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Re: Amazon's version for the Visually Impaired

From: Vadim Plessky <lucy-ples@mtu-net.ru>
Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 19:11:31 +0000
Message-Id: <200112161610.fBGGAEH18866@post.cnt.ru>
To: Scott Luebking <phoenixl@sonic.net>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
On Friday 14 December 2001 01:56, Scott Luebking wrote:
|   Date:    Thu, 13 Dec 2001 09:57:12 +0100
|   From:    jernu@VISUALFRIENDLY.COM
|   Subject: Amazon's version for the Visually Impaired
|   Do you know that amazon.com has developped a specific version of the
|   site for the Visually Impaired ?
|   See http://www.ecommercetimes.com/perl/story/15199.html for an article
|   and http://www.amazon.com/access to reach the site.
|   When we saw it we (the usability team) say :
|   We ask on a french list for the blind what they think about this site,
|   the way it is designed and is utility... For the moment, we are very
|   surprised by the answers ! Blind people do not find it so efficient :
|   they have the feeling of a "poor site" and they absolutely dislike that
|   there are two versions of the same site : one for "normal" people and
|   one for "visually impaired" ! They think designers have to put all their

I can understand that. Any kind of discrimination is BAD.
Amazon should use CSS stylesheets to turn off unnecessary elements in Aural 
rendering. Just simple { display: none } will help.

|   efforts in designing one and only one site, and not to make "ghettos"
|   for the blind.
|   What do you think about that ?  It seems that the text only version is
|   preferred because much more informations are presents !
|   Someone has tested this version ?

Ancient wizdom says:
"One URL is better than thousand words"
and 2 URLs more:
(second is for original ecommercetimes.com article about Amazon Access site)

Short resume: none of Amazon sites validates with W3C Validator.

|   Is it the better way to improve accessibility (visual accessibility) ?
|   And what about the URL ? Is it the good name ?

Amazon should try to build valid HTML (or Valid XHTML, or Valid XML) first, 
than think about "accessibility issues" or "mobile users" or whatever.
If they developed XML-based site, there should be no problem with translating 
XML to XHTML, or developing accessibility-enabled CSS stylesheets.

My [personal] opinion about Amazon sites, both Amazon.com and "for mobile 
users" - they are *UGLY*! 
That's one of the reasons why I don't use Amazon.com at all.
(another reason: their Cookies policy)

|   Of course, i will try to make a summary to the list of all the answers i
|   will get !

Yes, please, and cc'me in those summary.
I would be pretty much interested to know what sites blind users _like_ - I 
dislike [design of] most of web sites on Internet and really want to know if 
there are any GOOD sites left - which I haven't seen so far.

|   Jerome.


Vadim Plessky
http://kde2.newmail.ru  (English)
33 Window Decorations and 6 Widget Styles for KDE
KDE mini-Themes
Received on Sunday, 16 December 2001 11:10:51 UTC

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