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RE: Sv: Multiple interfaces - a concrete example

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 10:25:13 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "w3c-wai-gl@w3.org" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
OK, for sake of discussion lets just assume we're talking about equivalent 
functionality in the phone and web interfaces. lets not worry about whether 
your particular bank achieves that, especially since they don't claim they do.

I like this example.

The phone interface you describe uses a menu paradigm, not a browsing 
paradigm,  (by "browsing paradigm" I mean. what you'd hear with a "good" 
voice browser on a "good" web page.)   In general, I think the menu 
approach is best if you want people to use the system immediately, without 
instruction.    And in fact, phone interfaces are generally designed for 
those sorts of users.  On the other hand, web pages assume a bit of 

So to make a fair comparison, I think we should look at least at two user 

1. Beginners: i.e. People who must use a system with no instruction
2. People with some experience: i.e. People who are willing to learn a bit 
before using a system.

If we just think about beginners, then one can argue that menu systems are 
best for both.  And in fact, walk up kiosks use menus.

If we think about people with experience: I'd argue that menus are not the 
optimum interface for phone access.  I'd argue that a browsing paradigm is 
better for phones, as well as web pages.

Bottom line for this discussion is that we do have a case where different 
interfaces are optimal for different groups: but in this particular case at 
least IMHO the determining factor is experience, or willingness to do some 
up front learning, not modality or disability.


At 12:16 PM 11/2/00 -0800, you wrote:
>I didn't design either system, so I can't speak authoritatively on
>completeness.  However, as an end user of both systems, I have been able to
>accomplish all banking tasks I've tried at each.  I can check my balance,
>get access to previous transactions, pay bills, transfer funds, and contact
>a loan representitive.
>As a side note, I don't beleive that my bank has touted the phone system as
>an accessibility alternative.  I'm simply using it as an example of multiple
>interfaces to the same data and operations on that data, optimized for
>different modalities.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Leonard R. Kasday [mailto:kasday@acm.org]
>Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2000 6:32 AM
>To: Cynthia Shelly
>Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
>Subject: Re: Sv: Multiple interfaces - a concrete example
>Cynthia,. Just to be sure I understand the comparison here...
>You're saying that the web site has more than one form, and each form has
>5-10 fields
>Are you saying that the telephone menu interface has *all* the
>functionality of the web interface?  Or is it a subset of the features?
>I ask because in my experience, telephone menu interfaces, though very
>useful, have less capabilities than the web counterparts.
> > > One is a Web site, with a fairly typical 3-box table based layout, HTML
> > > forms, graphical buttons, etc.  It has a lot of information on a single
> > > screen.  Each form has 5-10 fields.  It has a persistant navigation bar
> > > the top, and another down the left side.
> > > The second is a menu-based automated telephone response system, allowing
> > > selection of menu items via voice or touch-tone.  Each voice "screen"
> > offers
> > > a menu of 2-5 choices ("press or say 1 for deposits, 2 for withdrawls, 0
> > > speak to an operator"), or asks for a single piece of input ("please
> > > your checking account number, followed by the pound sign"),
>Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
>Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple
>(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
>http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday        mailto:kasday@acm.org
>Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group
>The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant:

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Institute on Disabilities/UAP and Dept. of Electrical Engineering at Temple 
(215) 204-2247 (voice)                 (800) 750-7428 (TTY)
http://astro.temple.edu/~kasday         mailto:kasday@acm.org

Chair, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative Evaluation and Repair Tools Group

The WAVE web page accessibility evaluation assistant: 
Received on Monday, 6 November 2000 10:25:56 GMT

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