W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 1998

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?


Chris Kreussling
The views expressed are those of the 
author and do not necessarily reflect the 
position of the Federal Reserve Bank of 
New York or the Federal Reserve System.
Received on Wednesday, 23 September 1998 08:56:29 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:27 UTC