We're building a web app, to be used on tablet devices predominantly, but desktop too.

We have menu items at the top of the page that have children, I've been told that for good accessibility reasons that it's better to push content down when tapping to show the menu, but a lot of sites still use hover states that 'absolutely' cover content.

This latter functionality would cover content and not allow the user to see content until the menu item is closed. However pushing content down alleviates any potential problems with JS failures etc, still allowing the user to scroll to the content. A good example of pushing content down is the 'more' menu item of tfl or the 'more' section on bbc.co.uk

So my question is - hover over or push content down? What's the best practice for accessibility?

1 Answer 1


Mouse-click is always better than mouse-hover, because mouse-click allows you to support all keyboard users, those who may or may not need accessibility support.

It also helps you transition to touch-based devices like Tablets and Smartphones where you don't use a mouse, i.e. tap triggers the mouse-click.

So benefits all round when you use mouse-click and drop the mouse-over behaviour. This is the accessibility best practice. It is one of the requirements in WCAG 2.0. https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

  • Hi, thanks for the response, however, I was really talking about how to handle content under the menu whilst it's shown, rather than how the menu itself is opened. May 13, 2016 at 15:00

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