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Re: Frames sites.

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 1998 20:54:35 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199803060154.UAA00415@access5.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Thank you for the very well laid out explanation.

Here is another site architecture sketch, in which the dual-mode
site may come out better on access.  And only a few files are
dualized.  The bulk of the site is in dual-use pages.

Let me introduce some other things to think about.  From what I
understand, the navigation bar at the head of your no-frames
solution is an access obstacle for those using speech.  If I can
put the navigation bar in a separate, easily accessible place
where I don't have to tab through all its links to get to the
meat of a new page, that could be better.

Mike Paciello, at the Austin meeting, passed along the
interesting tidbit that people are coming to the conclusion that
many visitors never get off the first screenful of a page.  Now,
these statistics are dominated by people using GUI browsers.

But it encourages me to put the "recounting the environment" that
people do as a navigation button bar in two forms on the page.
In a frameless version, this is in iconic form at the top and in
discursive (full words and phrases) form at the foot.  People
using speech will be more likely to read to the foot of the
logical page, not just read what is the initial content of the
scroll window in the frameset.  So this is a graceful way
(perhaps) to put more discursive stuff further down and people
can self-prune by navigating back to the navigation frame at any
point.  Anyone schooled in writing news articles or press
releases is familiar with this sort of a density gradient in
writing.

If I can migrate the navbar off the top of the page to a peer
frame that flanks the content page, then it is omnipresent for
the viewer and out of the way for the hearer.  For the speech
user, it is better for the navigation aid to be accessible by a
consistent command than lurking in their peripheral non-vision.

In the site architecture I am discussing in this sketch, I would
use shared "meat" pages with no top navbar, only the discursive
navigation overview at the foot.  See
<http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/SMIL/> for an example of the discursive
alternative to a navbar.  See <http://www.teddyworks.com.au> for
an example of the fire escape in the front page that gets you
going without frames if you need/wish.

The one thing that I am lacking to make this style perfect is a
hotkey in the browser to move to the relevant navbar frame.
Today this takes a detour through the history list, but that is
not such a big price to pay.

The attraction of this framed design is that it lets me get the
navbar off the top of most pages.

Al Gilman
Received on Thursday, 5 March 1998 20:54:41 GMT

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