SCULPT for Accessibility

Structure (use headings and styles)

What is structure?

The structure of a document is the way content is organised. To organise and structure content you need to apply in-built headings and styles.

This is one of the most important things to do to a document, especially if it is a long document.

Why do it?

When we read documents, especially long ones, we don't often read them start to finish, or word for word, we often skim them first to see what's in them.

Such as, we often look at what the main sections or topics are. It helps us navigate and get to the information we want to find.

Think of it like skimming chapters of a research book, a contents page in a magazine or a menu on a website to get to the page or article you want.

People who use a screen reader, or those who are unable to use a mouse equally want to be able to navigate content in the same way. 

Structure using headings can provide a navigation so that all users, including those on assistive technology can quickly get to the content they need without having to read everything word for word before they get to it.

This navigation from using headings appears as a menu they can easily tab through to get to where they need. This is easy to do when creating documents and content.

How to do it

A structure means adding headings such as Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3. Adding these creates a map or navigation menu of headings and sub-headings for screen readers to follow.

Take a look at our guide

 How headings work and how to apply them