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Re: guideline 7.1 about screen flickering (fwd)

From: Matt May <mcmay@bestkungfu.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2001 15:53:22 -0700
Message-ID: <0b8c01c11625$d58b1ef0$6501a8c0@vaio>
To: "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>, "WAI GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn@reef.com>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Kynn Bartlett" <kynn@reef.com>
> I think objections to "problems with concentration" are specious and show
> a lack of understanding as to how visual communication is supposed to
> work.
> Some things are -meant- to be "distracting."  It is a -design feature-
> that animated banners draw your eye.  They are -meant- to do that, and
> it is the intent of the author that they do so.

You're making this sound like it's a _good_ thing.

"Distraction" has a negative connotation. It suggests that it is drawing
attention away from the content the user intended to get.

If this were the central piece of content on a page, or the only content on
a page, it would be "attractive" rather than distractive, and animation can
have positive effects in those situations. But this appears to be a
secondary piece of content, and designing it to be distractive simply
suggests to me a poor design decision. Something depicting a radar for those
who know what one is can and has been done numerous times with static
images. If the designer means to draw attention to a link or concept, there
are usually many better ways to do it, such as the use of positioning, white
space, and good microcontent, which are less harmful to overall

This has real implications for portal sites, where the portions most people
consider to be distractive (i.e., the ads at the top and along the sides) is
what the portals themselves consider to be the page's central content. That
is, their _intent_ is to break the concentration of the user. It seems to me
that this line of thinking gives content providers a way around the kind of
issue WCAG would protect against: the author putting her or his goals above
the user's.

Received on Thursday, 26 July 2001 18:53:51 UTC

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