation of results. – Matt Obee Jan 17 '17 at 9:23
  • I edited my question to provide the two specific questions I am asking; I wanted to show I tried to do my homework :) – Michael Cabus Jan 17 '17 at 12:27