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RE: Fwd from CHI-WEB: Amazon's version for the Visually Impaired

From: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 11:52:17 -0800
Message-Id: <200112141952.fBEJqHLj027129@newbolt.sonic.net>
To: harrry@email.com, phoenixl@sonic.net, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

The first question actually reflects that different people have
different preferences for web pages.  This also varies depending
on the purpose of using a particular set of web pages.  Some
people are more like "just the facts" type with no frills.
Other people want a richer visual experience of the web pages
and prefer a slicker, flashy view.

This starts addressing an issue of universal design and web pages.
People vary in what they want.  A problem that universal design
needs to address is what to do when the needs of the various users
conflict.  In the usual architecture example of redundancy,
ramps, stairs, etc are possible.  No ones needs are necessarily being
compromised.  However, universal design and web pages starts introducing
the issue of conflicting needs amony the various users.  For example,
some blind people prefer drop down list boxes because they need
less training to use with some screen readers.  Some designers
like list boxes boxes because they take up less web page real estate.
Some sighted users prefer radio buttons or checkboxes because
they don't have to do any additional actions to see all the choices.

Visually rich and stimulating web pages can make it easier for some
people to remember information.  However, additional visual information
can create confusion for other users, e.g. some learning disabled people,
some blind people.

Some disabled people have pushed for similar experiences, e.g.
knowing they are using the same web page as non-disabled people,
even though some disabled are using access technology which causes
them to actually experience web pages in significantly different
ways.  (I have to admit I tend to focus more on the importance
of getting the same information rather than the same presentation.)


> I have commented below in line
> Harry WOodrow
> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Scott Luebking
> Sent: Saturday, 15 December 2001 1:30 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: RE: Fwd from CHI-WEB: Amazon's version for the Visually
> Impaired
> Hi,
> A number of things I'm involved with are outside of the disabled world
> which exposes me to a variety of views.  So, let me ask some hard
> questions about universal design.
> 1.  Does universal design mean that the experience of one person has to be
>     limited so that another person can have a similar experience,
>     e.g. a slick, flashy design?
> To the contrary, The experience of all can be richer through universal
> design. Good design is not slick or flashy but effective and useable.
> 2.  If there is a technique which some people can use to speed up their
>     use of information, but other people can't use and will be slower
>     at processing information, should the technique not be used?
>     What if there is no other equivalent technique that increases
>     the speed that a person can use the information?
> Of course, if you have to go into a building you have a ramp and stairs and
> maybe a lift.  All should have equal prominence and it is the user's choice
> which to use.  You do not however design for just a particular class of
> user, after all if we designed buildings for people in wheelchairs a lot of
> walking people would get very sore heads.
> 3.  Does a person using access technology have the same experience as
>     someone not using access technology even if they are referencing
>     the same web page?
> No one has the same experience in everything.  The experience is the sum
> total of what is available and what background and knowledge and preferences
> the user has.  To me the important thing is that the experience of all is
> rich.
> Now if you are asking should the user have a certain skill set and a certain
> set of equipment to use it that may be a different story.
> Harry Woodrow
> Just a few thoughts.
> Scott
Received on Friday, 14 December 2001 14:52:23 UTC

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