Leaving slide mode.

Exploring making site navigation more accessible, with "well-known destinations"

WAI-Adapt Task Force
Matthew Atkinson
Samsung R&D Institute UK

W3C AC 2024
Hiroshima, Japan
hybrid meeting
8–9 APRIL 2024


Please note, this proposal is under construction. Feedback is very welcome.


The Adapt TF is proposing a standard, mechanical, way for sites to state which popular pages they offer.

This allows user agents to automatically discover which of these popular pages a site provides.



πŸ•ΈοΈ Port 80

Well-known locations are a fundamental technique in computing. For example, web servers run on port 80 by default, to make them easily discoverable.

πŸ”Ž "search"

A magnifying glass icon often indicates where you will find the search feature of a site or app.


When we talk about destinations, in terms of popular pages on sites, what do we mean? Well there's the home page….


…the products page…


…the contact page, and so on.


But why do we need to make these pages easier to find? There are several reasons; here is one big one…

Variation in terms

There are many different ways that the action of logging into one's account could be phrased—including in other languages, with which the user may be unfamiliar.

The design of a site may be visually confusing—here is an example of a footer with low contrast.



There's a standard for well-known URLs.

A Well-known URL for Changing Passwords - W3C spec (top of document)

RFC 8615


We (the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group) first learnt of this when reviewing the W3C spec &qout;A Well-known URL for Changing Passwords". The spec is based on an existing standard (RFC) from IETF, and IANA maintains the registry of well-known URLs.

Here are some (but not all) of the well-known URLs we may specify.

Their full URL paths from the root would be like this. We have namespaced them under the path "ia".

ia information architecture

The "ia" path component stands for "information architecture"—this is accessibility and then some.

This also allows us to facilitate more efficient discovery of the pages a site provides.

We don't show users these URLs.

This is just about communication between the user agent, and the web server.

Users won't routinely see these URLs—the purpose of standardising them is so that the user agent and site can communicate about which well-known destinations are offered.

What might it look like for users?

We developed a demo browser extension to show how a UI based on this might look.

Fictional ACME Inc. home page. Extension icon in browser toolbar has a badge that says '6' on it.

Here's the home page of a site. The extension's toolbar icon badge shows there are 6 well-known destinations offered by this site.

The ACME Inc. home page, with the extension pop-up open, showing 6 buttons, each containing emoji and accompanying text names for the well-known destinations offered by the site: home, accessibility statement, contact, help, log in, and products.

This site offers 6 well-known destinations, as shown—in the user's preferred terms— in the extension's pop-up menu.

As with the previous image, but an arrow is shown pointing to the 'log in' destination, indicating its button is to be activated.

If we activate one of the buttons…

The ACME Inc. log in page (called 'Sign in' on the page itself).

…we are navigated to the corresponding page—though the site calls this 'Sign in', the extension called it 'Log in', according to the user's preferred term.

A close-up of the extension pop-up for the ACME Inc. home page, with the 6 buttons, each containing emoji and accompanying text names for the well-known destinations offered by the site: home, accessibility statement, contact, help, log in, and products.

Different sites can support different destinations; this is a zoomed view of the menu for the site we were just looking at.

A close-up of the pop-up for another site, which supports 5 destinations, one of which is new: home, accessibility statement, contact, help, and search.

This site is about providing information, so it doesn't have products, or log in, but it does have a search destination.

Next steps

As mentioned, we're at the beginning of this work. Coming up are these three stages. As part of exploring the minimum viable product, we are thinking about how standard HTML features could be extended to support highlighting the relevant area of the page, once the user gets there.

Join us!

WAI-Adapt Task Force:

Demo extension:

Please join us and participate in empowering more people to use the web independently. Please ask any questions. Feedback is greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading!