W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > July to September 1998

RE: aisles in the key cluster

From: Charles (Chuck) Oppermann <chuckop@MICROSOFT.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 14:17:23 -0700
Message-ID: <D70342829C12D2119D0700805FBECA2F75F15B@red-msg-55.dns.microsoft.com>
To: "'Bryan Campbell'" <bryany@pathcom.com>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Personally, I believe it's out of scope to specify what keys should be used,
other than to say something like "use keyboard shortcuts which are native to
the platform and user interface being used.  Also take into account the
needs of physically impaired users when designing keyboard layouts."

The worst thing that a browser can do is invent new keyboard models which
are incompatible with the other applications and the overall scheme of the
platform and it's associated user interface.

Charles Oppermann
Program Manager, Active Accessibility, Microsoft Corporation
mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com http://microsoft.com/enable/
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"

-----Original Message-----
From: Bryan Campbell [mailto:bryany@pathcom.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 1998 2:58 PM
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: aisles in the key cluster


Hello,

Here are some refined ideas for the 'Physically Impaired Navigation' issue #
19. While keyboard controls must be clustered to reduce keyboard travel
distance for those with diseases like MS, having controls in one large block
is troublesome for those of us lacking fine motor control. To meet both
needs I see the controls as a cluster of ocean islands, 2 keys together to
say move the Link Anchor Up & Down pages with doing nothing keys besides
them. Because keyboard rows are offset there is less chance of sliding down
to hit incorrect keys. To take advantage of that offset it might be possible
to put keyboard controls in 4 key vertical aisles [2 islands that abut].
These aisles will make it easy to keep keyboard controls close to ENTER
which will usually do get item. The 2 key island can still be used for Page
Next & Back with Backspace as Back & the "+=" key as Next, for example.

Unfortunately mnemonics will be lost in this layout, but the loss isn't that
great as it is unlikely function names could be place appropriately on
one-key controls, in any case. In about 2 weeks people get use to control
placement especially when it has some spacial root. Pages move side ways so
those command keys are side-by-side, Link Anchor goes up & down so keys
should be vertical. Also browser should use a modifier key to jump Link
Anchor 6 or 7 links. I have macros to jump 6 or 11 links in either
direction, they greatly reduce the workload. A new command to go back to
last link would be terrific because sometimes I get to a link & slip side
ways, end up on a Heading. As a TV recalls a last channel the browser would
return to the last link. Thanks for reading.

Regards,
Bryan

-> "I don't need to stand to talk, to advise, & to generally make a pain in
the ass out of myself." Dr. Stephen Franklin, "Babylon 5": 'Shadow Dancing'
Received on Tuesday, 28 July 1998 17:18:44 UTC

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