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RE: WHat makes Icons accessible or not?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 2 May 2001 06:47:18 -0400 (EDT)
To: <DPawson@rnib.org.uk>
cc: <w3c-wai-au@w3.org>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0105020635540.24171-100000@tux.w3.org>
On Wed, 2 May 2001 DPawson@rnib.org.uk wrote:

  I'd prefer the larger ones, are they the 32 by 32? At least I can
  see what they contain. They become iconic then, rather than
  smudges :-) Surely the additional real-estate isn't that much?

CMN Since these are essentially replacing text labels, there is an issue if
they eat too much space. (I think). For people who are reading the text close
packed for reading efficiency, doubling out the spacing can be very
frustrating. So it is important that the icons can be rendered at some fairly
small size, I think - 16x16 seems to be good based on the test we have here.
(I the example page I produced the other icons at that size in some of the
examples, just to see how it worked). But I agree that there will be people
who would like to have the icons large. Me for example.

  > 3. Which colours? If we decide on colours for each category that are
  > easy to see and distinguish, then all the icons can use the
  > same colours
  > and we can eliminate that as a variable.

  Nice idea!

  Which colors though, considering color blindness etc!

CMN I don't think that we need to standardise on colours befrore picking the
icons - colour is an integral part of a design (at least in terms of
saturation and hue balancing), and I think that the colouring of the two
schemes that have a lot of it is distinctive in both cases - more so in the
set three. (See seperate discussion about changing the crossover between
content tools and multimedia tools in set one)  For people who are
colourblind (or have colourblind systems...) it is important taht the icons
are easily distinguished by some other feature such as shape. That's what I
don't like about the second set, which I think are in fact the nicest set of
the three. Especially when they are reduced in size.

  >
  >
  > I think we need icons that can be identified at a glance by
  > their shape
  > (as Katy says) and colour, without messing up the page
  > layout.


  I like the idea of having a 'shape' to each one!

CMN Me too. I think that these three requirements are certainly important in
the use case, and I suspect that they are generally important to making good
icons (the layout one s the most difficult issue of the three - I think both
shape and colour are important)

cheers

Charles
Received on Wednesday, 2 May 2001 06:47:20 GMT

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