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Re: Guidelines (context switches)

From: Chris Kreussling <CHRIS.KREUSSLING@ny.frb.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 08:53:25 -0400
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Message-id: <s608b78a.028@ny.frb.org>
>>> <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org> 09/22 9:13 PM > (Charles McCN) >>
... 
prop: Ensure that pop-up windows or changes of window are notified to the 
user before they occur.
<<<
and Guideline A.12.3: Do not use pop-up windows, new windows, or change active window unless the user is aware that this is happening. [Priority 2] 

In the Guidelines documents (both linear and table), the text "Do not use pop-up windows" links to a section in the Techniques document about the design of forms. However, I can find nothing in the Guidelines or Techniques to suggest how I can "notify the user" to make sure they're "aware" that the focus is now elsewhere, or above to move elsewhere if they take a specific action. In other words, how can I indicate that an action - a click, an access-key, following a link - will switch the user from one context (window, field, etc) to another?

A specific example I'm struggling with: I want to provide help for using a form. Ideally, I'd like to provide context-sensitive help, specific to the section of the form (<FIELDSET>) or field the which currently has focus. In many windowing environments, help is provided in the form of a separate, floating window which the user can resize or reposition. As a visual user, I like to place the floating help window alongside the work I'm trying to do, so I see both at once.

This design problem is clearly not specific to Web-based documents or applications. Are there non-visual equivalents or solutions to this?

Thanks

Chris Kreussling
-----
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Received on Wednesday, 23 September 1998 08:56:29 GMT

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