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Re: link to us: Is there a recommendation to provide a graphic for external linking? if so where?

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@sidar.org>
Date: Sun, 18 Jan 2004 20:10:59 +0100
Cc: WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
To: tina@greytower.net
Message-Id: <0CC4F00C-49EA-11D8-BC54-000A958826AA@sidar.org>
One way of making things easy is to provide identifiers. We are almost 
all used to the link "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines" going 
somewhere we expect, but "شارل مككثينبل" probably isn't helpful. On the 
other hand, a giant yellow stylised M, in a particular font, on a red 
background, is allegedly the most recognised symbol in the world. A 
particular script in white, on a red background, underlined with a 
stylised white banner, is also often associated with a drink even by 
people who can't tell what the characters are.

Many organisations who use a text logo have a particular font  - 
perhaps not even very legible - that they use to identify themselves. A 
large computer company may have three letters in a font that could 
never be considered clear, but can be identified by people who don't 
know how to read latin script.

For some people who are used to not reading, these graphic symbols are 
a good way to identify things, and therefore to make clear what a link 
target is. Lots of people think a small rectangle vertically in the 
bottom of a square, with a triangle on top of it (and perhaps some more 
decoration) represents the idea of page d'accueil, although as Jonathan 
has mentioned before there are a number of non-readers who see a 
picture of a green bus, and will wait all day at the stop because the 
only buses that pass are red - many of these people are surprised not 
to see a picture of where they live when they follow this allegedly 
universal button.

As Tina points out, text information is the most useful to many people 
in this context, but the graphics are also a strategy for solving what 
might otherwise be impenetrable access barriers. This has been 
recognised to the extent that you can go to court if someone else uses 
"your" trademark, which implies that the idea is well-enough understood 
for people to work out a system for protecting its use.

Hope that sort of helps to explain the idea.



On Sunday, Jan 18, 2004, at 19:06 Europe/Rome, Tina Holmboe wrote:

> On 18 Jan, Jonathan Chetwynd wrote:
>> and others who may be severely graphically challenged, please refer 
>> to:
>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/
>   I'm sorry, but I don't understand this. Could you help me by
>   elaborating on your point ?
>> Maestro has many meanings, the graphic only one. This is true for
>> almost any text or graphic.
>> Furthermore many and possibly most users find it easier to remember a
>> graphic.
>> finally everyone's doing it, well plenty are, so why not reflect the
>> consensus in this instance?
>   I don't quite follow this either.
>> IMHO any page which fails to have a 'link to us' graphic cannot be AAA
>> rated.
>   Nor this. Could you possibly go into abit more detail, and help me to
>   understand your conclusion ? I'm afraid that, as English is not my
>   native language, I might be easily confused at times.
> -- 
>  -    Tina Holmboe                    Greytower Technologies
>    tina@greytower.net                http://www.greytower.net/
>    [+46] 0708 557 905
Charles McCathieNevile                          Fundación Sidar
charles@sidar.org                                http://www.sidar.org
Received on Sunday, 18 January 2004 14:12:41 UTC

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