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RE: Slashdot: How should Govt sites be designed

From: Pawley, Neil <neil.pawley@ccta.gsi.gov.uk>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2000 14:17:23 +0100
Message-Id: <200012191317.eBJDHOG08963@zidane.inria.fr>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org


I am afraid that I am to blame for the open.gov.uk website.  It is my design
and my implementation.

Firstly, I would very much like to thank everyone for their past comments,
its great to get some quality feedback on what I am trying to do here.

I have made a number or corrections and changes in light of these

1. I have downgraded the WAI rating to a single A, until further corrections
can be made to achieve a higher level.
2. I have also corrected the DOCTYPE so that the page now validates

I do have some concerns about introducing further graphics into the page.
My primary concerns have been reducing possible download speeds and deleting
unnecessary eye candy graphics.  They are of little use to most people and
even less use to the visually impaired.

If there is a way in which images can be used to aid usability I am more
than willing to experiment.

I am also concerned about the WAI guidelines insistence on the SUMMARY
attribute for tables.  It seems like a good idea in principle but can be
more of a hindrance in practice.  Browsers for the visually impaired will
read out the contents of this attribute, which can be annoying and
inefficient if the contents of the table are text based and self explanatory
in themselves.  Explanations, however short, can just get in the way.  Why
should we be duplicating information and handicapping the browsing
experience of precisely the users we are trying to assist.

An example would be the Organisational Index listing on the front page.  The
title is textual and precise, the next line gives an explanation as to its
purpose and the third presents the links to the relevant pages.  A SUMMARY
attribute is superfluous.  I have examined this at length with blind
institutions within the UK and their feelings are very similar to mine.  If
anyone can help on this it would be much appreciated.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and hope
that there are many more comments to come.

neil pawley
internet development consultant
central computer & telecommunications agency
rosebery court, st andrews business park, norwich nr7 0hs
direct line	:   +44 1603 704852
fax	:   +44 1603 704817
gtn	:   3040 4852
mobile	:   0831 320813
email	:   npawley@ccta.gov.uk

"I spent a lot of my money on booze, birds and fast cars.  The rest I just
George Best
Received on Tuesday, 19 December 2000 08:17:29 UTC

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