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[3.4] Overview and summary of guideline 3.4

From: Roberto Scano - IWA/HWG <rscano@iwa-italy.org>
Date: Tue, 27 Jan 2004 20:55:24 +0100
Message-ID: <00d801c3e50f$8366ac00$0200a8c0@iwars>
To: "WCAG List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

I've end the overview and summary for guideline 3.4 with the support of
Roberto Ellero.

A txt file is also available at:
http://www.robertoscano.info/files/wcag20/WCAG20_GL_3_4.txt

------
Overview and summary of guideline 3.4
------

[INTRODUCTION]

>From the lastest internal working draft [1]:
"Layout and behavior of content is consistent or predictable, but not
identical.
[level 2 guideline]"

There are no level 1 success criteria.

For level 2 there are three success criteria:
1. key orientation and navigational elements (such as navigation bars)
are
   generally found in one or two consistent locations or their locations
are
   otherwise predictable.
2. where inconsistent or unpredictable responses are essential to the
function
   of the content (e.g. mystery games, adventure games, tests, etc.) the
user is
   warned in advance of encountering them.
3. wherever there are extreme changes in context, one of the following
is true:
   a) an easy to find setting, that persists for the site visit, is
provided for
      the user to deactivate processes or features that cause extreme
changes in
      context or
   b) extreme changes in context are identified before they occur so the
user
      can determine if they wish to proceed or so they can be prepared
for the
      change.

For level 3 there are two success criteria:
1. user can select a different location for navigation elements in the
layout of
   the page.
2. the content has been reviewed, taking into account common ideas for
making
   content consistent and predictable, applying them as appropriate.



[1. OUTSTANDING AND SUMMARY FOR ISSUES]

In WCAG BugZilla there are the following open issues about these
checkpoint:

* Bug 315: Navigation Controls, Submission, and Screen Changes
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=315)
  The NFB put together a list of guidelines for the web, and one of them
seems
  quite pertinent: "Ensure that menus and other navigation controls can
be
  operated without causing form submission or screen changes". For NFB,
there has
  to at least be some warning to the user, or there has to be some kind
of user
  action required before form submission or screen change.

* Bug 383: misc. editorial suggestions for 3.4
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=383)
  Harvey Bingham in level 2 success criteria point 1 asks to omit the
ambiguous
  opening use of "Key" followed by "orientation and navigational
lements" and
  suggest to use the word "Important" instead of "Key". He asks also to
use
  consistent "verb first" style for each list item because he said that
about
  half now are passive: ... should be ... (i haven't find passive form
now).

* Bug 422: Checkpoint (consistent-behavior) difficult to understand
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=422)
  Kynn Bartlett don't understand what this checkpoint is trying to say
  (consistent-behavior). It refers to Aug. 2003 and I hope that now Kynn
  understand it :)

 * Bug 443: 3.4 wording does not seem testable
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=443)
  Cynthia, Kerstin and Wendy wrote: "In particular, the current wording
does not
  seem testable. Words such as, "key," "consistent," "predictable,"
  "inconsistent," and "unpredictable" are subjective. There seems to be
overlap
  with other checkpoints. Success criterion 1 seems to relate more to
navigation
  mechanisms. Success criterion 2 seems to relate more to custom
interfaces
  (4.3). "Extreme changes in context" is a slippery term that seems to
refer
  primarily to pop-ups and to content changes that occur away from the
current
  point of focus. The Additional Notes are littered with "similar,"
"same,"
  "likely," and "familiar" however in some cases appear to be more
testable. The
  idea of "user interface components" only seems to show up in the
Additional
  Notes and should be moved up to required success criteria.

* Bug 471: does checkpoint require unique layout for each page?
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=471)
  Tina Holmboe tell suggest to put as a required point (Level 1?) unless
WCAG
  2.0 REALLY requires all sites to avoid having identical layout from
page to
  page - which it doesn't, when reading the criteria.

* Bug 496: identification of context changes, wording suggestion on
checkpoint
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=496)
  Greg Gay writes that an extreme change can be identified after the
change has
  occurred, such as a "close new window" link as the first feature of a
popup
  window, or presenting a feedback message after server side redirecting
a user
  from the content editing screen to the content display screen when
editing is
  completed. For him guideline should read "..., but not necessarily
identical".
  It difference from the actual that is "..., but not identical".

