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Re: QBullets (was: Accessible HTML slideshows)

From: Lloyd G. Rasmussen <lras@loc.gov>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 98 14:48:50 EDT
Message-Id: <65214.lras@loc.gov>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Comments below, preceded by LR:.

On Thu, 02 Jul 1998 10:44:26 -0700, 
Kynn Bartlett   <kynn-hwg@idyllmtn.com> wrote:

>At 09:38 a.m. 07/02/98 -0700, Jules Graybill wrote:
>>And, more directly applicable to the topic of the list, Matterform Media has
>>also developed and promoted QBullets -- small graphical icons that represent
>>the purpose of all of the links on a web page.  Used correctly, they allow a
>>website visitor to distinguish links to, say, a graphic from links to an
>>html page, a mailto link, etc. without having to (as is the traditional
>>method) roll over the link and try to decipher the text in the status bar,
>>or just try the link and see what happens.
>>http://www.matterform.com/qbullets/
>>An interesting approach, I think.
>
>Aie, no ALT tags, and no bullet for d-links.
>
>A somewhat interesting approach; I'd rather see this as something
>done in-browser though rather than with a small set of icons which
>aren't standardized.  (In other words, I want to be able to go to
>Opera's preferences and select 'show link-content symbols', and
>wow, they appear, with the same graphics on every page displayed
>by my web browser.)
>
>This could be accomplished by using both type= and rel= (valid
>HTML 4.0, yay!) to indicate the type of link.  This has the
>additional advantage of being more accessible than a graphical
>solution -- if a browser will support it.
>
  I agree that textual links are preferable for a number of reasons.  
But I applaud the fact that these bullets, as distributed, have 
descriptive names.  A blind web page developer, without knowing what 
they look like, can put them to use.  If a limited set of these icons 
came into wide use, screen reader graphics dictionaries could 
automatically read the labels based on their checksums.  And Lynx 2.8, 
with the verbose images option activated, can already read them, as 
shown in the insertion below.  This is a far cry from pages I've 
visited lately which contained links named button1.gif through 
button13.gif.


                   Button Bar - Only 8K!-[top.gif] 
       Another Button Bar - Please turn on images-[title.gif] 
                                   
[q.gif] Bullets tell you what a link will do before you click on it.
QBullets are a collection of 22 elegant icons [qbullets.gif] that
attach to hypertext links to indicate their function. And they're
free!

How many times have you hesitated over a hypertext link, wondering
whether it was going to download a huge movie, or transport you to an
FTP site, or just deliver another page? Don't make your visitors have
to guess what your links are going to do. Cue them in with QBullets.

  * See the legend explaining the meanings of all the QBullets
  * See the list of Web sites that use QBullets
  * Read more about the use and philosophy of QBullets
  * Download QBullets for your own site
    
QBullets have been called "tiny miracles of design" that pack a lot of
information into just a few pixels. They are a wonderful navigational
aid and they really draw the eye to your hypertext links. Best of all,
they're absolutely free! Download QBullets and add them to your own
Web site. Comments? Send us email [form.gif]-[form.gif] .
For example...Say you have a link to a person's name: Brandon Maddox

Without changing the text of the link, you can use QBullets to let
your visitors know whether the link...

...Goes to Brandon's Web site:

                     Brandon Maddox [remote.gif]
                                   
...Or sends Brandon some email:

                     Brandon Maddox [mailto.gif]
                                   
...Or shows a picture of Brandon:

                     Brandon Maddox [picture.gif]
                                   
...Or just scrolls back up to the point where Brandon was first
mentioned:

                    Brandon Maddox [scrollup.gif]
                                   
There are 22 different QBullets in all [qbullets.gif] which you can
add to your Web pages absolutely free! Download them now and help your
visitors click with confidence.

                           [bottomline.gif]

-- Lloyd Rasmussen
Senior Staff Engineer, Engineering Section
National Library Service for the  Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library of Congress          202-707-0535
(work)       lras@loc.gov    http://www.loc.gov/nls/
(home) lras@sprynet.com http://home.sprynet.com/sprynet/lras/      
Received on Thursday, 2 July 1998 14:48:10 GMT

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