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Re 4.5 Preference Settings

From: Greg Lowney <gcl-0039@access-research.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Jun 2009 23:42:49 -0800
Message-ID: <4A30B579.3070302@access-research.org>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Some comments on proposed wording of the proposed 4.5 from UAWG Survey 
for 28 May (http://www.w3.org/2002/09/wbs/36791/20090527/results), 
"Guideline 4.5 Configure and Store accessibility preference settings". I 
will paste these into the survey form as well.

   1.

      *(Re 4.5.1, Reconfigure accessibility defaults) Clarify defaults
      or delete:* What are "defaults", as opposed to a persistent
      user-preference setting that are already discussed in other SC in
      this section? Unless that can be clarified I can't see the value
      in keeping this SC.

   2.

      *(Re 4.5.1, Reconfigure accessibility defaults) Change to standard
      wording: *A large number of SC that are worded in the form of "The
      user has the option to", and this could be rewritten in that
      format, e.g. "_The user has the option to_" change settings that
      impact accessibility.

   3.

      *(Re 4.5.2, Save accessibility settings) Should everything be
      persistent**: *has no equivalent in ISO 9241-171 because we (ISO
      working group) left it up to the software developer to determine
      which user-adjusted settings are appropriate to be persistent
      across sessions and which are not. Some things should certainly be
      persistent, but we were not able to write up a specification to
      clearly identify which. Is it appropriate to make everything
      persistent when limited to user agents? Is that safe?

   4.

      *(Re 4.5.2, Save accessibility settings) **Add ability to restore
      default settings: *See my previous comment "#81. (Re 4.5.1) Add
      ability to restore default settings: Please add a requirement that
      the user be able to restore user agent preference settings to
      their default values. Without that, if a user makes a change that
      is detrimental, 4.5.1 ensures that it will be difficult to get rid
      of. I would like to see this be Level A, although if too few user
      agents currently provide this then it could be Level AA for the
      time being. (Priority: 2 Medium)."

   5.

      *(Re 4.5.3, Accessibility User Profiles) Harmonize with ISO:*
      4.5.3 is equivalent to ISO's 8.2.5 (Provide user-preference
      profiles), so let's adopt or adapt their wording if possible (see
      below).

   6.

      *(Re 4.5.3, Accessibility User Profiles) Remove 'Accessibility'
      from title: *If 4.5.3 is not replaced, rewrite to remove conflict
      between the title, which implies it's only about accessibility
      settings, and the body which is more general (e.g. by either
      removing the word "accessibility" from the title or adding it to
      the body).

   7.

      *(Re 4.5.4, Accessibility Portable Profiles) Harmonize with ISO:
      *4.5.4* *is equivalent to ISO's 8.2.6 (Provide capability to use
      preference settings across locations), so let's adopt or adapt
      their wording if possible (see below).

   8.

      *(Re 4.5.4, Accessibility User Profiles) Remove 'Accessibility'
      from title:* If 4.5.4 is not replaced, rewrite to remove conflict
      between the title, which implies it's only about accessibility
      settings, and the body which is more general (e.g. by either
      removing the word "accessibility" from the title or adding it to
      the body).

   9.

      *(Re 4.5.5, Preference Wizard)** Clarify the term 'Wizard':* Note
      my earlier comment " #86. (Re 4.5.3) Clarify the term "wizard":
      The term "wizard" only occurs in this SC's title and text, and in
      the latter it's written in quotation marks. I recommend adding a
      definition of 'wizard' to the glossary and using it without
      quotation marks. (Priority: 3 Low)".

  10.

      *(Re 4.5.5, Preference Wizard)** Change to standard wording: *A
      large number of SC that are worded in the form of "The user has
      the option to", and this could be rewritten in that format, e.g.
      "_The user has the option to_ access a wizard that helps them
      configure..."

  11.

      *(Re 4.5, Store preference Settings) Someday delete section:
      *Section 4.5* *is entirely general software accessibility
      guidelines. As of these SC are specific to Web functionality, I
      hope they will be removed from future versions or drafts of the UAAG.


