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Re: What is considered navigation?

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 12:29:12 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Jennifer Healy <jhealy@book.com>, "'w3c-wai-ua@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>

At 12:15 PM 2002-06-25, Jennifer Healy wrote:

>I'd like some assistance determining what is considered navigation and,
>therefore, users must be able to skip. 

User requirement to be able to skip is broader than navigation.

Navigation requirements are what motions through the content you 
need to be able to make.

WCAG only talks about "groups of related links.

The NISO talking book 'escape' model is a much better conceptual
reference.  Anything that is a time [or keystroke] sink and a notional 
unit is a candidate for skipping or escaping from.

>Here is the scenario: A series of
>links (maybe 20 links in various categories) appear on the left side of the
>page within one section of a site. They do not allow users to navigate
>within the site or even within this particular section. Rather, users click
>these links to narrow the search results that also appear on the page. Each
>time a link is clicked, some or all of the links change. Therefore, I do not
>perceive this as navigation. I think that if a visually impaired user (using
>a page reader, for example) opted to skip the links, s/he would completely
>miss the purpose of the page, in fact, the user would not actually be able
>to use the functionality as intended.

Are there hyperlinks in the main frame?

There are different ways that the content "is intended to be used" 
and the author needs to back off and give the user latitude to elect
which of these they want to employ.

In a frames-based design one would want to click in the left bar and
go straight to the consequences in the main frame without tabbing through
the main choices.  But one might rapidly decide to escape from the main
frame and go back to the tree descent.  The visual user does this --
skimming the current state of the main frame between tree level
transactions in the left-bar as multilevel menu.

Being agile in moving on a block basis between this dynamic, hierarchical menu
and the in-extenso development of the content at each stop along the way
is the requirement.  Not a static "skip navigation" flag.


>Can anyone provide insight and/or additional resources in this area?

Please see the XAG draft at http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/XML/
and the thread going on currently on the WAI-XTECH list
dealing with checkpoints 3.2 and 4.10 therein.


>Jennifer Healy
>Product Manager, Product Development
>Barnes & Noble.com
>212 414 6545
Received on Tuesday, 25 June 2002 12:29:18 UTC

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