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Re: Testing web page accessibility by phone

From: phoenixl <phoenixl@sonic.net>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2002 20:52:25 -0700
Message-Id: <200205300352.g4U3qPAO014735@newbolt.sonic.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hi,

I believe this is getting into design concepts.  Basically, the
web page designer is trying to fulfill some purpose with a web page.
A user is using the web page to fulfill a purpose too.  Basically,
the developer does testing to be sure that the web page is achieving
the purpose the developer has in mind.

Learnability is often considered a usability issue.  Is it also an
accessibility issue?  When does a usability issue become an accessibility issue?

Scott

> Just to add a few more comments (or possibly re-add the same comments ...):
> 
> At 05:14 PM 5/28/2002, phoenixl wrote:
> >Hi,
> >
> >The issue of "getting it right" is an interesting one, but it is not
> >clear exactly what it means since various people and organizations have
> >different interpretations.
> >
> >With regards to web page accessibility, I contacted hisoftware and found
> >out their software doesn't address a number of the issues of "understanding".
> >When we were doing some web page testing, some of the questions that blind
> >people were asked were like:
> >
> >     1.  What is the purpose of the web page being presented?
> >
> >     2.  How do you know you are correctly interpreting the purpose of
> >         the web page?
> Who decides what the "real" purpose of the page is? If the designer is on 
> hand (or if you designed a test page), then you have a good chance of being 
> sure what the page is for. But this still may not agree with what most 
> users think the page is for, or ought to be for. Some pages have one 
> specific purpose, & should have as little distracting material as possible 
> (a purchase completion page). Other pages (a university or supermarket 
> homepage) may need to offer something to a wide range of users with 
> different interests.
> 
> So it may be better to frame the questions in terms of user expectations, 
> esp. since few people will ever be presented with a web page out of thin 
> air. They are either typing in an address, following a link recommended by 
> a friend, or following a link from a previous web page. In all these cases 
> the user has some expectation of what will happen when the new page loads. 
> So the question might be: What were you expecting to find on the page? Were 
> you able to find it? What unexpected things occurred? Did they distract or 
> help you in finding what you wanted? You might also compare the confusion 
> level of the novice blind user with the confusion level of a novice sighted 
> user. (My hunch is that there won't be very many "intuitively obvious" 
> pages without some level of training/experience.)
> 
> Another area that studies, particularly of blind users tend not to address 
> is the learning curve issue. It may take even an experienced blind web user 
> a long time to understand a new site, esp. if it uses unfamiliar navigation 
> or other layout features. But after the structure of the page is learned, 
> return visits can go much faster. So if I know that the link I want is the 
> third one that starts with R, I simply load the page, use the Link List 
> command, type R R R & hit Enter (for example purposes only). So I may 
> actually get to the desired content faster than a darkness-impaired user in 
> some cases.
> 
> This is where things like frames become issues. Blind users (& many others 
> with & without disabilities) work best in familiar navigational structures. 
> When the metaphor for the page design changes (it's a Windows dialog box; 
> it's like a spreadsheet for you to fill in numbers), or new elements are 
> added (pop-out menus, etc), these are confusing until learned. So, if a 
> user has to continually learn new page metaphors, his/her efficiency will 
> be decreased. (Of course many web authors are constantly seeking new page 
> designs to differentiate themselves from the competition, so this will 
> always be an issue.)
> 
> My rambling shall cease,
> Patrick
Received on Wednesday, 29 May 2002 23:53:03 GMT

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