W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > January to March 2000

Re: Research questions - the underlying issue? (was Re: XML

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2000 10:01:22 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200002011801.KAA01605@netcom.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi, Wendy

I've gotten comments from a couple more of people on the mailing list
about my demo and have made a slight change based on a suggestion
from one of them.  I'm not sure if other people are still looking at
the demo.

What happens now?  Will a discussion on the demo be scheduled?
Also, I was thinking it might be good to schedule a discussion
on the group's using observation as a methodology to get more
understanding of the needs of disabled people when using web p.


> I think the underlying argument that Scott is presenting is that someone 
> needs to research, develop, and test the most effective user interface for 
> people who are blind.
> The discussions of this issue have been confusing because we have been 
> looking at solutions without clearly stating the question.
> If the question is, "what is the most effective user interface for a 
> person who is blind to access the Web?" I don't believe we can point to a 
> widely used, concrete solution.  There are many variables involved:
> 1. user agents,
> 2. assistive technologies,
> 3. individual differences and preferences,
> 4. various markup solutions,
> 5. technological changes over time,
> 6. combinations of all of these variables.
> The crux of this issue is not dynamic versus static delivery.  There are 
> two issues:
> 1. fundamental research in how people who are blind access information is 
> a research question that needs to be answered.
> 2. what is possible today and what is expected to be possible in the 
> future are very different.
> Scott, your experience watching users who are blind access your example 
> pages is very useful.  I would like to see your results generalized and 
> not interspersed with proposed solutions.  We need usability information 
> on individual differences of people with disabilities.  This information 
> could greatly improve how user agents and assistive technologies support 
> user interaction with information.
> Dynamically generated pages is a technique to address a current need. I 
> believe many folks on this list are anticipating future needs and are 
> reluctant to press authors to do so much work today that they will not 
> need to do in the future.  However, there is also the need of people who 
> need to access information <em>today</em>.  Although, Scott is primarily 
> addressing an ease of use issue (priority 3 or priority 2) and we still 
> have lots of work to do to bring the Web into conformance with at least 
> Priority 1 items.
> The future is an idealistic place where user agents and assistive 
> technologies work seamlessly together to provide an easy to use auditory 
> user interface (or braille user interface) that is not confined by or an 
> interpretation of the graphical user interface.
> Therefore I propose that the following things happen:
> 1.  Scott, please write a proposal for the WCAG techniques document that 
> uses W3C technologies to create dynamically generated pages.  I anticipate 
> that this proposal will include example markup as well as general 
> information about how to structure the page (formed from the results from 
> your observations).  Look at CC/PP [1] to see if this is in synch with 
> your ideas.  Some mobile groups are already using gateways to perform XSLT 
> transformations based on device type.  Show us how to do something similar 
> based on a user profile of preferences.
> 2. People have been investigating auditory user interfaces for years (see 
> the International Community for Auditory Display (ICAD) [2] for more 
> information).  We need to ensure that the User Agents working group is 
> aware of these projects.  (However, none of these have caught on like the 
> GUI. I anticipate we will see more auditory user interfaces with the 
> adoption of mobile applications).  Therefore, the discussion of this topic 
> is best suited for the UA working group list.
> 3. What about research into braille user interfaces?  Off the top of my 
> head I can not think of any research projects that have investigated 
> this.  What am I forgetting?  Again, the UA working group list is a better 
> venue for this discussion.
> 4. It would be great if we could verify Scott's results or discover other 
> general principles with formal testing and research.  Any volunteers?  I 
> believe the WAI Interest Group list is the best venue for this discussion.
> 5. People need to document observations of people with various 
> disabilities accessing the Web.  This information is valuable for several 
> reasons:
> a. we need to identify the technological problems - is this an assistive 
> technology problem, a user agent problem, or a problem with the 
> markup?  Once identified we can pass the problem on to the appropriate 
> group/organization.  Some of this information is appropriate for our user 
> agent support page.  This topic spans both this list and the UA working 
> group list.
> b. where there are general principles that we can apply to user agents or 
> page markup, we need to pass that information on to the appropriate 
> group/organization.
> thoughts?
> --wendy
Received on Tuesday, 1 February 2000 13:04:24 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:31 UTC