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Re: Accesskey - spec proposal

From: Sander Tekelenburg <st@isoc.nl>
Date: Thu, 5 Jul 2007 00:38:50 +0200
Message-Id: <p062406fbc2b1c6678340@[]>
To: public-html@w3.org

At 14:38 -0700 UTC, on 2007-07-04, Maciej Stachowiak wrote:

> On Jul 4, 2007, at 9:03 AM, Sander Tekelenburg wrote:
>> Quite the contrary. Limited screen real estate makes it extra useful
>> to be
>> able to activate things without having to scroll your ass off to
>> locate them first.
> Most web sites achieve this by putting common navigation links near
> the top.

Right after the Flash banner ;)

Navigation menus are usually at the top left, top right, bottom, are
horizontal, vertical, etc. And often there'll be a secundary navigation menu,
placed or at least presented elsewhere to indicate its secundarity.

There's also still much disagreement amongst authors over whether a site's
navigation menu should be at the beginning or end of the document.

In short, there's plenty of variation. Enough to make a '1-click-navigation'

Also relevabnt, I would think, is that although Web users in general are
known to have little patience, I suspect that a mobile user is even less
patient. He's most likely using the mobile because he's not at home in a
comfortable seat, having plenty of time to scroll and search.

Small screens aside, consider also that many users browse sites in languages
that are secundary or tertiary to them. Having icons or terms, consistent
across sites, that indicate common links is helpful for them as well.

Still more general, every sites tries its stinking best to look different.
Makes sense, but it means every site's navigation menu looks different. Many
users have serious problems with that. (Just ask my mom ;)) A UI that's
consistent across sites would make their lives a lot easier, and would still
allow those sites to present things as unique as they like, without losing
customers due to them getting lost and giving up.

>> Imagine a single 'magic' button on your mobile that brings up a menu
>> listing all <a rel="">s. No need to see the web page itself at that
>> moment, so it can take up the entire screen.
> That actually doesn't sound like good UI to me. It's a modal interface
> that hides the contextual information - the whole point of hypertext
> is that the link text is given context by the surrounding text.

Yes, but AFAIK we're talking about sites' general navigation, not about each
and every link. Look at the navigation menus that sites provide. Remove the
rest of the side, and I think you'll see that you don't miss the context. You
know what site you're at, hit a magic button, and now all that you see is
"home, products, search, help, contact, login". That's not confusing at all.

> It
> might still be worth it in some contexts, but it certainly doesn't
> sound like great UI offhand.

Taking up the entire screen would suck on your average desktop browsing
environment, yes. There, something like a toolbar that pops up (like
Mozilla's LINKs Toolbar did, once upon a time) probably works better.

(And on powerful enough devices you can always use a fancy see-though effect,
so the user still sees the site in the background. Think Mac OS X's Dashoard
-- Think Different ;))

> Most modern browsers try to avoid putting excess controls in the UI
> chrome to let the page itself be the focus

Yes, that's exactly the idea! :) When you're interested in a site's
navigation menu, all other content is excess baggage. That's just taking the
same idea to the next level. Bother the user only with what he's interested
in at that moment.

Sander Tekelenburg
The Web Repair Initiative: <http://webrepair.org/>
Received on Wednesday, 4 July 2007 22:45:00 UTC

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