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Fw: 3.3 action !

From: Lisa Seeman <seeman@netvision.net.il>
Date: Sun, 03 Feb 2002 18:58:00 -0800
To: "_W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-id: <00bf01c1ad27$c23445e0$b290003e@dev1>
this is a draft for 3.3. I think the job of making this draft was a tough one, and I have done an incomplete job, but hopefully it will move the process forward and give  something for the group to work against, and see if we like the direction... (Also I am leaving in a whole bunch of controversial stuff as for the same reason)

Checkpoint 3.3 Write as clearly and simply as is appropriate for the content. 

Definitions (informative) 
Clear and simple writing requires planning and work on the level of the document each sentence and individual words. Clear and simple text has been broken up beyond the level requirements by good  markup. 

A clear document has a structured flow of ideas.
 A clear document provides the flow of ideas summarized in a summary, diagram or page map  to help the user orientate themselves within the document.
A clear document specifically states each step within the flow of ideas and does not leave stages inferred or implied.
A clear document has an easily scanable layout with key information highlighted through presentation and positioning.
 A clear document contains tools to aid comprehension including:
  a.. Illustrations:illustrations of instructions, illustrations of flow of concepts,  
  b.. Support of decision making:  Provide forms element examples. Provide calculation assistance. Provide prompts for procedures, cues. Support "wizards" which offer help, simplify configuration, and assist with sequences. Structured tasks, cued sequences, and step-by-step instructions. 
  c.. Reduction of decision making: Automated complex sequences like user registration. Reduce the need to calculate Providing forms element defaults  and make it easy to re-establish them. 

Note: Loretta suggests moving this whole "provide additional support " part to an extra checkpoint. I think that that may be wise.

A clear paragraph expresses a single idea that can be summarized by its first sentence.
A clear paragraph has an easily scanable layout with key information highlighted through presentation, markup and positioning.

A clear sentence contains a single point.
A clear sentence is as short as can be used to expressed a single point.
 A clear instructions focuses on concrete rather than abstract indicators using absolute reference controls rather than relative ones.

Simple word are words that easily understood. This means that words should be of short and of common usage.
Use of jargon may be simple, were as the long term may complicate the sentence (eg: ROM or read only memory) however translations of jargon should be provided with each instance. 
Clear words can not be misinterpreted by someone who is unfamiliar with the language or can not process metaphorical sarcastic or non literal use of language. Such unclear use of language should be marked as such.
Clear words are meaningful and specific. 

It is sufficient to provide a  mode with minimum and clear functionality that eliminates or hides what isn't necessary for completing the site's goals.

Success criteria 
Provide overview
For flow: look at overview ( summary, diagram, heading outline or page map)- It is possible to map the document to pieces that are in the summary 
Highlight key information  using markup ( eg headings and emphasis) -  when the highlighted text
stands alone does it summarize the key ideas.

Short paragraphs - Paragraghs should have with fewer than five sentences . Use lists to break up long paragraphs.
can sentences be replaces by bullet points? If so markup sentence as a list 

First sentence summarizes the point of each subsequent sentence - does each sentence in the paragraph directly relate to the first sentence?
one idea per sentence- Test: replace each paragraph with a one idea sentence. Does the document
STILL make sense?

Sentence    -All:
 Use short sentences - Write sentences with 20 or fewer words and .
 Use lists to break up long sentences -can comas be replaced by bullet points? if so markup sentence as a list 

Sentence   -Headings
Should be meaningful out of context
Headings should be unique
Sentence - Instructional
It should be possible to identify a graphic representation of an
 instruction. i.e. you can draw the picture.
Each step is clearly stated. You could you represent the flow  flow chart and successfully perform a dry
Pictorial representation should be provided of each instruction
Use active rather than passive expressions 
Sentences contain no more than one relative clause
Use goal/action structure for menu prompts.

Non-literal text is identified and a literal translation is identified - 
test by literal translating to another language and re- literal translating back. Does it make
Jargon that is expected should be linked to a glossary / explanation.
Use simple words: Substitute common words for uncommon words
(without significantly expanding the size) does not change the meaning. Note 
that this requires a dictionary that marks the "difficulty" of a word.

Words - anchors (links)
hypertext anchors should be meaningful out of context
All form elements should have a default or example provided
calculations should be performed automatically (eg severside)
Provide definite feedback cues
Use a two-step "select and confirm" to reduce accidental selections. (IE nothing happens when an option is selected until a confirm/go/OK button is clicked)

To finish off: having a severe dyslexic, with real literacy problems draft this checkpoint is not without it's sense of irony. Still maybe that will make it better in the end.
All the best,

Lisa Seeman

1866 654 8680
Widen the World Web
Received on Sunday, 3 February 2002 12:04:24 UTC

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