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Re: Eating one's own dog food

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 18:34:15 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Cc: William Loughborough <love26@gorge.net>, <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

At 05:08 PM 8/23/01 -0400, Charles McCathieNevile wrote:
>Well, teaching kids is closer to usability testing than just theorising about
>them, but still not the same thing. From my experience in a classroom
>computers are more interesting than a lot of other stuff...

Well, this was true in the past, but so many kids are coming to school with 
computer access at home, that the tide may be cresting or turning .... 
I  had a "gifted" kid with computer at home who chose to substitute a more 
academic use of his time than computers in first grade who remained 
somewhat disinterested in second grade, tho he no longer skipped computer 
time (perhaps because I'd by then communicated with Mama and had better 
ideas on how to keep him engaged).  The time will come when computers are 
as boring as textbooks ....

>   Some things we could find out: when does distractability occur?  Upon
>   opening the site? When users try to read the text with the animation
>   still going? Does the distractability occur with a single animation? Does
>   size matter? Does it help to put it in more white space? How far away
>   from the animation should words be? Over 5 space, 10 space, or always
>   down at least one line or two?

Let me add a question, from exploring some sites recently that talked about 
making animations .... is there a difference in the distractability of an 
animation the consists of only 2-4 frames, which then may go fast, compared 
to the distractability of an animation that consists of 10 or 12 frames, 
which moves slowly and smoothly ....

Hubby came home tonight, and wants to change the animations on his web page 
.... looked at it on the DSL at work, and it didn't look too good on a 
screen of smaller resolution than ours .... but on machines that run faster 
the download time is insignificant ... so he wants to put the large 
animation back on .... this page will evolve as he learn how to make web 
pages .....

>   need to run down a copy of the Dolch words and work from that ...
>You could go and buy a dictionary meant for primary schools. It isn't a
>definitive list, but is probably a good start.

Oh, no! I moved a whole stack of 'em this afternoon cleaning up the library 

The reason to use the Dolch words is that they were "the definitive 
learning task" of cognitively disabled students (at least in the US) during 
the 80's thru the late 90's. These are the words that you can be "safely 
assured" that a cognitively disabled person (in the US, educated in the 
80's and 90's) will be able to read to the extent it has been possible to 
do ... I'm thinking of greeking out all words not on the Dolch list on an 
all-text page, then the same text on an illustrated page, and let the user 
see for which he can identify the topic. This may limit the usefulness of 
the example, but it's at least a starting point ....


Anne Pemberton

Received on Thursday, 23 August 2001 19:04:20 UTC

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