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Re: SV: Color coding

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2010 07:29:22 -0600
To: Ginger Claassen <ginger.claassen@gmx.de>
Cc: Ramón Corominas <listas@ramoncorominas.com>, WAI Interest Group <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-id: <25D8A095-7C5E-4AB4-BB95-2ABC7E6D0DDF@trace.wisc.edu>
Personally i think it will drive everyone crazy to have a dialog pop up each time they clicked an external link. 

I think a small icon like a small world for example in the content that is visible with an alt text read "External Web Link"   (short but explanatory) would be the best thing until user agents provide this as a user selectable option.    In fact, if you have active content, - you can do this yourself by putting a link/control at the top that says  "Show external links"  and only show the world icon if people select the option. 

Making more work for everyone in order to meet a need for some is generally not a good idea and leads to backlash.  I always look for have a way that solves the problem but does not cause more work -- and might be useful to everyone. 


Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On Feb 22, 2010, at 7:20 AM, Ginger Claassen wrote:

> Hi everybody,
> first of all thanks a lot for all the input and ideas. Wat about doing the following:
> If it is an external link I color code it and in addition I insert a dialogue box that when somebody selects an external link the dialogue box will appear and say e.g. the following:
> This link will open in a new window (external website).
> Continue? yes / no
> Would that be an acceptable solution?
> Kind regards
>    Ginger
> Ramón Corominas wrote:
>> Hello, Gregg.
>> For me (user with low vision due to retinitis pigmentosa), most of these small icons are almost "invisible" or noticeable. Most of the "new window" icons I've seen are so small that it's impossible to distinguish them near the link text. Most of them have also bad contrast, and many of them completely dissapear when you switch to high contrast settings, because they are designed thinking in a white background. Additionally, some of them are confusing and do not represent very well the fact that they will open a new window. Only my previous experience on this type of behaviour will do the trick and alert me that this is a "new window icon", but not the icon itself.
>> And if you use more than one type of icon (one for new windows, another one for word, another one for PDF, another to print the page, provide a sound version, e-mail the article, etc.), then I will not be able to easily distinguish between all of them and will miss important information.
>> Of course, colour coding is not enough, and small icons are better, but "icon only" solutions (at least as they are now) are not perfect.
>> Gregg wrote:
>>> If you used a small visible icon to mark external links, and put alt text on them - then everyone, sighted or not, using a screen reader or not, colorblind or not, would know that these links are external.  It would also be more obvious to people than color coding where people might not make the connection or notice the difference in color even if not colorblind.   . 
> -- 
> Ginger Claassen
> Benhauserstr. 11b
> 33100 Paderborn Germany
> Tel.: +49 (0) 5251 / 147 9282 Mobil: +49 (0) 179 / 111 4492 E-Mail: ginger.claassen@gmx.de
> Skype: mcgingermobile 
Received on Monday, 22 February 2010 13:29:58 UTC

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