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RE: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of supplemental text

From: John M Slatin <john_slatin@austin.utexas.edu>
Date: Tue, 22 Jun 2004 07:38:14 -0500
Message-ID: <C46A1118E0262B47BD5C202DA2490D1A0323D332@MAIL02.austin.utexas.edu>
To: "david poehlman" <poehlman1@comcast.net>, "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>, "Michael Cooper" <michaelc@watchfire.com>, "WAI GL (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>

David Pullman wrote:
<blockquote>
You wrote:
" is it not a barrier to use of the web if clear links are needed from a
cognitive point of view?"
<blockquote>

Gregg replied:

Not if the text around the link makes it clear what the link is about.
The meaning of the link does not have to be in the link.

The classic is    For information on the last equation on the exam
[click
here].

Where [click here] is the link.   This is not good form but it does not
make
the page unusable.
</blockquote>

John replies:
If the only link text is "here" or "click here" the page is unusable for
someone using a screen reader and possibly (as David notes) for people
using low vision aids such as screen magnifiers who would see only the
word "here" without the surrounding context.  Think of the example you
gave the other day about shrinking the window down to quarter-size and
then looking at it through a straw.  You used that example to illustrate
how horizontal scrolling might be a barrier; the same problem occurs in
the example you cite. See also Coyne and Nielsen (2001) on the
difficulties of working with screen magnifiers.


Lisa wrote:
<blockquote>
Case 2: Hard to use- a fast way to scan a site and read it in a non
linerized way is tabbing though the links.
It is also a way to build a page map or table of content of a site. That
speeds up browsing a lot.

However , as with so many criteria (if not all) sometimes is not
relevant or helpful. For example,  when "click hear" is inserted inside
a sentence that gives it context case 1 falls away.

If you have headings followed consistently by a short link "example"
then that might be more useful the a long link

For example <h1>provide text equivalents</h1><A ..>example</a>
is, in my opinion, clear for both cases as you can tab through heading
if you give them a tab order
and this case is simpler to read then
<h1>provide text equivalents</h1><A ..>example of providing text
equivalents </a>

</blockquote>

John slys:
Interesting point about eing able to tab through headings as well as
links (if the headings are given a tabindex). But a page coded in this
way might still be problematic if it included may links pointing to
different URIs if all have the same link text. Someone using a screen
reader's links list would get only multiple items called "example" with
no way to determine what they referred to. True, one could then leave
the links list and go to that particular point on the page, read the
surrounding text, then arrow or tab to the link and follow it. But what
a pain!

Another option might be to use the title attribute on the anchor (<a
href="someexamplehtm" title="Example of whatever we were just talking
about">example</a>). This technique would be even more useful if screen
readers could be set to read both screen text and title attributes for
links (currently it's an either/or).  Then you could do something like
<a href="someexample.htm" title="of whatever we were just talking
about">example</a>.

John
"Good design is accessible design."

Dr. John M. Slatin, Director 
Accessibility Institute
University of Texas at Austin 
FAC 248C 
1 University Station G9600 
Austin, TX 78712 
ph 512-495-4288, fax 512-495-4524 
email jslatin@mail.utexas.edu 
Web http://www.utexas.edu/research/accessibility 



-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of david poehlman
Sent: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 6:54 AM
To: Gregg Vanderheiden; 'Michael Cooper'; 'WAI GL (E-mail)'
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: Re: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of
supplemental text



Ok, Suppose I am using a low vision aid and need cognative assistance?
I might not remember that bit of text that I saw a bit back.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
To: "'david poehlman'" <poehlman1@comcast.net>; "'Michael Cooper'"
<michaelc@watchfire.com>; "'WAI GL (E-mail)'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 11:27 PM
Subject: RE: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of
supplemental text



Hi David

You wrote:
" is it not a barrier to use of the web if clear links are needed from a
cognitive point of view?"

Gvan:
Not if the text around the link makes it clear what the link is about.
The meaning of the link does not have to be in the link.

The classic is    For information on the last equation on the exam
[click
here].

Where [click here] is the link.   This is not good form but it does not
make
the page unusable.


Gregg

 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison


-----Original Message-----
From: david poehlman [mailto:poehlman1@comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 7:36 PM
To: Gregg Vanderheiden; 'Michael Cooper'; 'WAI GL (E-mail)'
Cc: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: Re: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of
supplemental text

is it not a barrier to use of the web if clear links are needed from a
cognative point of view?
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Gregg Vanderheiden" <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
To: "'Michael Cooper'" <michaelc@watchfire.com>; "'WAI GL (E-mail)'"
<w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 6:26 PM
Subject: RE: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of
supplement al text



Clear link text means that the text that is visible on the page needs to
be clear - yes? This would be a type V guidelines since it would specify
how the page would look in its default presentation.

Also - is this a crucial barrier to use of the web -- or just good
design.

Since I don't see this as a bar to use of the web - it would fall in
level 2 or 3.

Gregg

 -- ------------------------------ 
Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Professor - Ind. Engr. & BioMed Engr.
Director - Trace R & D Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison


-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-gl-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Michael Cooper
Sent: Monday, June 21, 2004 3:35 PM
To: WAI GL (E-mail)
Cc: 'w3c-wai-ua@w3.org'
Subject: [#832] Clear link text - priority and acceptability of
supplement al text


The requirement to make clear link text is currently a Level 3 success
criterion [1]. In my opinion this should be a level 1. In discussion
with the techniques task force, we thought it might be a level 3 because
of the possibility to use supplemental text to clarify the link (e.g.,
the "title" attribute in HTML). But for that to work, we need to know
that the supplemental text will be presented to the user when needed.
But the UAAG [2] does not provide a single mandate for how this is to be
accomplished, and further permits supplemental text to be presented
instead of the orginal text, not just alongside. We are unsure of the
implications of this for the clear link text requirement and the use of
the "title" attribute to fulfill that requirement in HTML.

I propose that the requirement for clear link text be moved to level 1.
Specific mechanisms for achieving that should be left to
technology-specific techniques, though it would be useful if the
guidelines would comment on the role of features like the "title"
attribute in HTML for meeting this requirement. This may require
coordination with the User Agent group.

[1]
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-20040602.html#consistent-behav
ior-
target-identified
[2] http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG10/guidelines.html#tech-conditional-content

--- Signature ---

Michael Cooper
Accessibility Product Manager, Watchfire
1 Hines Rd Suite 200, Kanata, ON  K2K 3C7  Canada
Tel: +1 (613) 599-3888 x4019
Fax: +1 (613) 599-4661
Email: michaelc@watchfire.com
Web: http://www.watchfire.com/
Received on Tuesday, 22 June 2004 08:38:19 GMT

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