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RE: Who needs what Re: A Call to Reorganize WCAG 2.0

From: Laura Carlson <lcarlson@d.umn.edu>
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 11:41:52 -0500
To: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <2147483647.1093434112@lcarslon.d.umn.edu>

--On Wednesday, August 25, 2004 10:16 AM -0400 RUST Randal 
<RRust@COVANSYS.com> wrote:

> Again, accessibility and usability are not the same thing.

I agree. To me accessibility refers to web page information/content 
being obtainable and functional to largest possible audience. It is 
about providing access to information for those who would otherwise 
lose their opportunity to use the web. In contrast inaccessible means 
unobtainable, nonfunctional.

Usability is the art and science of designing systems or sites that are 
effective, efficient, engaging, error tolerant and easy to learn.

Usability and accessibility seem to be often confused. Some believe 
that a usable site is accessible and vice versa. The two are not 
exclusive, but it is important to understand the difference. Usability 
means that a Web site is intuitive and easy to use. Accessibility means 
a Web site is as barrier-free as possible.

Accessibility and usability are closely related, as they both improve 
satisfaction, effectiveness, and efficiency of the generic user 
population. But while accessibility is aimed at making the website open 
to a much wider user population, usability is aimed at making the 
target population of the website happier, more efficient, more 

Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN  55812-3009
Received on Wednesday, 25 August 2004 16:44:01 UTC

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