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Nielsen's Latest Alertbox & a personal protest

From: <carl.myhill@ps.ge.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 2003 04:44:36 -0500
Message-ID: <6192367D59F8904CA553579EF41FEEA001C9009B@ukcbgx01psge.geips.ge.com>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hi All,

Anyone else seen Jakob Nielsen's latest alertbox?

The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines
http://ww.useit.com/alertbox/20031110.html

Summary: 
There are ten usability mistakes that about two-thirds of corporate websites
make. The prevalence of these errors alone warrants attention, especially
since they appear on sites with significant investment in usable design.


Never mind that his website www.useit.com seems to violate his own
guidelines 1 and 5, it is what it says at guideline 8 which has me confused.

"8. Don't use a heading to label the search area; instead use a "Search"
button to the right of the box

This is a small point, but there's no reason to label the search box if
there's a "Search" button right next to it."

Bobby rates this as a priority 2 failure,  "Make sure that labels of all
form controls are properly placed."
http://bobby.cast.org/bobby/html/en/gls/g55.html

Bobby also states that you should, "Include default, place-holding
characters in edit boxes and text areas"
http://bobby.cast.org/bobby/html/en/gls/g109.html

Even I don't buy that priority 3 failure, and nor does Mark from
www.diveintoaccessibility.org , who instead puts an empty string in as a
label to fool with Bobby's verification robot into giving his site a AAA
rating. I've got my own little protest about this here...
http://www.impingtonswimmingclub.org.uk/technical/ (under 'why not AAA?')



I've written to Jakob about it for some kind of explanation but he's a busy
man an no longer gets his email directly, so who knows if my email will get
through to him.

Can anyone here educate me on whether Nielsen's guidelines are actually
better informed than Bobby? It does rather seem that Jakob has somewhat
ignored accessibility in his latest alertbox but perhaps I'm wrong.

Carl

PS I'm not normally a Nielsen basher - in general I subscribe to a lot of
what he has to say
Received on Tuesday, 11 November 2003 04:47:20 GMT

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