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Re: Logical Linearized Order on a Page

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Aug 2000 12:32:26 -0400
Message-ID: <39A7F11A.55000D2C@w3.org>
To: jonathan chetwynd <jc@signbrowser.org.uk>
CC: paciello@webable.com, Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>, "Bailey, Bruce" <Bruce_Bailey@ed.gov>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
jonathan chetwynd wrote:
> 
> Surely it is important to recognise that at the minimum, when designing a
> homepage every user should understand the aims of the site.
> 
> I imagine about 1:1000 users shown the w3c homepage would express a positive
> interest, or be able to answer a simple question on the aims of w3c. That
> means 999 are not getting 'the message'.

Please make a suggestion. Would a one-sentence summary such as
the following help?

   "The World Wide Web Consortium was created in October 1994 
    to lead the World Wide Web to its full potential by
    developing common protocols that promote its evolution 
    and ensure its interoperability"

We have intentionally moved a long description of what W3C does
to a separate page (http://www.w3.org/Consortium) because most
of the users who sent comments about our home page said that they
were most interested in rapid navigation to key pages. You are
encouraged to read the public archives of comments [1]. Obviously,
I would like people to understand enough about W3C when they
hit the home page that they are interested in looking further
(and able to find the links to do so). I'm not that interested
in giving the full picture of W3C on the home page. 

I think that we need more eductational materials in general
to convey to the general public what W3C's mission and deliverables
are. However, that's another project that is distinct from the
home page.

[1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/site-comments/

> Fortunately the WAI homepage fares a little better.
> 
> Experts will easily find the information they seek.
> Why is there a need for a members link on the homepage?

There are several important reasons to have Member-related links
on the home page:

1) So that people who work for a Member organization but have not
yet participated in W3C Activities may find their way into the Member
site (hence, a link to the Member home page and a link to information
about joining W3C).

2) To attract new Members (hence, Join W3C)

> It merely confirms a feeling of exclusion for most visitors.

Can you show me documentation that most visitors feel excluded?

I would also note that in this design of the home page, the first
block on the right hand side (and the first block in serial order)
is entitled "Get Involved" and is all about the public. The order
of blocks is Public, Member, Team, in fact. 

> As an aside, is it right that w3c should have a 'private' corporate sector,
> who's interests is it furthering?

As an aside, W3C has been a Member organization since its inception.
However its mission is very public. If you are interested in reading
more about W3C process, may I refer you to an article I wrote 
entitled "W3C and the Web Community" for xml.com [2]. 

[2] http://www.xml.com/pub/2000/04/10/standards/w3c/index.html

> We need, not only to match the site(and the homepage in particular) to our
> percieved audience, but also to ensure that people misdirected, or browsing
> also understand our intention.
> Plain english is great in this instance.

I believe we all agree with this. For now there is the matter of
resources,
but not of will or design.

 _ Ian

-- 
Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel:                         +1 831 457-2842
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Saturday, 26 August 2000 12:32:33 GMT

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