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Re: A UK user survey an accessibility/usability

From: Gez Lemon <gez.lemon@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2005 14:11:06 +0000
Message-ID: <e2a28a920511090611k584a3511y@mail.gmail.com>
To: Maurizio Boscarol <maurizio@usabile.it>
Cc: W3C WAI <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

On 09/11/05, Maurizio Boscarol <maurizio@usabile.it> wrote:
>
> Just to point to your attention this survey (*):
>
> http://www.out-law.com/default.aspx?page=6314
>
> There's much to say about methodology (a survey isn't a user testing),
> but it's meaningful that people need ease of use. Rarely mentioned
> tech-related issues, often organization, clarity, language and
> perceptual issues.

The reason tech related issues do not appear is because they're
questions that were asked of end users. As one of the arguments
against validity is that web developers don't understand validity, it
seems a bit unreasonable to ask an end user to rank the importance of
validity. As far as they're concerned, they can either access the
content or they can't.

This reminds me of a usability study performed by Egg, where they had
an image of a credit card containing the typical APR. The alternative
text for the image was "Credit Card", and the typical APR wasn't
mentioned anywhere else on the page. They ran usability tests, and
included people with no vision using screen readers who gave them the
all clear that the page was understandable. All that indicates is that
their usability test wasn't sufficient, as they couldn't have asked
the participants to state the typical APR, as it wasn't anywhere else
on the page. And the situation today is ... http://egg.com

Usability tests and surveys are only as good as the questions asked.
Validity isn't the sort of thing you could ask an end-user to rank in
terms of importance, so the results of a survey aimed at end users
isn't the best place to seek advice as to whether or not validity is
important.

We can continue to search for extreme edge cases in the hope of
blurring the importance of validity, but ultimately, validity does
play an important part in ensuring that content is accessible. If
content isn't valid, then it can't be guaranteed that it could be
correctly interpreted by a user agent.

Best regards,

Gez


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Received on Wednesday, 9 November 2005 14:11:10 GMT

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