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Re: Question About Item in Check list

From: Wendy A Chisholm <chisholm@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 13:56:09 -0600
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Our first attempt at phrasing a guideline was a narrow look at links.   We
were trying to make serial access (i.e. speech) as efficient as possible.
Thus, if you have a list of links and the information that makes that link
unique appears first, you should be able to more quickly select the
appropriate link.  For example, if i have a list of links to chapter
headings, front loading the links with "chapter 1 - style sheets, chapter 2
- links, etc." slows down a user.  They have to listen to repetitive
information ("chapter") before getting to the meat of the link (chapter
name).  On the other hand, if we did something like, "Style sheets -
chapter 2, Links - chapter 3, etc." they get the meat first.  This is not
the best example, but it should illustrate the problem.  

We were especially concerned about links because we've found that users of
screen readers often tab through the links on the page as a way of skimming
the contents.  Upon further discussion we realized the statement applied to
more than just links in lists.  Thus, we broadened the recommendation to
(hopefully) include  "Good advice which can become critical under the
stress of adverse access conditions."

Are there other issues that we need to be aware of in regards to this
guideline?  Is it helpful?  Necessary?  Could it possibly create other

wendy chisholm
researcher - human factors engineer
trace research and development center
university of wisconsin - madison, USA
Received on Thursday, 15 January 1998 14:58:25 UTC

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