It is important to make lists accessible so assistive technology users can understand the relationship between your list items and the larger context of your digital content.
To make accessible lists be sure to use the list function in the software you are working in. This allows your content to be correctly interpreted by screen readers and other tools.
What is an ordered list?
Ordered lists show readers that the order of your items is significant to the meaning of your list. It is best to use ordered lists when you want to show parts of a whole or steps in a process. These lists are typically shown as a numbered list.
- Do this first.
- Then do this.
- Do this last.
What is an unordered list?
Unordered lists show readers that the order of your items is NOT significant to the meaning of your list. It is best to use unordered lists when you want to group related items together. These lists are typically shown as a bulleted list.
What is a nested list?
Nested lists are lists that are structured within lists. These types of lists can be ordered or unordered, but are used to help further structure information in a way that is easy for an audience to understand.
- Prepare today's fruit salad first:
- Next, prepare the vegetable salad:
- green onions
If you need to create a policy-style outline where your top level list spans more than a page, use a Heading 2 instead of list. The reason for this is that screen reader users will have a very hard time following numerous levels of nested lists across this much content.