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Linking from guidelines to techniques

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Apr 2004 13:50:31 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Cc: shawn@w3.org


In the fall of 2003, the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the 
American Institutes for Research (AIR) conducted a series of usability 
tests of the WAI Web site: http://www.w3c.org/wai/.  The AIR report is 
available [1].  Specific for this discussion, I highly recommend that you 
read "Key Findings." [2]

On Wednesday's Techniques Task Force teleconference, several of us took an 
action item to create a prototype to demonstrate linking from guidelines 
and success criteria to the techniques gateway and then from the gateway to 
the technology-specifics (David, Michael, Ben, Tom, Chris, and me).  In 
this discussion it also became clear to us that we need to separate the 
"traffic cop" functionality of the techniques gateway from the general, 
non-technology-specific techniques (similar to the WCAG 1.0 approach where 
we had Techniques for WCAG 1.0 [3] as "traffic cop" and Core Techniques for 
WCAG 1.0 [4] for non-technology-specific techniques).

Yesterday, Shawn and I discussed a mock-up of various options of linking 
from Guidelines/success criteria to techniques.  Option 5 [5] is a result 
of this discussion and attempts to address the following factors that were 
noticed during the AIR usability testing:

1. When looking for "how to" information, people were looking for links 
that said, "how to" or "example."  The links marked "Technique for 
Checkpoint..." did not trigger an association with the material they were 
looking for.

2. Most people are not familiar with the numbering scheme. i.e., most 
people do not refer to "Checkpoint 1.1" they think in terms of "provide 
text equivalents."  A link that says, "Techniques for Checkpoint 1.1" does 
not trigger an association with "how to" information for this checkpoint - 
it doesn't have any "scent." [6,7]

3.  In WCAG 1.0, there are 65 links of the form, "Techniques for Checkpoint 
X.Y."  These links could be ignored because they don't obviously provide 
new or related information.

(Shawn - feel free to add additional thoughts or clarify any of these)

Thus, it seems less an issue of formatting the links and more an issue of 
writing good link text.


[1] <http://www.air.org/concord/wai/index.html>
[2] <http://www.air.org/concord/wai/findings.html#keyfindings>
[3] <http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/NOTE-WCAG10-TECHS-20000920/>
[4] <http://www.w3.org/TR/2000/NOTE-WCAG10-CORE-TECHS-20000920/>
[5] <http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/2004/04/links-from-wcag.html#Option5>
[6] <http://www.ddj.com/documents/s=3110/nam1012433977/>

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
Received on Thursday, 29 April 2004 13:51:05 UTC

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