* Bug 514: make best practices parallel and expand examples
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=514)
  Joyce Tikalsky refer to the example 2 and example 3. For example 2,
from a
  usability standpoint, some designers suggest avoiding arrows before
links
  because symbols don't give users enough information about the result
of
  clicking the symbol. Maybe just text, such as, "[OPEN THIS LINK IN A
NEW
  WINDOW.]" would be sufficient, right after the link, unless a page is
loaded
  with many links of this type. For example 3, that regard the use of
the "back"
  buttons, so many nonfunctional Back buttons appeared with the
emergence of
  .jsp and .asp pages that he wondered if nonfunctional Back buttons
might not
  be easily controlled  through code in some languages. Perhaps an
expert in
  those languages has confirmed this example.

* Bug 570: Layout is style issue, not accessibility
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=570)
  The U.S. Access Board writes: This is good advice for any webpage
design but
  is not an accessibility issue as much as it is a style issue.

* Bug 703: avoid giving the impression that 3.4 SC only applies to
things outside
  primary content
 (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=703)
  Greg Lowney in Point 1 Level 2 success criteria recommend saying
something like
  "(such as navigation bars, page numbers, and section titles)" to avoid
giving the
  impression that we're only referring to things outside the primary
content.

* Bug 704: inline warnings vs. user agent features
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=704)
  Greg Lowney: "Whenever there are extreme changes in context,one of the
following
  is true." In-line warnings and options to deactivate are good, but it
seems like
  UA could also handle this in most cases, such as: letting the user
adjust whether
  they want to allow, block, or be asked how to handle pop-ups;
notifying the user
  when a page transition makes significant changes to the page layout;
identifying
  links that will pop up a new window or go to a different site; etc.

* Bug 705: similar, but not identical
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=705)
  Greg Lowney notes that it's also good for separate sections to be
easily
  distinguishable, which implies not using identical appearance;
distinct visual
  elements such as colors or graphics will help readers orient
themselves, keep in
  mind which section they are in, and avoid mistaking similar pages.

* Bug 706: is there a way to make this criterion have more impact?
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=706)
  Point 2 of Level 3 success criteria ("the content has been reviewed,
taking into
  account..."). Isn't there some way that this criterion could be made
to have some
  impact or benefit? I'm afraid that, as it is, criteria phrased this
way will just
  be a checkbox that can be checked without anyone doing anything!
Perhaps, to have
  some benefit, the web site could post a review of its usability and
rationale for
  their decisions to avoid making improvements. Something? Anything?
(Greg Lowney)

* Bug 707: example 3 doesn't make a recommendation - seems like a UA
problem
  (URL: http://trace.wisc.edu/bugzilla_wcag/show_bug.cgi?id=707)
  Greg Lowney refer to example 3: "frames that do not track history
making the back
  button behave unexpectedly". This doesn't describe a recommendation;
is it simply
  to avoid frames? (Again, it seems like UA should be able to solve this
problem
  without changes to Web sites.)



[2. PREVIOUSLY PROPOSED SOLUTIONS]

* Guideline
  The proposal in [Bug 496] are to change modifying the actual with ",
but not
  *necessarily* identical". The new text will become: "Layout and
behavior of
  content is consistent or predictable, but not necessarily identical".
Adding
  the word "necessarily" can let the developers to use also identical
layout and
  behaviour. [Bug 705] tells instead that identical layout and behavior
could
  not be good for avoid mistaking similar pages. In [Bug 471] the
proposal is
  to define this guideline as "requested" (Level 1?).

* Level 1 Success criteria for guideline 3.4
  [No level 1 proposal]

* Level 2 Success criteria for guideline 3.4
  1. From [Bug 383], proposal to change the word "key" with "important".
     [Bug 703] suggest to apply "(such as navigation bars, page numbers,
     and section titles)" instead of "(such as navigation bars)"
  2. In the same message source for [Bug 705] [2] there is a request of
clarify
     about "when inconsistent of unpredictable responses [...] the user
is warned
     in advance of encountering them" (open a new bug for this point?)
  3. [Bug 704] tell that in-line warnings and options to deactivate are
good,
     but it seems like UA could also handle this in most cases. So,
could this
     be an UA accessibility requirement?
  4. Possible new success criteria? [Bug 315] "Ensure that menus and
other
     navigation controls can be operated without causing form submission
or screen
     changes"

* Level 3 Success criteria for guideline 3.4
  1. [No proposal]
  2. From [Bug 706] there is not a proposal but a request of clarify the
method
     for "common ideas for making content consistent and predictable".
With the
     notes [3] i think that this bug can be closed.

