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Re: [techs] Summary of Techniques teleconference 01 October 2003

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 2003 13:42:15 -0400 (EDT)
To: Tom Croucher <tcroucher@netalleynetworks.com>
Cc: Michael Cooper <michaelc@watchfire.com>, Judy Brewer <jbrewer@w3.org>, "WAI GL (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.55.0310121335480.14030@homer.w3.org>

Short answer: Oh, OK. Thanks for the clarification.

Longer answer...

To summarise what you are saying (perhaps brutally)

"We (the WCAG group) need to do proper QA, testing that what we claim are use
cases really work, and that what we claim meets the needs really works".

I agree entirely. I was just curious about why this devolved to the
techniques group. I also think there is a big difference between the kind of
serious QA you are describing, and what I understood from the short minutes,
which suggested something more along the line of taking the hypothetical
cases from the "how people with disabilities use the Web" draft, and checking
against those hypothetical examples.

After this clarification there is only the procedural question of whether
this should be the existing techniques task force, the WCAG group at large,
or a new task force. Which is not a question that troubles me greatly - it
would seem odd to me that the Techniques group gets assigned the work, since
it seems out of their ordinary scope. On the other hand I don't think it is
an important enough question that I should continue to worry about it -
that's why the group has chairs, staff contacts, and a chain of

And second, "sure, this falls into ERT but needs to be done and they aren't
yet re-chartered. We could make some progress in this group".

Fair enough.



On Sun, 12 Oct 2003, Tom Croucher wrote:

>> Why is it us that needs to test this and not the main group? We also need
>> to
>> be aware that there are pretty serious traps waiting if you use
>> hypothetical
>> people you created to test your hypothetical solutions to their
>> hypothetical
>> problems. Not that it isn't a useful techniqe for desk checking, just
>> that
>> the results aren't that strongly guaranteed.
>Although perhaps it isnt abundently clear here, there are a couple of
>pieces of thinking behind this. Number one is Quality Assurance (QA), and
>Number two is accountability.
>Yes this issue is for the wider group it just came out in the techs group,
>as did the original use cases. However we felt that in order to check (for
>QA) that we are making the correct guidlines, we thought it was appropriate
>to identify who each guidline helps. This a common practice in government
>where white papers identify target demographics of legislation. There is
>also the reserve of identifying the needs of our clients (PwDs in this
>case) and ensuring that we are satisfying all needs. The reason we are
>starting from the EO document is that the guidlines currently refer to it.
>As we formalise the use cases there has been a lot of discussion about how
>to go about it, the current use case document (that I produced) has a note
>about intenational uses cases, and needed to consult with appropriate
>people before making them. This similarly applies to the uses cases of
>PwDs, however there is significant amounts of research around identifying
>needs of PwDs and we are hoping to latch onto that and use it. This will
>also be combined with data from interviews conducted by David McDonald, and
>possibly some by myself once I get my testing group organised at the
>University of Sunderland (UK).
>Use cases are not "hypothetical solutions to their hypothetical problems.",
>they are user heuristics. In this situation they will probably based around
>demographics. In both cases (interview based and demographics based) these
>are proven methods used time and again in usability a discipline of which
>accessibility is a specialist field.
>To return to the second reason behind the call for these use cases, the
>processes behind WCAG 2.0 are very open. This is a great step, but part of
>that is making it easy to justify our position on issues. As such having a
>formal set of use cases which we can use to say "We did this for that group
>of people" is a highly beneficial. It puts us in a much stronger position
>to exercise our collective opinion on issues when we can back it up with
>specific reasoning on behalf of a specific group of PwDs.
>> Is the Evaluation and Repair Tools group not going to be rechartered?
>> They
>> would seem like the obvious place to do this work, rather than a task
>> force
>> in this group.
>EART are being rechartered, however this takes times. Some people in the
>WCAG Techniques task force were keen to progress making test files for the
>techniques documents. It was felt that having tests ready for the
>techniques was a useful step to helping prove their validity as
>devilevables. This is another part of the QA issues Wendy brought to the
>meeting agenda.
>> You might want to look at the first draft of the testing method proposed
>> by
>> EuroAccessibility as an example...
>> http://www.euroaccessibility.org/EACEvaluationChecklist0a1.html
>Thanks for the hint, we will surely look at it. There is also some
>discussion going on which will be presented to the list soon.

Charles McCathieNevile  http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  tel: +61 409 134 136
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Received on Sunday, 12 October 2003 13:42:17 UTC

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