W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > October to December 2004

RE: Short and long descriptions for links

From: Patrick Lauke <P.H.Lauke@salford.ac.uk>
Date: Tue, 21 Dec 2004 09:34:41 -0000
Message-ID: <3A1D23A330416E4FADC5B6C08CC252B90113C127@misnts16.mis.salford.ac.uk>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> From: Tipton, William 
> I would like to have longer descriptions so where appropriate 
> users who
> use screen readers can pick up this longer description. The shorter
> descriptions would be used for the users who do not use 
> screen readers.
> I am hoping that the screen readers would only pick the longer
> description when both the short and long are used.

One thing that struck me while reading this is that a longer, more
explicit description may benefit all users, not just those navigating
the page with a screenreader. Think, for instance, about users with
cognitive/learning disabilities. As Matthew already mentioned, title
would probably be the most appropriate. Two points worth mentioning, though:
a) in some cases, screenreader verbosity settings may determine whether
or not an element's title is announced - so you can't guarantee that users
will hear it in all circumstances;
b) (in relation to my "it's useful to everybody, not just screenreader
users" bit above) as far as I'm aware, there is no mechanism for users
employing keyboard navigation to present the title of the element which
currently has focus (i.e. the link they may have just tabbed to), so again
you cannot guarantee that all users will benefit from it.
Not saying it's not appropriate to use title, just thought it would be
good to mention these points for completeness' sake.

Patrick H. Lauke
Webmaster / University of Salford
Received on Tuesday, 21 December 2004 09:37:42 UTC

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