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Re: Are the guidelines upside down?

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2001 17:27:04 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, "WAI Guidelines WG" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

         You are discussing the presentation of the guidelines, not their 

         Any linear presentation of the guidelines is faulty because we are 
using the web. William's simplified site allows the user to choose the 
order in which to use the guidelines. In your presentation, I could quibble 
over interchanging 2 and 3 because when I make web pages, I do presentation 
with content before navigation and technology.  So, my ideal use would be 
different than yours. On the other hand, there are some considerations of 
the amount of work to meet technology needs that should be considered when 
collecting the content, so perhaps the designer should see that first  ....

                         It's a User Thang!

(Am I sounding like William?)


At 01:28 PM 8/25/01 -0700, Charles F. Munat wrote:
>I have been thinking about this for a while and I think this is a good time
>to bring it up.
>My natural tendency in thinking about accessibility WRT web sites is to
>think in the following terms:
>1. Get the information to the user
>2. Organize the information so that the user can find what he or she wants
>3. Make the information comprehensible once the user has it
>I explained this as
>access -> navigate -> comprehend
>and even suggested a split in the guidelines along these lines.
>But I have also been thinking that this is a user-centric view. First the
>user accesses the site, then the user navigates the site to get the info,
>and finally he or she processes the data (read, etc.).
>We, however, are writing our guidelines for *authors* not *users*. So isn't
>our sequence backwards?
>As a site developer, don't I usually develop content first, then mark it up,
>then add presentation? So shouldn't our guidelines look like this:
>1. Make it comprehensible
>2. Make it navigable
>3. Make it accessible (device-independent)
>After all, how can you create equivalents to text (or vice versa) if you
>haven't got the content yet?
>With this in mind, and keeping our current sections, shouldn't we swap
>Guidelines 1 and 3? Then we would have this:
>Guideline 1: Comprehension. Make your content easy to understand.
>Guideline 2: Interaction. Make your content interactive so that it allows
>organization according to the user's needs and preferences.
>Guideline 3: Presentation. Format your content so that it allows
>presentation according to the user's needs and preferences.
>Guideline 4: Technology considerations. Design for compatibility and
>Or, using my categories:
>1. Comprehension: Make content comprehensible.
>2. Navigation: Make content navigable.
>3. Access: Make content independent of device and representation.
>What do others think? In addition to making this more author-centric, it has
>the benefit of putting the checkpoints addressing non-visual needs up front.
>This may help to address the concerns about bias in the checkpoints without
>having to do some sort of checkpoint-balancing just for appearances.
>Chas. Munat

Anne Pemberton

Received on Saturday, 25 August 2001 17:31:02 UTC

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