Structure and Headings

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.  

Still from video - Web Accessibility 101: Web Headings for Screen Readers

Video: How do headings help users of screen readers?

Using Headings Correctly

Bold Formatting vs. Pre-formatted Headings

This is Bold Text Being Used Incorrectly as a Heading

This is a True Heading Used Correctly as a Heading 5

Nesting and Order

Properly nested headings help a screen reader make sense of the content. Higher numbered headings should be nested under lower numbered headings, starting with Heading 1. There is typically only one Heading 1, often the web page or document title. You may repeat levels, but do not skip levels. For example:

Language Studies - 1

Asian Languages - 2

Chinese - 3

Japanese - 3

Germanic Languages - 2

Danish - 3

German - 3

Slavic Languages - 2

Czech - 3

Polish - 3

Russian - 3