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Re: Applying design to W3C specs

From: Charles McCathieNevile <chaals@opera.com>
Date: Tue, 18 May 2010 12:33:46 +0200
To: "'Ben Schwarz'" <ben.schwarz@gmail.com>, "John Foliot" <jfoliot@stanford.edu>
Cc: Wai-Ig <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, Wai-Xtech <wai-xtech@w3.org>, public-html@w3.org, www-archive@w3.org
Message-ID: <op.vcwcykrwwxe0ny@widsith.local>
On Tue, 18 May 2010 02:04:25 +0200, John Foliot <jfoliot@stanford.edu>  
wrote:

> Ben Schwarz wrote:
>>
>> I recently gave a presentation here in Melbourne titled
>> "Take back the web" (http://www.slideshare.net/benschwarz/
>> take-back-the-web)
>> It discusses (there are notes on the presentation) that the
>> W3C needs the presence of professional designers and further
>> real world use cases..
>> Taking on this challenge personally, I teamed up with my business
>> partner to focus on applying some typography to the existing
>> W3C specifications.
...
> At first pass, my largest issue is one of color palette, and specifically
> many of those shades of teal/blue and white, which do not provide
> sufficient contrast between foreground and background;

Agreed.
...
> I would also suggest that the table used for the "Property Index" (near
> the end of the page) could likely use some vertical rules as well (either
> via the table rules attribute, or by styling the individual <td>'s with
> side borders): this lengthy table requires scrolling to view in its
> entirety and providing the vertical rules would assist both low vision
> users as well as many users with cognitive perception issues keep track  
> of each column. While less severe than the color contrast issue, I would
> offer it to you as something to consider.
>
> On the plus side, I appreciate the controlled line-length, the enhanced
> leading, and the fact that you've left well-enough-alone with the default
> font-size (a huge issue for the majority of the 80% font-sized web). So
> thanks for that!

Agreed.

> Finally, I suspect that there is a 'branding' requirement to keep the W3C
> Document Status indicator on the page (the Vertical Blue bar at the top
> left corner) - this might not be something that can be dismissed that
> easily.

It isn't branding as such, it is part of setting expectations about what  
the document is. There are still people who think "it's on the W3C site,  
it must be a standard" when in fact no such rule applies - there is stuff  
that is very experimental, or has even been abandoned, that is there for  
historical reasons.

I understand that spec text is generally somewhere between impenetrable  
and incomprehensible - this is actually one of the major problems of  
writing specs. Something that I think would be seriously helpful is more  
illustrations (you know, pictures) of stuff that is curently only  
described in dense complex text that often fails to communicate its  
meaning to the people trying to understand it.

This is important at the draft stage - if we miss something in a draft  
because the text is too complicated, then it is unlikely it will get fixed  
in a final version (less unlikely now we have the Candidate Recommendation  
phase, but still not highly probable).

cheers

Chaals

-- 
Charles McCathieNevile  Opera Software, Standards Group
     je parle français -- hablo español -- jeg lærer norsk
http://my.opera.com/chaals       Try Opera: http://www.opera.com
Received on Tuesday, 18 May 2010 10:34:29 GMT

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