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

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Dec 2001 20:13:44 -0500 (EST)
To: Jim Thatcher <jim@jimthatcher.com>
cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, Jon Hanna <jon@spinsol.com>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0112142005200.11285-100000@tux.w3.org>
Well, to avoid all criticism, anyone (commmercial or otherwise - WAI gets a
lot of criticism too) only has to be perfect.

However I think there are positive and negative points being made, and I
don't think there is a problem with discussion. I agree with you that the
site was probably not designed for accessibility as the word is usually used
in WAI - the first of the 5 questions in their help page is "how do I ensure
that my wireless transaction is secure?". And I agree that this might be a
lot more accessible than other sites.

I have used amazon in a text-only mode (more than any other way) and found
that it works better than other e-commerce sites I have used
(http://www.easyjet.com and http://www.ansett.com.au are airline sites I have
used a lot, http://www.sncf.fr http://www.amtrak.com and
http://www.ferrovie.it are train sites I have used a lot, and there are other
sites where I have made one or two purchases). My personal preference would
be for a site that is annoying (like the "common" amazon site in text-only
mode) but gives me full access over a site that is well-designed but gives me
limited access. However, that varies  depending on whether what I want is
very common or not - I prefer to have the best of both worlds. It does
however seem strange to me that the full database of titles would not be the
same one for both systems. Of course, that's ultimately up to Amazon as a
decision about the way they provide their service (subject to legal
requirements and similar things which I think are beyond the scope of this


Charles McCN

On Fri, 14 Dec 2001, Jim Thatcher wrote:

  Almost every message about this site on two list discussions I am watching
  has been critical in one way or another. What do commercial firms have to
  do? Come to you and get your blessing before they launch SOMETHING? (I would
  hate to try to get it!)

  I don't really think this was designed for accessibility. As I said in a
  previous message, even the simplest accessibility things haven't been done
  like labeling form elements and including alt text. BUT, given what they
  have done so far, it would be EASY to fix those problems. They have tried to
  present the essence of Amazon.com (an editorial decision, which only they
  can make) without all the glitz and I think they have done a very good job
  of that.

  I believe that this shopping site is an order of magnitude more accessible
  than almost all other shopping sites, certainly all major shopping sites.

  Accessibility Consulting

  -----Original Message-----
  From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
  Behalf Of Jon Hanna
  Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 11:14 AM
  To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
  Subject: RE: FWD: CHI-WEB: Amazon's version for the Visually Impaired


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: 21 Mitchell street FOOTSCRAY Vic 3011, Australia
(or W3C INRIA, Route des Lucioles, BP 93, 06902 Sophia Antipolis Cedex, France)
Received on Friday, 14 December 2001 20:13:46 UTC

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