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Re: A proposal for changing the guidelines

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2000 08:38:50 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200003151638.IAA01021@netcom.com>
To: phoenixl@netcom.com, unagi69@concentric.net
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Hi, Gregory

OK  Here goes.


Observation:  Jakob Nielsen has been pointing out that sighted users
tend to scan web pages rather than read them.  Their scanning uses
various visual/graphic cues such as color, text size, visual
juxtaposition, location, images, etc, to identify what is probably most
relevant to why they are looking at the web page.  They tend to interact
with a web page more like they would with a page from a magazine or a
newspaper than with a page from a book.

The experience of many blind people is that they tend to be more linear
in their interaction.  Since they do not get the visual/graphic cues, it
is much harder to scan.  Often, blind people will compensate for not
being to scan by tabbing through links.  The problem with this approach
is that they can miss bodies of  text.  Using technology to scan by
structure is a little better, but it can have problems such as needing
to know more about HTML structure than sighted users need to know.  This
increases the cognitive demand on blind users which can start limiting
the number of blind people who can easily use the web.


Approach:  A web page which is designed primarily for blind users needs
to have an organization much less based on scanning and visual cuing
than would be applied to web pages for sighted users.  A very simple
approach is to have the web page organized in a linear format with the
information in order of relevant importance.

The linear format versus multiple columns avoids the problem of
navigating tables which are used to columnize the web pages.

Presenting the most important information first reduces the amount of
time that the blind users needs to expend in hunting around the web
page.  Not only can the hunting method be inefficient, it can lead to
inaccurately interpreting the web page.  For example, if a web page has
two articles which are separated by graphics or links, the blind user
can think he/she has reached the end of the web page and not realize
that there is more to read.

Scott


> aloha, scott!
> 
> i've looked at your demos, and i've read your posts -- what i'm waiting to 
> read are:
> 
> 1) concrete problem statements
> 2) concrete checkpoint proposals
> 3) concrete techniques
> 
> in the absence of the above, this conversation will go nowhere, but around 
> and around, as it has for the past few months...
> 
> please -- anyone who has suggested that there are topics that the GL 
> working group has missed or who has a plan for a note addressing something 
> they believe WCAG does not currently (or adequately) address, please post 
> CONCRETE SUGGESTIONS to this list, so that they can be discussed on-list 
> and at CSUN
> 
> there's been enough bickering and rhetoric posted to this list, and i admit 
> my own past complicity in prolonging the cycle...  but enough is enough -- 
> let's get back to our mission: improving the guidelines and techniques 
> documents through the discussion of concrete and specific examples, 
> checkpoints, and techniques,
> 
>          gregory.
Received on Wednesday, 15 March 2000 11:39:08 GMT

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