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Usability and Accessibility presentation RE: WebXTutti

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 14 Jun 2002 07:25:20 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Nissen, Dan E" <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>
cc: WAI IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0206140706570.3961-200000@tux.w3.org>
On Mon, 10 Jun 2002, Nissen, Dan E wrote:

  Here is the referenced document in html.

  It is small enough so we can handle the text, I hope.  But, it is still in
  Italian, so I can't get too much from it.  Any volunteer translators?

CMN: I have translated the document into english. Thanks to Michele for his
permission to publish this, and for helping me clarify difficult parts of the
translation. I have attached the HTML version and hope that it will be made
available from the WebXTutti site. The text is below for easy reading.

As I said I found this an interesting presentation. I will make a few
comments on the content in a reply to this email...


  It isn't Accessible without Usability: For a synergy between technology
    and design

  Michele Visciola, Etnoteam

  Three topics

  1. On the relation between Accessibility and Usability
  2. On the role of automatic evaluation tools and evaluation of Usability
  3. On the relation between providing technology and a culture of
      Accessibility and Usability

  1: On the relation between Accessibility and Usability

  + Developing for assistive technology does not resolve design problems
  + In particular, does not resolve Usability problems
  + In solving access problems technology can enable, but ultimately design
     determines the outcome

  Typical usability problems when using assistive technology

  + Auditory overload
  + Loss of context during navigation
  + Short-term memory overload
  + repetitive browsing patterns to avoid frustration and underutilization
  important features and/or contents in the site

  Some typical factors encountered in good design with usability methodology
  (testing with real users above all)

  + Organisation of the page and of HTML attributes (e.g. ALT, LONGDESC)
  + Navigation method (e.g. Organisation of the links in a page)
  + How and when to enable skipping links or navigation bars
  + Optimisation of time taken for navigating to find information
  + Presentation of search results
  + Use of tables; automatically inserted data; space between links; use of
      acronyms and abbreviations; length of text; use of special characters
      (punctuation, parentheses, mathematical functions)

  Brief navigation demos with a screen reader

  + Government "gateway": www.governo.it
  + Site designed for accessibility: http://Wai.inps.it
  + Newspaper site: www.corriere.it
  + Another newspaper: www.republica.it

  2: The role of Automatic Accessibility  evaluation tools.

  + Tools available today are more or less useful for identifying things
      that are *not accessible*
  + The automatic tools seem mostly oriented towards functioning with screen
      readers. They don' pay much attention to other technology - not even
      screen magnifiers

  Example of things that automatic tools can't test

  + Organisation of the page
  + Presentation of the text
  + Navigation methods

  3: On the relation between providing technology and a culture of
      Accessiblity and Usability

  + Why are there always so many problems with interaction and problems in
      the interface, as if there were no guidelines?
  + Is it really enough to rely on the goodwill of webmasters and on
      voluntary or special-interest groups to signal basic problems?


  + There needs to be a real adherence to a culture of development based on
      user testing
  + It isn't enough to declare a site accessible: it has to be tested in
      practice and documented with empirical evidence

Received on Friday, 14 June 2002 07:25:25 UTC

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