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Re: tabbing through the active elements

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 1999 09:47:18 -0600
Message-Id: <199903121542.JAA16934@staff2.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Responses in JRG to MRK.

At 05:12 PM 3/11/99 -0500, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:
>At 02:59 PM 3/11/99 -0600, Jon Gunderson wrote:
>>1. In the guidelines we want to have features that support several types of
>>user strategies.  It is important to remember that the checkpoints are not
>>strategies, they are features that support users access a document.
>>Therefore the checkpoints should support many types of users and there
>>strategies.  
>
>And to know how to best support the users and their strategies one needs to
>first understand them (at least at some level). And that is what I'm trying
>to do.
>
>So the checkpoints are not totally separate from the strategies. If we
>select to tab through links and controls it is different strategy than e.g.
>tabbing through main headers and links and controls semantically contained
>by those headers.

JRG: I have two suggestions on learning about user strategies.
1. There are a number of user with disabilities in the Boston areas.  You may
want to contract some and observe them accessing the WWW.  I am sure Judy
could
give you the names of individuals or organizations that serve persons with
disabilities.  I believe MIT has an office to provide services to students
with
disabilities.

Disabilities services at MIT: http://web.mit.edu/dso/www/resource.htm

I think linking up with persons with disabilities is a great way to learn
about
their needs and problems.

2. Turn off your monitor or throw away your mouse and try to navigate and use
the WWW using adaptive technologies yourself.  If the WAI group at MIT does
not
have any adpative technologies, I am sure you could get access to the adaptive
technology lab at MIT.

Information on adpative technology at MIT: http://web.mit.edu/atic/www/

>
>>2. Users with disabilities have the same tasks as other users.  They want
>>to know the content of the elements in a document and they want to use the
>>active elements (links and controls) to naviage to new information or to
>>send information to another location.  We want to have controls and
>>renderings that help support their access to WWW documents.  
>
>What is the document e.g. in a page like http://www.cnn.com/? I myself look
>first the title of the selected news article but if I start following the
>links and controls (by using the source) it will take me forever to get
>there. And it will take forever to understand the structure of the page.
>When looking at this example I think that the least the content guidelines
>should do is, in addition to pointing out the navigation bar, to point out
>the starting point to the main content of the page as well. But of course
>it is not the whole answer.
>
>(sidetract: maybe there should be a tool to group things together according
>to the groups appearing visually e.g. what is near each other and when
>these is space between the elements, elements with same background, which
>groups have titles with similar font, size and color etc.)

JRG: Henter-Joyce JAWS 3.2 provides a simplification function by removing
images and other information.  You may want to look at some of there
functions.

We have also including othter checkpoints in the guidelines for navigating
through headers and other types of elements.  We also have checkpoints that
support searching strategies.

>
>>3. Most of our understanding of the techniques and strategies use by
>>persons with disabilities is based on group memebrs own personal
>>experiences or experience working with people with disabilities.  Kitch
>>Barnicle has just completed a study on people with visual impairments
>>accessing the WWW.   Many people with severe disabilities have little or no
>>experience using the WWW to understand their strategies.
>
>Probably others in the group understand this better. I know too little so I
>just try to imagine doing the things I normally do without seeing them
>visually. Kitch's work sounds interesting. Could you give the address again?
>
>>4. Most users do not know what the content of a WWW document is before they
>>get there, so unless they have been there before they will probably use a
>>similar strategy for all WWW documents.  My guess is that most strategies
>>are not overt or well defined.
>>
>That is probably true and therefore it is important to be able to support a
>good strategy.
>Another thing is that if the page has some metadata about its type that is
>available to the user, the users might be able to modify their strategies
>according to that.
>
>>The sequential (tabbing) feature is considered the most rudementary
>>technique for accessing the document.  But it is still very powerfull since
>>it requires little user sophistications in learning how to use it to access
>>information.
>
>I agree tabbing is easy to learn. However, I missed the point here. Are you
>talking about tabbing through every element or selected elements (or
>groups) such as active ones and what kind of selections should be offered
>to the users?

JRG: The following checkpoints in the 9 March 1999 working draft relate to
sequential navigation of active elements (6.2.1) and sequential access to all
block level elements (6.2.5).  There are also other checkpoints that relate to
sequential access to headers (6.2.4).  6.2.1 is useful for people accessing
links and controls on the page with the keyboard and the other is usefull as a
simple (basic) strategy to read the entire contents of the document.

6.2.1 [Priority 1] 
Allow the user to navigate sequentially among all active elements in the
document. See also checkpoints 5.3.1, 5.3.8, 5.4.3, 5.5.1, and 5.5.2. 

6.2.5 [Priority 2] 
Allow the user to navigate sequentially among block elements (e.g.,
paragraphs,
lists and list items, etc.) 


>
>  Marja
>
>>Jon
>>
>>
>>At 03:02 PM 3/11/99 -0500, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:
>>>I'm still struggling to understand the tasks that the users who are not
>>>able to see the page are trying to do when they use different kind of
>>>tabbings .
>>>
>>>Somebody said at the last teleconf that active elements (links and
>>>controls) are used to get a peak or an overview of what is in the page. I
>>>looked couple of pages shortly trying to simulate that.
>>>
>>>One big difficulty was that I really would like to separate between the
>>>navigation bar elements, advertisements and the actual content of the page.
>>>Which one I want to look at a certain time depends at least on what I have
>>>done earlier and what my goals are.
>>>
>>>Sometimes I might want to browse first the main title of the page and then
>>>see the navigation bar links to orientate myself. The last part is the
>>>active elements in content. Sometimes I might want to see just the content
>>>links and controls as I am looking different pages at the same site. Often
>>>however, I still browse the headers first and then go to the links and
>>>controls (if I go to a control do I get the explanation of the control as
>>>well?).
>>>
>>>It would be nice to learn what the users frequently using these tabbing
>>>techniques do. What kind of strategies they have in going through the pages
>>>and what kind of difficulties there are? Are there clearly different types
>>>of sites that need different strategies? Would it help to use hierarchical
>>>tabbing where you can go up and down to more or less details in the
>>>semantic structure with one button while tabbing forward or backward the
>>>page with another?
>>>
>>>  Marja
>>> 
>>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 Friday, 12 March 1999 10:42:33 GMT

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