Page Structure

Headings and Subheadings

Headings and subheadings organize your content and are important for usability and accessibility. People with limited or no vision depend on screen reading software to read aloud the text that appears on the screen. Using headings properly provides a hierarchy of content that allows users to navigate more efficiently.  

Adding Headings in the CMS

Pre-formatted headings are available in the CMS in the Format dropdown of the WYSIWYG editor.

format dropdown menu showing heading styles

Using Headings Correctly

Bold Formatting vs. Pre-formatted Headings

This is Bold Text Being Used Incorrectly as a Heading

If you bold paragraph text to create the look of a heading, a screen reader will still read it as paragraph text. This is not helpful for someone using a screen reader. Instead, use a heading from the Format dropdown in the CMS .

This is a Pre-formatted Heading Used Correctly (Heading 5)

Conversely, do not use a heading style to make text big and bold if it really is not a heading. The screen reader will read it as a heading and not properly communicate the emphasis you intended. 

Nesting and Order

Have only one H1 heading that encompasses the topic of the entire page. On a Brandeis page, this is your site name

Nest all subsequent headings numerically: H2 follows H1, H3 follows H2 and so forth. You can use a level more than once, but do not skip a level.

Heading 1

Heading 1 is your Site Name on Brandeis pages. Do not use Heading 1 in your main content area in the CMS. 

Heading 2

Heading 2 is your Page Title on Brandeis pages. Heading 2 will almost never be used your main content area in the CMS.

Heading 3

Heading 3 can be used in your main content area. It will usually be the first heading you use on any CMS page.

Heading 4

Heading 4 can be used in your main content area. It should be nested below Heading 3.

Heading 5

Heading 5 can be used in your main content area. It should be nested below Heading 4.

Heading 6

Heading 6 can be used in your main content area. It should be nested below Heading 5.

What's it Like to Use a Screen Reader? Try out a screen reader simulator. If you have a MAC, you can turn your built-it screen reader VoiceOver on or off by pressing command+F5.