Ensure that the data inside a table is semantically encoded in the table.
Why this matters
When table data is properly encoded in
<td> elements, assistive technology (AT) can assist users in interpreting the table both visually and aurally. When this information is missing or incorrectly encoded, the table will be read as a series of coordinates and data, which is difficult to understand.
See Why does it matter if our HTML is semantic?
How to implement
Table data cells are not required to be populated but empty cells tend to confuse users because they don’t know if the cell is empty intentionally or because something broke.
See <td>: The Table Data Cell element on MDN for information on the element.
How to test
- Inspect the page.
- Ensure the table data is encoded in
Screen reader testing
- Listen to the table on the page.
- Ensure the screen reader is correctly attributing the table data to the proper headers.