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Re: Should accesskey focus or activate?

From: Masafumi NAKANE <max@wide.ad.jp>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 18:13:46 -0500
Message-Id: <200104262313.IAA01949@bourbon.access.sfc.wide.ad.jp>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
I believe that it is not safe to make an assumption about user 
behavior.  There are always users who come up with new way of doing 
things which you never could think of, and is actually usable and 
convenient. :)

If the behavior of the UA is not adjustable, then the default should  
be what seems to be the safest, i.e. not activate in the case with 
accesskey.  If UA's behavior is adjustable, default could be based 
on average user behavior, but I still think it should be set to the 
safest.

     Cheers,
Max

On Thu, 26 Apr 2001 13:10:06 -0500, Mike Scott wrote:
> Tim brings up some excellent points:
> 
> > Use of hot keys seems not to occur until the person becomes comfortable
> with the interface.  So, it might be erroneous to assume that someone with a
> visual impairment would want focus to move to the item instead of the item
> being activated.
> 
> It is unlikely that a user (screen reader or not) is going to be using
> accesskeys to "explore" the interface. They have to have some previous
> knowledge of the page to use accesskeys (at a minimum, what the accesskeys
> are). In that case, if they know what the accesskey is, they would most
> likely want the system to activate that function.
> 
> > In this thread, we seem to be discussing two problems.  How should
> ACCESSKEY manipulate items?  Also, how can we allow users with disabilities
> to get to links more efficiently?
> 
> Absolutely. Providing effective means of exploring & navigating the page,
> including links, is definitely an important issue, but not necessarily what
> accesskey is meant to do.
> 
> For usability (accessible or not) it would make sense that the default
> behavior of accesskeys should match the default behavior of keyboard
> shortcuts/hotkeys in the operating system (i.e. bring focus to text fields,
> list boxes, etc and activate buttons, checkboxes, radio buttons...). Links
> would seem to be most appropriately treated as buttons (as they are often
> used interchangeably). I have seen experienced screen reader-users get
> disoriented after hitting an accesskey and waiting for an action to occur,
> not realizing that the system is waiting for them to hit the enter key.
> 
> Of course, if the user agent could allow the user to customize this
> behavior, we could have the best of both worlds.
> 
> Just my two cents...
> 
> Mike
> 
> Mike Scott
> MSF&W Consulting
> Accessibility Solutions
> (217) 698-3535 x207
> mscott@msfw.com
> www.msfw.com
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On Behalf
> Of Tim Harshbarger
> Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2001 6:50 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Should accesskey focus or activate?
> 
> The best way to find an answer to this question would be to perform an
> usability test.  Everything else is just a guess.
> From what little I can recollect from working with various user interface
> guidelines for different platforms, it seems that a hot key simulates a
> mouse click unless the control or collection receiving focus provides
> multiple options to choose.  Then the hot key seems only to bring focus to
> that control.  This would seem to indicate to me that a hot key associated
> with a link should trigger the link. -- if we are just basing a decision on
> how other user interface guides suggest things ought to work.
> I also think there may be less difference in how someone with a mobility
> impairment and visual impairment would want a hot key to work.  It is true
> that someone with a mobility impairment only will be able to see the screen
> and most likely want the control/item immediately activated when she or he
> uses the appropriate hot key.  From my observations, I think that people
> with visual impairments tend to work in the same way, whether or not they
> can see a visual display of the page.
> I notice that people with visual impairments (myself included) do not know
> what the hot keys for an interface are until the interface is reviewed via
> screen reader, braille display, screen magnification, or some other
> technology.  It seems that people with visual impairments try to build a
> mental model of an interface first.  Use of hot keys seems not to occur
> until the person becomes comfortable with the interface.  So, it might be
> erroneous to assume that someone with a visual impairment would want focus
> to move to the item instead of the item being activated.
> In this thread, we seem to be discussing two problems.  How should ACCESSKEY
> manipulate items?  Also, how can we allow users with disabilities to get to
> links more efficiently?  My thought is that we need to be careful about
> linking these two problems too closely together.  The optimal solution for
> one is probably not the optimal solution for the other problem.
> Of course, some usability testing would be a great way for us to solve these
> problems.  Hmmmm, can you tell I spend a lot of time working with
> Human-Computer interaction people?
> Tim
> Tim Harshbarger
> Disability Support
> State Farm Insurance Companies
> Email: Tim.Harshbarger.CQWG@StateFarm.com
> Phone  309-766-0154
Received on Thursday, 26 April 2001 19:13:56 GMT

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