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Re: Flash vs Traditional Screen shot tutorials

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2004 02:33:49 +0300
To: "Geoff Deering" <gdeering@acslink.net.au>, WAI-IG <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <opr993unq7w5l938@chaals.local>

The RNIB looked at ways for people to try stuff out when they were  
reviewing online banking (a few years ago now - I think around 2000). I  
have seen some sites that, rather than provide either a screenshot or a  
flash presentation actually provide a version of the interactive part in a  
sandbox so you can't do anything permanent. This is rarer in software,  
although in principle it should be easier. Essentially you offer a safety  
mode, similar to the evaluation mode that some software offers where you  
can only touch a handful of files.

I find screenshots difficult to wrap my head around - largely because the  
explanations tend not to be quite as good as they should be. Same goes for  
flash, as a rule, although I have seen flash simulations that actually let  
you pretend to be doing the action and are therefore effective. Neither of  
these tend to match what users actually run into in an accessibility  
context, so they tend not to be that helpful unless very carefully done.

Flash is making progress - there are specific improvements between MX and  
2004, but there are also still significant problems for both authors and  
users. Whether you see a big fat donut, or a very large hole, depends on  
what you are trying to achieve. Both are justified views, I think, from  
certain reasonable and common perspectives.

Not sure how much that helps. Hopefully some...

cheers

Chaals

On Wed, 23 Jun 2004 11:33:22 +1000, Geoff Deering  
<gdeering@acslink.net.au> wrote:

>
> Does anyone have any usability/accessibility statistics and ROI  
> cost/benefit
> for the difference in either developing online software tutorials via  
> normal
> markup and screen shots or doing it via Flash (and making Flash as
> accessible as possible).
>
> How accessible is Flash these days, I'm always reluctant to believe  
> company
> sales pitch, and would rather get the opinions of the likes of people on
> this list.
>
> http://www.webaim.org/techniques/flash/ is not very encouraging at all,  
> but
> has Flash 2004 improved on FlashMX?  If it has, maybe WebAIM should  
> update
> this review.
>
> http://www.markme.com/accessibility/ I don't know what's happened to  
> Bob's
> Blog, but it has been a barren wasteland for a long time.
>
> http://www.alistapart.com/articles/unclear/ Joe's article is dated 2000,  
> I
> wonder how much things have changed.  Maybe, I not enough?
>
> http://www.nngroup.com/reports/accessibility/flash/ and I don't take much
> notice of Jacob since his about face on Flash coincided with his  
> consultancy
> role at macromedia (also, his own Accessibility standards
> (http://www.nngroup.com/reports/accessibility/), at least to me, show  
> that
> he does not have anywhere near the real understanding of accessibility
> issues that the people who frequent this list do).
>
> Then what happens even if you do use Flash2004 with users with old  
> versions.
> The systems message is not very helpful as it tells you it doesn't have  
> it
> installed and would you like to download and install it.  My first  
> thought
> when I see something like this. when I know I have an application  
> installed
> is that some spyware is trying to download itself.  I think a lot of  
> users
> may feel the same way.  It should identify that it is an older version  
> and
> ask the user if they want to update to a new version.
>
> Geoff



-- 
Charles McCathieNevile                                  charles@sidar.org
FundaciĆ³n SIdar                                        http://www.sidar.org
Received on Sunday, 27 June 2004 20:35:01 UTC

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