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Re: W3C form usability:'tabindex' for forms

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 08:33:00 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: "Sailesh Panchang" <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Cc: "W3C WAI" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

At 05:30 PM 2003-11-11, Sailesh Panchang wrote:
>Usability problem on the matter of tabindex for a W3C form?:
>1. The W3C Search form <http://search.w3.org/>http://search.w3.org/
>gives two choices as radio buttons- search W3C.org or Search WWW.  For a 
>screen reader user like me, these buttons are read after the Go button 
>following the  search edit box. If it is presented before the  Go button 
>it wouldme more helpful.

In your access mode.  Serious obstacle in the way for switch users.  Need
a unified approach.

The compromise that Gregory Rosmaita and I reached on this point was that 
should be some sort of notice or advisory before one gets to the submit
element that there are more (advanced) options following this control.

This is an area where there is a different preferred ordering in different
interaction modalities.

For switch users you likewise don't want to force them by the tabindex to tour
all the less-used controls before passing the submit for the basic, common
query.  Here is a divergence in interest between those dependent on guided
touring of the active elements based on a difference in their display modality.

>2. In forms mode if I navigate between the buttons with up/down arrow 
>keys, it reads _both_buttons as  "Search w3.org".
>3.   While on the subject,  the label for the search bbox  is not read 
>in  forms mode with JAWS.

The labeling is not marked up.  Page template should be fixed.

>4. There is no link to the "W3C Search"  page from the w3c.org home 
>page... But I could find it only on  the W3C.org/WAI page.

There are three things.  But the one that is early in the tab order is a 
LINK element, and so if you are using IE you won't be aware of it.

There is a search tool that gets you into site search mode at the head of 
the third column.

And the skip-links path will lead you there in three clicks; under Jaws's 
of CSS, however, the fact that these links are invisible makes them 
un-announced in Jaws.
Not what the webmaster sought, but what Jaws's customers demand:  "Just 
tell me what is
on the screen!!!"

>I had highlighted these to the Webmaster a few months ago.

Has the WCAG group been briefed on the usability evaluation that was done
recently concerning the WAI site?

How are we following up on these point on the top page for W3C?  The missing
labeling on the search page should be a priority trouble report from the
perspective of the WAI.


>Thanks for the attention.
>Sailesh Panchang
>Senior Accessibility Engineer
>Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive,
>4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
>Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105
>E-mail: <mailto:sailesh.panchang@deque.com>sailesh.panchang@deque.com
>Fax: 703-225-0387
>* Look up <<http://www.deque.com>http://www.deque.com> *
Received on Wednesday, 12 November 2003 08:33:10 UTC

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