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RE: Time and Accessibility

From: Nissen, Dan E <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 10:57:23 -0500
Message-ID: <236F133B43F4D211A4B00090273C79DC0BDF08A7@us-rv-exch-2.rsvl.unisys.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Time has to be coupled with frequency of use and cognitive loading.  If the
user takes twice as long to power up/sign on in the morning (an extra 5
minutes) that may be acceptable.  If every time the user looks at a web
page, it takes an extra 5 minutes, that is probably not acceptable if
looking at web pages is more than a minor part of the job.  

And, on the cognitive-loading side, one problem with many web pages I see is
that they are much too busy.  My rule of thumb from many years is that there
can be 7 things on a screen for the user to remember while looking at the
screen.  More than that is too many things to remember and choose between.
This is reflected in telephone menu systems, where you get overloaded with
choices, even at 7 per menu.  Most "home pages" for large companies or
organizations try and give you a direct link to every aspect of the business
or activity.  This often loads up 20- 100 actions on a page.  Way too many
to remember or act upon, even for sighted people with good reflexes, etc.
The thought is that otherwise you have an extra page to look at.  But, most
users will want to use only a single aspect of these large businesses, and
they should bookmark the lower level pages for the areas they use.  BTW, the
page should make that easy, as well.  I wonder what others think about
tailorable "portals" like My Yahoo, My MSN, etc. where you get to choose
what you see to some extent.  Should we be encouraging that style for more
sites so we can get our daily needs down to a few pages?

Dan Nissen

-----Original Message-----
From: phoenixl [mailto:phoenixl@sonic.net]
Sent: Thursday, May 30, 2002 10:35 AM
To: phoenixl@sonic.net; poehlman1@comcast.net; w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Re: Time and Accessibility (RE: was Testing web page
accessibility by


An interesting question.  Now as near as I understand, the various
companies mentioned have not done much testing about how fast blind
people use web pages compared to sighted people.

A hard question that people often avoid is whether the rate of increase
of capability is the best that could be achieved or could it be better?
Is this an question that needs to be answered technologically?

When the president of NFB recently spoke on the Berkeley campus, he made
an interesting comment.  Until recently, the NFB has been totally
opposed to auditory signals at intersections.  At the presentation, he
indicated that they now believe that use of auditory signals should be
evaluated on a case by case basis.  It had me wondering how often
beliefs impede the evaluation of technology.  For example, suppose they
had set up a series of users tests of people using auditory signals at
intersections rather than waiting for random experience with the
technology.  They may have reached a better understanding of the benefits
of auditory signals at intersecions sooner.


> so what are gw micro and freedomscientific and dolfin and others doing
> spinning their wheels then?  Why is it that our capability grows with
> each new release?  This is not a blind thing.
Received on Thursday, 30 May 2002 11:58:38 UTC

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