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RE: Survey: Emoticons for screen readers

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 10:57:04 -0500
Message-ID: <B3DC65CD2AA7EF449E554548C6FE11111356EC@MAIL01.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "Jens Meiert" <jens.meiert@erde3.com>, "David MacDonald" <befree@magma.ca>
Cc: <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

It's true that emoticons are all sorts of things-- annoying, trivial,
and so forth.  It's also true that they're quite common, at least in the
US, and they can be quite confusing when a screen reader reports them as
(for example) "colon dash right paren."  Microsoft Word automatically
converts this particular string into a smiley-face graphic.  JAWS 4.51
helpfully reports this as "wingdings 63."

Emoticons are less common on static Web resources, but are likely to
appear in Web-based message forums and chatrooms (some of which actually
provide buttons that allow users to insert emoticons into their
messages).

As a teacher of writing, I would of course prefer to help my students
learn to express their emotions in deathless prose.  As someone who at
least occasionally lives on this planet, however, I suspect I'm losing
ground...

John


"Good design is accessible design." 
Please note our new name and URL!
John Slatin, Ph.D.
Director, Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin
FAC 248C
1 University Station G9600
Austin, TX 78712
ph 512-495-4288, f 512-495-4524
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu
web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility/


 



-----Original Message-----
From: Jens Meiert [mailto:jens.meiert@erde3.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2003 10:46 am
To: David MacDonald
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Subject: Re: Survey: Emoticons for screen readers



First of all -- what's the purpose of this survey? For me this nearly
sounds like asking car drivers if stickers or colored fog lamps are nice
gimmicks for their cars -- that sounds really exciting, but it ain't
important, and of course not in relation to car driving (and
roadworthiness).

In general, emoticons are a) a matter of taste, and b) dubious and
nonserious, above all related to business sites and correspondence (here
in Germany it's very nonprofessional, I don't know how this is handled
in US). So I can only question this survey again.


Some feedback:

> 1.	Do emoticons you have any trouble understanding emoticons such
as
> :-) and ;-)     ?

No. Note: One problem might be a different syntax -- so :) and :-) are
equivalent, ;) and ;-), too. There are several other examples.

> 2.	Do they bother you? 

Yes.

> 3.	Do you have trouble with emoticons in tools such as MS Messenger
and
> various Bloggers which are graphical?

N/A

> 4.	Do you have any other comments on emoticons.  How would you like
to
> see them treated in TECH 2.0?

See above. I don't like them treated all, either don't bring them up, or
say 'Use at own risk, because not everybody knows, understands or likes
them, and they might be unserious'.



Regards,
 Jens.


-- 
Jens Meiert
Interface Architect

http://meiert.com
Received on Wednesday, 27 August 2003 11:57:18 GMT

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