I'm researching whether to add accesskeys to our site and was wondering if they are commonly used nowadays for accessibility. I checked out the source code on a dozen or so large websites and didn't see them used in any of the sites. Is it considered best practice to implement them for navigation, search, etc.?
Keyboard access is on the way down. My suggestion would be. If your site is like a forum or a game, where a user may constantly repeat the same actions, then you could help them by providing an access key.
Otherwise only a few buttons such as Search would benefit from it. Here are some concerns from developer.mozilla
Accessibility concerns In addition to poor browser support, there are numerous concerns with the accesskey attribute:
- An accesskey value can conflict with a system or browser keyboard shortcut, or assistive technology functionality. What may work for one combination of operating system, assistive technology, and browser may not work with other combinations.
- Certain accesskey values may not be present on certain keyboards, especially when internationalization is a concern. So adapting to specific languages could cause further problems.
- accesskey values that rely on numbers may be confusing to individuals experiencing cognitive concerns, where the number doesn't have a logical association with the functionality it triggers.
- Informing the user that accesskeys are present, so that they are aware of the functionality. If the system lacks a method of notifying the user about this feature, the user might accidentally activate accesskeys.
Because of these issues, it is generally advised not to use accesskeys for most general-purpose websites and web apps.