Understanding 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence
"This criteria aims to ensure that the order of the info and content on your web page is clear for all users."
If the content on your page is not in a "meaningful sequence", screen readers and other assistive technology will read the content in the wrong order, creating confusion and disorientation from users. Please note, this is most important when the order of your content affects the meaning of your content.
This criteria also comes into play when using white space characters (space, tab, line break) instead of appropriate HTML elements. See examples below.
This criteria can mostly be satisfied by thoughtful programming, that is, keeping in mind the order of your content as you develop it. However, there are some failures that can occur outside of the norm.
Common failures for this criteria include:
- Using white space characters to format HTML tables, instead of using headers.
- Using tab to format lists instead of the appropriate list HTML element.
- Using white space characters to control letter spacing instead of the letter-spacing CSS property
Our biggest tip for checking this criteria on your page is to remove styling from your page and read through your content to ensure it is laid out in a meaningful way. Then add your styling to the page and make sure the sequence is maintained.