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RE: More data on accesskeys (New article written Nov. 1)

From: Alastair Campbell <ac@nomensa.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 12:53:02 -0000
Message-ID: <2A876A583754DD4E8E03CFE899FA16068F5DD8@saturn.intranet.nomensa.com>
To: "Andy Mabbett" <andy_mabbett@birmingham.gov.uk>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "WebAIM Discussion List" <webaim-forum@list.webaim.org>

> A simple fix for the problem of access keys would be to allow 
> the user to define their own access keys...

True, and several links were provided earlier in the thread to
implementations, but it is worth considering whether the target audience
would actually use them even when perfectly implemented (from the site's
point of view).

These two main factors come to mind:
1. The user has to know what accesskeys are, or the site has to give a
sufficiently obvious description of what they are.
- The user probably has to use the site regularly in order for it to be
worth investing the time to customise it. This useful study showed that
to be unlikely:
http://www.computing.dundee.ac.uk/staff/dsloan/usableaccessibilityadvice
.htm
"Participants had significant difficulty with the concept of making
accessibility changes, such as adjusting the page appearance. There was
also a distinct reluctance to explore how changes might be made."

Compare that to a mechanism in the user-agent that automatically works
across different sites and uses keys the user has defined once, rather
than for each site.

Obviously this new functionality doesn't exist in general (although
there are test implementations), but I know which I'd rather put effort
into!

(I'm also only replying to the lists I'm a member of, but feel free to
pass on.)

Kind regards,

-Alastair

-- 
Alastair Campbell         |  Director of User Experience

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Received on Friday, 3 November 2006 12:56:08 UTC

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