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Re: navigating Vs searching

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 22:06:26 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199811110306.WAA06804@access2.digex.net>
To: jongund@staff.uiuc.edu (Jon Gunderson)
Cc: danson@miseri.edu, kitch@afb.org, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Searching only the header text or only the link text is
potentially of benefit, but only after basic searching of all the
text and navigation from hit to hit [probably starting with the
user positioned at the first hit] is in place.

Documents are a blend of form and content.  Very often what the
author provides in terms of form by means of Hn elements
etc. fails to expose what makes the content interesting to the
reader.  In that case the reader resorts to content-wise access
methods such as matching substrings.

It is my experience that web wanderers who are blind use string
search keys a lot to tell one another how to find something on
the web.  I hypothesize that this is because the infrastructure
of headers is a) not normally navigable, but more importantly b)
not designed with the grain size of their display interface
[roughly speaking the line, not the screenful] in mind.

The content-addressed mode of getting around is generally
applicable to all text, not just structured or hyperlinked text.
As a result it is more universal and not dependent on the grain
size of the display channel, so blind users fall back on it a lot
because the headers that are adaptive for the sighted users don't
perform so well in sound.  Higher levels of structuring get
captured into the rhythms of one or another display medium.  The
more primitive modalities don't, so their utility survives
changes in the UI details.

Al

to follow up on what Jon Gunderson said:

> I think we are looking for ways to navigate by content.  One way to think
> of searching is to create a list of all the headers allow some one to
> search that list of headers sequentially, by numeric position or by
> alphabetic letters.
> Jon
> 
> 
> At 10:19 AM 11/6/98 -0500, Denis Anson wrote:
> >Jon,
> >
> >I think we need to keep in mind the distinction between searching, browsing, 
> >and actually getting information from the web.
> >
> >In my doctoral course, Teaching and Learning on the Web, we are doing a
> lot of 
> >web based research for focus papers.  We look at resources on the web, 
> >including on-line journals and the like.  We frequently read this articles
> (at 
> >least skim them) on the web.  If our navigation were combined with a list of 
> >links, we would be able to get to the top of the article, the bottom of the 
> >article, and perhaps an occasional internal link.  But we might have pages
> of 
> >information that was inaccessible to keyboard navigation.
> >
> >No, I think we need a way to navigate the *content* of the page as well as
> the 
> >links off of the page.
> >
> >Denis
> >
> >On Wednesday, November 04, 1998 10:45 AM, Jon Gunderson 
> >[SMTP:jongund@staff.uiuc.edu] wrote:
> >> I think the current guidelines put direct navigation into searching, since
> >> when it is discussed it usuaully refers to bring up a list of elements
> >> (i.e. links) and have the user use a numeric or aphabetic key board
> >> commands to move through the list.  I am not sure there is a big
> >> distinction between this type of direct navigation and the general concept
> >> of searching.  It potentially may be an easier sell, if it is discussed as
> >> searching (since many user agents already have search functions) than as
> >> some new keyboard based technique.
> >>
> >> What do people think about combining direct navigation with search
> functions?
> >>
> >> Jon
> >>
> >>
> >> At 09:12 AM 11/4/98 -0500, Kitch Barnicle wrote:
> >> >
> >> >In the "navigation" sections  of the guidelines and techniques it seems as
> >> >though we primarily refer to sequential navigation. Has the concept of
> >> >direct navigation been folded into searching?  To me the notion of
> >> >searching implies an extra step. While I think providing multiple ways to
> >> >search for items on a page is important, I don't want to totally lose the
> >> >concept of directly moving to a link or active element. What do people
> >> >think? Am I missing something?
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >Also, I am not sure what 5.6.3 means, "Allow the user to search for a link
> >> >in the current document based on its position."  Is this guideline a
> >> >substitute for providing numbered links?
> >> >
> >> >
> >> >Thanks,
> >> >Kitch
> >> >
> >> Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> >> Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> >> Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> >> University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> >> 1207 S. Oak Street
> >> Champaign, IL 61820
> >>
> >> Voice: 217-244-5870
> >> Fax: 217-333-0248
> >> E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> >> WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> >> 	http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
> > 
> Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> 1207 S. Oak Street
> Champaign, IL 61820
> 
> Voice: 217-244-5870
> Fax: 217-333-0248
> E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> 	http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
> 
Received on Tuesday, 10 November 1998 22:06:11 GMT

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