Picto thématique

Rule n° 162 - Keyboard navigation is set up in a predictable order.

Many users navigate without a mouse, using the keys of their keyboard: make their life easier.

#Accessibility #Navigation #Development


  • Enable keyboard navigation.
  • Not to confuse the user.
  • Improve the accessibility of content for people with disabilities.


Arrange content in the linear order of HTML code so as to group and logically order the links and form controls that appear one after the other on display and logically order the main navigation and content blocks making up the page.

Where necessary, and as a last resort, use the HTML tabindex attribute to create a specific keyboard navigation order, different from the default order resulting from the organisation of links and form controls in the code.

Specifically manage the keyboard navigation order in the case of a modal window or a widget.


This check is carried out on all the interactive elements, primarily using the tab key and, in the interface of certain widgets, using specific movement keys (arrow keys):

  • Navigate with the keyboard then check that the order of moving from one element to another is identical between the different pages;
  • Check that the moving order is suitable for the content concerned. For example, keyboard navigation in a JavaScript pseudo-popup begins with its close button
  • Check that the order is predictable by the user: except for exceptions, this order must be as close as possible to the reading order, for example up-down and left-right for writing readable from left to right.

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