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Re: Green Fingers

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 06:52:13 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Matt May" <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>, "Jonathan Chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

	The Disney site has been usable to little ones for a long time. My nephew
is now nine. When he was 5 and 6, he first learned to use the web to
connect to the disney site. He enjoyed that Disney, and a Looney Tunes site. 

	I'm not sure why sound or motion presents a problem on larger sites. If
making such features "accessible" is such a bug-a-boo, perhaps the
accessibility features need to be re-examined. 


At 10:59 PM 4/22/01 -0700, Matt May wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Jonathan Chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>
>> Matt you've completely missed the point I was trying to make.
>On the contrary: not only did I get your point, apparently you didn't get
>Sites like Disney, which you mentioned as an example, have spent north of
>$100 million on site redesigns over the course of five years to go from the
>absolute bottom of the usability barrel to something that is almost kind of
>usable. There are quite a few organizations for which that figure isn't all
>that reasonable. And this is a media company with graphic and UI talent as
>deep as you can expect anywhere.
>I've been a part of several major projects involving multimedia web design,
>and far more often than not the projects have been several times more
>expensive than more traditional pages, and went from nearly on par from a
>usability standpoint with traditional sites, to abject failures. Adding
>sound and motion is almost never an instant win, and it takes graphics and
>user-interface specialists to even begin site development along those lines.
>(One thing that nobody has answered for me is how everything that's already
>out there, the basis of the Web as it's used today, is ever going to be made
>accessible through this method.)
>And on top of that, both disney.com and disney.co.uk are (at first glance)
>dismal failures on WCAG guidelines for making information accessible to the
>> By
>> transforming the way in which the message is to be delivered, ie via the
>> senses, rather than textually, it is made accessible to people that would
>> otherwise not get it.
>We're not dealing with simply processing the data that is presented; for
>many people WCAG is trying to help, we're dealing with the inability simply
>to access the words on the page. You're talking about usability more than
>accessibility, and I find your examples of good usability suspect.
>> corporate sites that attempt something similar include
>> from cinema
>> http://www.disney.co.uk
>> from fast foods
>> http://www.wotsits.co.uk/home.html
>> from music, well they are too numerous:
>> http://www.getmusic.com/peeps/rkelly/TP-2com.html
>> or maybe the player currently at
>> http://www.aristarec.com/
>> is a particularly transparent means of selecting the artist you want to
>> hear..
>You pointed out a handful of Flash-based media sites. As a usability
>specialist, I don't see anything I would consider to be more generally
>usable. Just more shiny. Discoverability and consistency of interface across
>the Web (blue underlined links, back buttons, common navigation and search)
>is far more important than sounds and motion. (And the presence of
>distracting animation on many of these sites makes it difficult for people
>with ADD to access and process their contents. What about them?)
>> similarly many corporate sites, why does MS spring to mind, are very
>> difficult to navigate.
>Fashionable as it is to pick on Microsoft, it's rare that a company
>maintains the amount of content they do, with the number of content owners
>and partners that they have, with the universal audience they have, in any
>manner that a detached observer would say is "easy to use." Nor would
>experts in the field be able to wave a magic wand and make those sites
>navigable with a few easy steps. The state of web usability is not advanced
>to that point, and where it has, the findings of the researchers are the
>opposite of your impressions.
Anne Pemberton

Received on Monday, 23 April 2001 06:45:11 UTC

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