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Re: navigating Vs searching

From: David Poehlman <poehlman@clark.net>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 08:32:59 -0500
Message-ID: <3649920B.B8BE72DA@clark.net>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
navigating and searching imply two different reasoning approaches.  if I
want to go to something that is already there and I know where it is, I
need an easy way to do it. That is navigate for go.  if I don't know
where something is, I can 't go/navigate till I know/search for it and
find out where it is.  if that search takes me there then it is good but
the search and navigation behaviors are distinct.  Using lynx as a
model, we note that it is possible to turn on and use fine navigation
controls and also just as importantly to easily traverse to the top and
bottom of a well designed page.
direct navigation means to do something which takes me directly there
like previous/next line, top/bottom, fourth link, next or previous
heading/element. it seems that navigation versus search can be regarded
as a focus issue.
I regret that I cannot participate in current telecoms but have been
stockpiling and reading with interest the good work being done.
Thanks.

Al Gilman wrote:
> 
> 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
> >

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Received on Thursday, 12 November 1998 15:34:56 GMT

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