Use Yammer with a screen reader

Yammer is a great way to share information, even with people that you’ve never met, but sometimes getting to know a new product can be a challenge if you use a screen reader. If you use a screen reader, this article can help you understand how to navigate in Yammer.

You’ll find descriptions (listed in tab order) of the Yammer page layout, and specific information about how Yammer uses HTML headings and WAI-ARIA document landmarks. We also offer some techniques for navigating Yammer with a screen reader.

In this article

Navigating Yammer pages

Navigate by headings

Navigate by WAI-ARIA document landmarks

Page Layout

Navigating feeds and threads

Navigating your Yammer Inbox

Chat with Online Now

Keyboard shortcuts that you can use in Yammer

Shortcuts for common actions

Shortcuts to control message feed

Shortcuts for site navigation

Shortcuts for messages

Navigating Yammer pages

You can navigate Yammer pages by using headings or WAI-ARIA document landmarks.

Navigate by headings

When you navigate by headings, the network or company name is a heading level 1 that appears in the site banner. All other page areas have a heading level 2. These page areas are:

  • Left navigation bar

  • Main content area

  • Related content panel on the right-hand side (the sidebar)

  • Online Now chat window and each open chat window

Some of these areas also contain headings with level 3 or greater.

Navigate by WAI-ARIA document landmarks

You can also navigate by WAI-ARIA document landmarks. Document landmarks mark the following areas of the page:

  • Site-wide banner

  • Navigation and search areas within the banner

  • Left navigation bar

  • Main content area

  • Related content panel on the right-hand side

  • Page footer

Page Layout

In general, Yammer pages follow a similar layout. The following list shows this layout in approximately the same order that you can tab to them.

  1. At the top of the page is the site-wide banner. The banner contains the name of the Yammer network, which is usually the same as your company name. The banner also contains a navigation bar, which contains the following:

    • Links to your inbox and a new notifications menu.

    • A search bar for searching for people, groups, or conversations on Yammer

    • A menu link titled “More” that contains links to access Files, Groups, the People Directory, pages for editing your profile, and a link to Log Out.

  2. After the site banner area, you’ll find the central area of the page, which can have from one to three panes.

    • Some pages have a left navigation pane, with links to related areas of the site.

    • The main content pane. The main content pane contains feeds and threads, or contains your inbox, which are described in article sections that follow this one.

    • Some pages have a related content pane on the right side, with additional information and options related to the main content.

  3. The site footer follows the central content area. The footer contains a link to change the site language, and links to copyright and privacy information.

  4. The last items on the page are the Online Now chat window, followed by any open chat windows.

Navigating feeds and threads

Yammer is all about conversations; conversations start when someone posts a message or a question and then continue as other people reply to the first message. A message and its replies are known as a “thread.” You can navigate threads by using headings. The initial message in a thread has a heading level 3 and each reply has a heading level 4.

Typically, a Yammer page area contains a collection of threads. This kind of page is called a “feed page”, or just “feed”. For example, the Home page, the All Company page, and pages for interest groups and individuals are feed pages.

Feed pages can contain an area where you can start a new conversation by typing a message. In addition, the Home page contains an announcements area.

Navigating your Yammer Inbox

The Yammer Inbox contains messages that someone sent directly to you, as an individual or as a member of a group. In addition, you might receive messages from a group where you have been mentioned.

The Yammer inbox page has a different layout than the feed pages. Its main content area contains:

  • A Create Message button, which opens a dialog box with a form for creating a new message

  • A search area where you can search the inbox

  • An Unread messages section, containing a list of unread messages

  • A Read messages section that contains a list of messages that you have previously read

The Read and Unread areas have level 3 headings, followed by a list of links that open a new page for each message and its replies.

Chat with Online Now

Yammer lets you chat with other users in your organization in real-time. You can find users to chat with by opening the Online Now window at the bottom of the page. When you open the chat window, Yammer offers a search box for finding people, or you can move down a list of names. To start a chat, just type the person’s name and tab to select it, and Yammer opens a chat window. Each active conversation has its own window that follows (in tab order) the Online Now window. Incoming chat messages from other users appear in a chat window as they arrive.

Chat messages also appear in the Inbox. If you wish, you can disable the live chat feature, and instead access chat messages through the inbox alone.

To disable chat:

  1. Find the main chat window (a heading level 2 near the end of the page).

  2. Click the settings menu button at the top of the window to open a list of options

  3. Select Hide Messages.

Keyboard shortcuts that you can use in Yammer

You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate to specific areas of the site. For example, typing ‘g’ quickly followed by ‘i’ will go to the inbox.

You can also find the list shortcuts at any time from a Yammer page. Just press the “?” key (question mark) anywhere on a Yammer page to open a dialog box that displays the list.

Note: if you are using a screen reader that uses one or more of the keystrokes in the following tables to navigate the page, you may need to change to a different screen reader mode or use the pass-through key in order to use these shortcuts. Additionally, these shortcuts are not active when the keyboard focus is on a control that accepts text input.

The following tables list Yammer shortcuts.

Shortcuts for common actions

To do this

Press this

Search

/

Show keyboard shortcuts

?

Navigate up

k

Navigate down

j

Shortcuts to control message feed

To do this

Press this

Refresh message feed

.

Compose a message

c

Reply to current message

r

“Like” current message

+

Add new topic

t

Shortcuts for site navigation

To do this

Press this

Go to Home page

gh

Go to Inbox

gi

Go to All Company message feed

gc

Open Notifications panel

gn

Shortcuts for messages

To do this

Press this

Expand message list

l

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