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Re: A few comments on NIDRR's Abledata website

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@netcom.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 11:28:05 -0800 (PST)
Message-Id: <200002191928.LAA20098@netcom.com>
To: W3c-wai-ig@w3.org, access@javawoman.com
Hi, Marjolein

I believe the first page said that the full graphic web page used Java,
though I didn't try to confirm it independently.

I found the graphic version to be much more interesting to use.  I loved
the coloring.  The Welcome image had a nice leather texture to it.  The
images for the buttons made them little easier to a identify rather than
just pure text.  I liked having buttons to select because it was easier
to move my cursor to instead of having to go for a smaller text The page
uses a lot of the capability of web pages to provide a rich
presentation.  The low graphics web pages were pretty boring visually.
For those who use more graphic cuing, they may not be as prefereable.

While I would agree that some of the cosmetic points you bring up need
to be addressed, they are minor details and readily fixed.  The key
point is you can get the format you prefer to work with and I can get
the graphic-rich form I like with which could include special
Javascript/Java features.  Would you want to deny sighted users of
graphically-rich web pages?  What would that accomplish?  I'm sure that
sighted people would not see that it is to their benefit.

At one time I brought up the question of whether access to a page is
important or access to information.  Note that the web site points out
that the information is the same.

Your statement is that a good design would not necessitate two versions.
How would you do that without impinging on a form that would be visually
appealing for many sighted users?  How would you let me still get the
format that Abledata presents which I like?


> I'll politely disagree here...
> At 09:43 2000-02-19 -0800, you wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >NIDRR's Abledata website is an excellent example of accomodating a wide
> >range of users' preferences.  For people who have the band-width
> >and prefer very visually interesting presentation with rich graphics
> >and features using Java, there is one set of pages.
> Maybe I didn't dig deep enough, but I didn't see any Java. What I did see was JavaScript rollovers on navigation buttons. No problem with those that I could see - but you don't need Java support for that, only JavaScript support.  (never mind that in at least one browser you have to enable Java to get JavaScript, I think - the two are complete different things).
> > For people
> >who don't have the bandwidth or need accessible web pages, a different
> >version is available.  (My suspicion is that the search engine has been
> >programmed to be able to generate dynamic web pages in different formats.)
> I looked at this version (with my able but spectacled eyes) and found them much more usable than the "graphics" version.
> The "graphics heavy" version not only uses graphics but also sets some font faces (like "Book Antiqua") which happen to be present on my system but are really not suited for the web but more designed for print. With my preferred default font size (!) I found the body text quite illegible; to get reasonable legibility I had to step up font size setting in my browser. (I could of course even override font face but wouldn't that be a bit much to ask?) The same problem (different fonts) on the home page where the choice is given and explained.
> >
> >This web site points out the advantage to the user of being able
> >to tell the server which type of web page to send.  The user only has
> >to select the correct link.
> I think the idea *may* be sound. But it falls flat on its face by providing a page that is hard to read for those who think they can deal with Java (actually JavaScript) and graphics. The chosen font faces make it hard, the graphics background makes it harder. Not to mention that the code is not valid either; it seems to be produced with some version of Front Page without validating or repairing the code it produced.
> >Notice that the user gets a format which
> >more closely meets his needs with no fussing about style sheets.
> >A very naive user could use this web site and easily get a more preferred
> >format.
> >
> >I have to admit I'm impressed with the thought that went into designing
> >this web site.
> Um - I'm not impressed at all. A really good design for the content (at least the content I've seen) would be accessible to all and not even necessitate two versions.
> >
> >Scott
> >
> Cheers, 
> Marjolein Katsma
Received on Saturday, 19 February 2000 14:28:12 UTC

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