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Overview of Guidelines Evaluation

From: Chetz Colwell <C.G.Colwell@herts.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 17:49:12 +0000
Message-Id: <l03102800b13c38ef6642@[]>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Dear All,
Below is an overview of my current work with the WAI page author
guidelines.  This outline was presented at the recent WAI meeting at CSUN
by my colleague, Sarah Morley.  I am posting it here for information.

Please contact me with any questions, comments etc.


Overview of evaluations of the WAI Page Author Guidelines & Checklist

Chetz Colwell and Helen Petrie
Sensory Disabilities Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire
Hatfield, AL10 9AB
Tel: +44 1707 284630, Fax: +44 1707 285059
{c.g.colwell | h.l.petrie}@herts.ac.uk

It is important to evaluate guidelines for two reasons.  Firstly to test
whether they provide sufficient and relevant advice to the person using
them, and secondly to test whether the result is usable by the intended
users.  This study will evaluate both of these aspects of the WAI Page
Author Guidelines.

This study involves both Web page authors and blind people.  The two aims
of the study are to investigate:
a) whether Web page authors are able to use the Guidelines effectively for
designing new pages and adapting existing pages;
b) whether Web pages that are designed to the Guidelines are accessible to
blind people.
In order to investigate the use of the Guidelines and Checklist two groups
of students will use them to design or evaluate web pages.  Blind people
will then evaluate the students' Web pages in order to examine whether the
pages are accessible.

Two groups of students who are learning about the Web have been recruited
from Computer Science and Human Computer Interaction courses.  Under
experimental conditions the two groups will be given tasks which will
involve both designing new pages and adapting existing pages.

These pages will then be made available on the Web and will be evaluated by
blind people with different levels of experience of the Web, and using
different combinations of browsers and screenreaders. The task will involve
visiting the Web site and then completing a questionnaire giving their
opinions and experiences of the accessibility of the site. This evaluation
by blind people will investigate whether the students' interpretation of
the Guidelines and Checklist produce accessible Web pages.

Chetz welcomes any input from the WAI in the form of suggestions and comments.

Chetz Colwell
Sensory Disabilities Research Unit
Department of Psychology
University of Hertfordshire
AL10 9AB
Tel: +44 1707 284630
Fax: +44 1707 285059
e-mail: c.g.colwell@herts.ac.uk
Received on Wednesday, 25 March 1998 14:38:05 UTC

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