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RE: paper on usability and accessibility

From: Anthony Quinn <anthony@frontend.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2000 08:55:50 -0000
To: "Jamie Mackay" <Jamie.Mackay@cultureandheritage.govt.nz>, "WAI Mailing list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <NDBBLLFMJKDHOKHGOBIMKEHPCPAA.anthony@frontend.com>
Hi Jamie,

An emulator will never really be as good as the real thing - although the
Wave is handy, especially for doing quick checks of things as you go. I'm
not sure about using an audio browser to simulate a screen reader either. I
don't have much experience with IBM's home page reader but I know that PW
Web speak, for example, can parse tables, so it doesn't provide you with the
insight you are looking for.

One thing I would suggest is to try to involve someone who uses a screen
reader in testing your pages. You will need to be there yourself, or arrange
to have someone run the test with them. If you can somehow arrange for your
boss (or some other colleague who can help influence whoever signs the
cheques) to go along, that should certainly help your case, as they will
then have a better understanding of what you are trying to do and will at
least realise that you are not just trying to buy some fancy IT equipment
for the hell of it. A very simplistic approach, I know but worth

The other major benefit of involving real people in your development process
is that you will get feedback which will help you to overcome usability
problems you did not even know existed in your design in the first place.

Hope this is useful.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jamie Mackay [mailto:Jamie.Mackay@cultureandheritage.govt.nz]
Sent: 06 December 2000 21:26
To: 'Anthony Quinn'; WAI Mailing list
Subject: RE: paper on usability and accessibility

Hi Anthony

I just used The Wave for checking your page. I am some way off being able to
convince the Powers that Be to fork out for a screen reader for me to use
for testing (though I have used IBM's Home Page in the past). I would be
interested to know if others have found if The Wave accurately represents
how a screen reader works.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Anthony Quinn [SMTP:anthony@frontend.com]
> Sent:	Wednesday, 6 December 2000 21:24
> To:	Jamie Mackay; WAI Mailing list
> Subject:	RE: paper on usability and accessibility
> Hi Jamie,
> No need to apologise - I asked for criticism. Your comment is a fair one.
> The problem is largely caused because the online version appears in what
> is
> essentially an out of date template. We are redesigning our site at
> present
> (should be testing it with real users in the next 8-10 days or so, which
> will be interesting). Our developers are completely overhauling not just
> the
> interface but the entire backend as well, so it's a pretty big job.
> The new site will take care of the problem with reading order.
> Thanks for your comment though. Did you actually use a screen reader, or
> just The Wave - I'm curious because I haven't had any complaints from
> people
> with screen readers. If anyone out there has had any trouble with the
> site,
> please let me know.
> You can see the page in question at
> http://www.frontend.com/accessibility_paper.html
> thanks,
> Anthony
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jamie Mackay [mailto:Jamie.Mackay@cultureandheritage.govt.nz]
> Sent: 04 December 2000 02:16
> To: WAI Mailing list
> Subject: RE: paper on usability and accessibility
> Hi Anthony
> Sorry if this sounds like a smartass comment -  I actually think what you
> are doing is great -  but I would have thought that such a document should
> be presented in a more accessible way. For example, according to Wave, the
> main text doesn't start until the 61st cell of your table - lots of stuff
> to
> wade through if you are relying on a screen reader.
> This is particulary important for a web page which people new to desinging
> accesible sites will look to for design and layout ideas as well as for
> the
> content it contains.
> Jamie Mackay
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:	Anthony Quinn [SMTP:anthony@frontend.com]
> > Sent:	Saturday, 2 December 2000 03:47
> > To:	WAI Mailing list
> > Subject:	paper on usability and accessibility
> >
> > Hi All,
> >
> > Frontend has published a white paper "Accessibility and Usability for
> > e-Government - A Primer for Public Sector Officials".
> >
> > This paper is intended as a primer for public sector officials who are
> > responsible for or otherwise involved in the creation of web sites and
> > although it is written within an Irish context, it may be of interest.
> >
> > I would be grateful for feedback and comments from the group - positive
> > and
> > negative! If anyone would like a copy, please let me know and I will
> > happily
> > forward it - it's available in PDF, MS Word 2000 format ot as a text
> file.
> >
> > We have also posted it on our website, at the following URL
> >
> > http://www.frontend.com/accessibility_paper.html
> >
> >
> > regards,
> >
> > Anthony
> >
> > _______________________________________________________
> >
> >  Anthony Quinn                     UI Design Manager
> >
> >    Frontend ~ Usability Engineering & Interface Design
> >    40 Westland Row, Dublin 2, Republic of Ireland
> >
> >           Visit our Usability InfoCentre at:
> >       http://www.frontend.com/usability_infocentre/
> >
> >  anthony.quinn@frontend.com       tel: +353 1 241 1600
> >  http://www.frontend.com          fax: +353 1 241 1601
> >  _______________________________________________________
Received on Thursday, 7 December 2000 03:55:43 UTC

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