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

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@home.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 15:20:11 -0500
Message-ID: <008f01c184dc$be0d51a0$c2f20141@mtgmry1.md.home.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
some things I don't understand marked with dp below since we are
focusing on web sets and the like in which I have a multitude of

----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Luebking" <phoenixl@sonic.net>
To: <harrry@email.com>; <phoenixl@sonic.net>; <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 2:52 PM
Subject: RE: Fwd from CHI-WEB: Amazon's version for the Visually


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.
dp: preference is not what I thought this was about rather I see the
universal design process no matter what it is applied to as having an
end result that is better for all in a functional way.

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.
dp: Again, focusing on what we like and don't like misses the mark.  The
technology currently allows for many things and it is up to the designer
to do the best possible in order that the experience will meet their
needs and the expectations of their target audiences.  Nothing that is
done that I know of is to everyone's liking.  for instance, talking
about needs, the basic need is for the appropriate language for the end
user to be available before anything else can even happen and we don't
see a lot of availability for that.  On the issue of which set of
interface elements to present, it is a matter of design.  if it can be
used equally or accessibly it can be utillized by the designer.  I don't
have to like it.

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
some blind people.

dp: I do not take issue with the idea that there is such a thing as
clutter for some people but I do not see how visual effects can
stonewall a blind person or be better for anyone unless their cognition
relies on this in which case, there is a case for more not less but a
different more.

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.)
dp: I write and debug web sets and know the difference between what I
get and what is delivered to a user agent that does not have the
advantage of allowing its user to browse with eyes closed or off
somewhere else.  It is content that I am after but at the same time, I
can also understand how my rendering looks ugly and may be confusing to
one who depends on vision so presentation is important.  I will never
get the same presentation but the issue of how that presentation is
achieved is an important one which is what started this discussion in
the first place.  That presentation should be delivered from the same
data set and in the same way to me as it is to one who has a different
need than I for a presentation.  And, Yes, I want the images, I want the
cutsie stuff if it is there and it better be available to me in a form I
can use.  Take a spacer image for example.  I want its textual effect
which is a space where one should be.  I actually need that for my work.
We need to be able to sit down along side each other and be on the same
page as much as possible.  This is why user agents such as web sound and
ibm home page reader are so important because when we work together, we
can have this.  I also like for my banking and shopping and reading etc
to have something I can use that provides me with more convenience and
some times, that means a different presentation but most of the time,
when I find that a page is designed accessibly and show my rendering to
someone, I am told that it doesn't look that much different than the one
they get.  I also like to read long articles and will use still
something else like lynx instead of ie to interface with the web site
simply because on that day, in that hour or for that particular site, it
more suits the task.


> 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
>     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
> which to use.  You do not however design for just a particular class
> 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
> total of what is available and what background and knowledge and
> the user has.  To me the important thing is that the experience of all
> rich.
> Now if you are asking should the user have a certain skill set and a
> 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 15:20:06 UTC

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