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taming complexity

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 15:50:12 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199811182050.PAA06909@access2.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
I am sorry I will not be able to join the call this afternoon.

Here is one idea of how to integrate named anchors and intra-page
links into section B.  I think we can consolidate these
techniques a bit if we flow the discussion a little differently.

Quoting from URL

http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WD-WAI-PAGEAUTH-19981117.html#complex-elements

     _________________________________________________________________
                                      
B. Orientation, Navigation, and Comprehension

   Maximize usability by providing context and orientation information
   and simplifying presentations of information. 
   
   To provide context and orientation information means that additional
   information is provided to help users gain an understanding of the
   "big picture" presented by a page, table, frame, or form. Oftentimes
   users are limited to viewing only a portion of a page, either because
   they are accessing the page one word at a time (speech synthesis or
   [138]braille display), or one section at a time (small display, or a
   magnified display).

I don't quite know how to adjust the flow of the document, here, but
there seem to be design practices and rule-of-thumb checks that apply
directly against the issue of scale [make your content navigable
through a peephole] before we get on into intrinsically complex
structures like frames and tables.

Technique: Use named anchors and intra-page links to create
alternate starting points and navigation paths within a page.

Example application: jump around a block of navigation links
Example application: jump to major headline or other logical
	place to start reading the meat of this page.
   
When to do it:
	If the page contains more than [10?] links or [5?] screens, 
	look for sensible interior starting points to make named 
	anchors which can then be jumped to.  
	These are points that, if the page were a little bigger
	or a little more formal, would be in the Table of Contents.
	Make them feasible jump destinations anyway.

	If a block of navigation links or in general the number
	of outbound links that a user has to pass through to
	get to the next chunk of substantive, on-topic-of-this-page
	content exceeds [5?], provide a detour around the links.
	Especially as one is just getting into the page.

Testing tips:
	Understand the tabbing sequence for your pages.  Do
	your named anchors and tab stops break the page up into
	well-balanced steps and chunks?  Do tabbing steps move
	a reader without explanation between contexts?  Us a page 
	information view or list-links in Lynx to review the page 
	for this performance criterion.

Al
Received on Wednesday, 18 November 1998 15:49:09 GMT

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