Here are the relevant entries from ISO 9241-171 ("Ergonomics of 
human-system interaction -- Part 171: Guidance on software accessibility"):

 
*8.2 User preference settings*

* 
8.2.1 Enable individualization of user-preference settings [ANSI Level 2]*

When the software enables the user to set personal preferences, these 
settings should be easily adjustable.

EXAMPLE 1 A software application allows users to configure and save 
settings for font size and style within a particular window.

NOTE 1 System-wide user preference settings provided by the platform 
need to be used in addition to any preference settings for 
product-specific options.

EXAMPLE 2 A software application allows a user with cognitive 
disabilities to choose the number and size of icons displayed at any one 
time.

NOTE 2 Requiring users to hand edit a configuration file is not an easy 
method for individualizing preference settings because it is too easy 
for the user to accidentally enter invalid values or otherwise corrupt 
the file.

EXAMPLE 3 A user chooses preference settings through a graphical user 
interface, rather than directly editing the configuration files.

NOTE 3 Business considerations related to consistency of operations, 
performance-based considerations, safety, privacy, and security concerns 
can all lead to some necessary restriction by system administrators of 
the user's capability to modify the behaviour and appearance of 
user-interface elements in certain contexts. Administrators need to show 
restraint in limiting user control. Not all options/preferences settings 
are appropriate for such administrative control.

NOTE 4 Administrators within this business environment can make specific 
permission profiles for users that require more flexibility in their 
options/preference settings for usability and accessibility.

* *

*8.2.5 Provide user-preference profiles [ANSI Level 3]*

Software should enable users to create, save, edit and recall profiles 
of preference settings, including input and output characteristics, 
without having to carry out any restart that would cause a change of 
state or data.

NOTE 1 For systems that provide access for multiple users, such as 
library systems, conversion back to a default profile can be advisable.

NOTE 2 It is often useful to be able to access the preference settings 
over a network. Doing this in a secure way would preserve privacy 
especially for people who are worried about revealing the fact that they 
have a disability.

NOTE 3 It is preferable to minimize the need to restart the system or 
application in order for changes in user interface settings to become 
effective.

EXAMPLE 1 Platform software allows each user to save global settings for 
font size, sound volume, and pointer-control settings that apply 
everywhere on the system.

EXAMPLE 2 A software application allows users to configure and save 
settings for font size and style within a particular window.

EXAMPLE 3 The profile for a public library system is modified for the 
needs of a current user but returns to default values when that user is 
finished.

EXAMPLE 4 For a person completing an on-line process who has to make 
adjustments to the accessibility feature to reduce errors, restarting 
the operating system or the user agent would cause loss of work.

* *

*8.2.6 Provide capability to use preference settings across locations 
[ANSI Level 3]*

Software should permit users to transfer their preference settings 
easily onto a compatible system.

NOTE 1 Portability is important for users with disabilities because they 
could find a system difficult or impossible to use without preferences 
set to meet their interaction needs. The overhead and effort required to 
create preference settings can be a significant hindrance to system 
usability if it must be repeated at every location.

NOTE 2 User preferences profiles are sometimes made publicly available, 
e.g. for download from the Internet. Because people can be concerned 
about others knowing of their disability, it would be helpful if their 
use of these resources could be kept private.

NOTE 3 Some platform software can provide a general mechanism for 
transferring their preference settings; in such cases, software might 
not have to implement this feature itself, as long as it follows 
platform conventions for storing its user preference settings.

EXAMPLE 1 A user visiting a different building on the company network 
logs in and the system automatically locates and uses his or her 
personal preference settings from the network without having to edit 
configuration files.

EXAMPLE 2 A user loads a preference settings file from a USB (universal 
serial bus) drive onto a new computer.

EXAMPLE 3 A user's preference settings are loaded from a smart card onto 
a new system.

 

        Thanks,
        Greg
Received on Thursday, 11 June 2009 06:47:15 GMT

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