* Benefits of guideline 3.4
  [No proposal]

* Examples of guideline 3.4
  1. [No example 1 proposal]
  2. [Bug 514] ([OPEN THIS LINK IN A NEW WINDOW.] text instead of icon
with an
     arrow).
  3. [Bug 514] (nonfunctional Back buttons that can be controlled by
programming
     code).  Another solutions is inside the [Bug 496] (a "close new
window" link
     as the first feature of a popup window, or presenting a feedback
message after
     server side redirecting a user from the content editing screen to
the content
     display screen when editing is completed). This last proposal can
be
     integrated for let the user to return to the previous page (back)
closing the
     new popup window. And, as suggested by [Bug 707] is it simply to
avoid frames?
  4. [No example 4 proposal]



[3. NEW PROPOSED SOLUTIONS]

* Guideline
  Agree with [Bug 443] (Words such as, "key," "consistent,"
"predictable,"
  "inconsistent," and "unpredictable" are subjective) and following the
request
  of bug [Bug 496] (", but not *necessarily* identical"). My proposal is
to make
  more "clear" the language used for this guideline and apply a
clearification
  of the scope of it Using the word "coherent" (synonym of consistent)
and
  deducible (synonym of predictable) make more clear that the developer
must
  create layout an behaviour coherent and that must be deducible. Also
adding
  the word "necessarily" help to apply the guidelines in other web
contents,
  like - for eg. - PDF files. The actual text:
  "Layout and behavior of content be is consistent or predictable, but
not
  identical. [level 2 guideline]"
  could be change with:
  "Layout and behavior of content is coherent or deducible, but not
necessarily
  identical. [level 2 guideline]"
  Group need to discuss about [Bug 705] (change layout and behavior for
avoid
  mistaking similar pages)

* Level 1 Success criteria for guideline 3.4
  Applying [Bug 383] and [Bug 703] the new version will be:
  "Important orientation and navigational elements (such as navigation
bars,
  page numbers, and section titles) are generally found in one or two
consistent
  locations or their locations are otherwise predictable".

* Level 2 Success criteria for guideline 3.4
  [No level 2 proposal]

* Level 3 Success criteria for guideline 3.4
  [No level 3 proposal]

* Benefits of guideline 3.4
  [No proposal]

* Examples of guideline 3.4
  1. [No example 1 proposal]
  2. The example - IMHO - create a ripetitive text. In this case is best
to
     suggest at the developer to group the links and inform that all the
links
     inside this group will open in a new window. Also use the image and
not
     direcly the text can create problems for the low-vision people that
can
     have difficulty to see well the arrow.
     Regarding the web, the browser producers are deciding to remove the
"open"
     method for the "window" object and XHTML 1.x has removed the
"target"
     attribute. So, why don't suggest to not use new windows?
  3. As described well in [Bug 514], the "back" button problem for new
window
     can be covered over programming techniques (for eg. the session
cookies
     keep track where an user goes and can be used for give information
about
     the page).
  4. [No example 4 proposal]
  5. Following the suggestion of [Bug 496] i suggest this new example.
     Example 5. Options for close pop-up window.
     A "close new window" link is provided as the first feature of a
popup
     window. In alternative, present a feedback message after
server-side
     redirecting a user.



[4. DEPENDENCIES BETWEEN GUIDELINES]

(1.5) Structure has been made perceivable through presentation
(2.4) Mechanisms have been added to facilitate orientation and movement
in
      content.



[5. ASSUMPTIONS]

I assume that the working group think about this guidelines expecially
for the
web pages. For eg. without adding the possibility to have identical
layout and
behavior we make difficult the possibility to apply some kind of web
content
like e-books readable on-line (is difficoult that a book change layout
and
behavior for every page...).



[6. RATIONALE]

This guideline is important because let people to have uniformity in the
web
site browsing, like reading a book: having a web site well formatted
with same
layout and navigation facilities help all people, expecially people with
cognitive disability, to understand their position inside the web site
be sure
that they find the same layout with the same functionality in the same
position
in all (or in part of) the web site.


Roberto Scano (IWA/HWG)
http://www.iwanet.org - http://www.hwg.org
---
[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-20031117.html
[2]
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-comments-wcag20/2003Nov/0003.html
[3]
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-20031117.html#consistent-predictable-notes
Received on Tuesday, 27 January 2004 14:55:37 UTC

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