W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 1999

RE: QED & Marshall McLuhan

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 1999 19:26:40 -0400 (EDT)
To: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
cc: Joe Roeder <Jroeder@nib.org>, "'wai list'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9906131919000.14809-100000@tux.w3.org>
Unfortunately it would take more than guidelines, it would take the adoption
by designers of these icons. In the graphic design world, I suspect that any
such icons will be very difficult to sell (after all, the idea is not very
new, and the use of a standard icon for 'home' - a very common idiom) has
never managed to take off.

I think the problem is that designers want to create a particular look and
feel for their websites which is individual and memorable as well as

I agree that havnig standard conventions is a good idea, but I think it is as
difficult as convincing the world to learn Esperanto. This hasn't even been
done in Europe, despite 100 years of effort on the part of esperantists.
French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, are all direct descendents of
the one language, yet people persist with their own language rather than
facilitating communication. Having english spoken throughout the united
kingdom was only achieved with a lot of bloodshed.

One of the underlying principles of the Web is that it should be possible to
create a web where people can deal with natural language, and computer-
comprehensible information is used to work out how the navigation works. This
work is going on in the W3C at large, since it is seen as important to the
web as a whole, not just for accessibility.

Charles McCN

On Sat, 12 Jun 1999, Anne Pemberton wrote:

  At 02:32 PM 6/11/1999 -0400, Joe Roeder wrote:
  >	Thinking about those highway signs, should there be a set of
  >standard navigation icons for the internet that everyone agrees with and
  >that the WAI encourages in the guidelines?
  >	Just some food for thought.
  Joe, this would be a great help and would be reasonably easy to do. It
  would take time for people to learn to use a common set of symbols, but
  once it is started in motion, it could become as common as alt tags are. It
  would take guidelines to bring this about.
  Anne L. Pemberton
  Enabling Support Foundation

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Sunday, 13 June 1999 19:26:45 UTC

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