W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 2001

RE: Mail order catalogues was Re: Cognition Simulation

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@erols.com>
Date: Fri, 31 Aug 2001 07:18:52 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Charles F. Munat" <chas@munat.com>, "WAI GL" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
At 08:12 PM 8/30/01 -0700, Charles F. Munat wrote:
>If we do not exercise caution when adding graphics to Web pages, we will not
>only fail to increase comprehensibility, but also deprive some users of
>access entirely.

I don't buy it. I fail to see how adding graphics appropriately (including 
excessively when its appropriate) can deprive any one of access other than 
to the pictures themselves if the user chooses not to download them.

>The truth is not either-or. It is multi-shaded. The truth is that graphics
>and other non-text content *do not* automatically increase
>comprehensibility. The are just as likely to decrease it. So any graphics
>that might be eliminated by my restrictions ("judicious use") *cannot* -- by
>the very nature of my limitation -- *hurt* comprehensibility. If a graphic
>aids comprehensibility, my restrictions say to include it. It is only when a
>graphic is of no use to comprehensibility (or hurts comprehensibility) that
>I say to remove it.

Choose a better word than judicious .... it takes too much to qualify that 
term in this usage.  Also, as Chaals pointed out to "Illustrate" is more 
than to add graphic illustrations, it needs to include sound files that 
illustrate as well as still graphics and multi-media.

>It is also important to understand that comprehensibility must consider the
>big picture. You might argue that an individual graphic enhances the
>comprehensibility of one particular concept on a page. But the addition of
>that graphic to a page already cluttered with graphics might decrease the
>overall comprehensibility of the page. Again, the key word is "judicious" as
>in "wise and careful." What could be wrong with that?

As I said before, when you have too much for a page, branch it out onto 
another linked page, create a page set or site (or whatever you want to 
call a subsection of a web site).

>The older computers and software available to poor people do not deprive
>them, they liberate them. When we devise content that will not work on that
>equipment, we destroy that liberation and deny access. Are we unable to deny
>ourselves any luxury at all, even if that luxury disenfranchises others?

You my consider graphics a luxury, but those who need them do not. Do you 
want to deprive some so others won't feel left out?

>So we insist on flashy, bandwidth-hogging sites -- flashiness that is as
>likely to hurt as to help comprehension -- and the poor be damned.

No one, anywhere in this argument has insisted of flashiness of any kind. 
And, as long as you keep insisting that is the result of illustrating a 
page, we will never come together on the issues.

>One goal is to make Web sites comprehensible. To this end, a mix of media is
>required. But how we approach that mix can determine whether a page is
>denied to some or available to all.
>Another goal is to make sure that people are not denied access to the Web
>because of geographic or economic constraints.

Again, the only time anything is denied to anyone, is if it's not there. 
Would you like it if someone came and collected all your food, you have 
more than you need, and there are people without. So you can't eat until 
everyone in the world is a well-fed as you?????

>We can, if we place sensible qualifications on our recommendations to use
>non-text content, achieve both goals.

One possibility is to combine 3.3 and 3.4 and perhaps others into one 
guideline that addresses content itself, and can balance the needs. Yes, 
graphical and sound elements need to be as clear and simple as the text. I 
have never said anything but .... (as long as you don't get silly and say 
photos aren't clear and simple and shouldn't be used, which was proposed at 
one time).


Anne Pemberton

Received on Friday, 31 August 2001 07:40:40 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:38 UTC