W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > October 2002

activation / focus and users Re: Access Key

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2002 11:27:11 -0400 (EDT)
To: Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>
cc: WAI Cross-group list <wai-xtech@w3.org>, HTML WG <w3c-html-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0210011115540.2662-100000@tux.w3.org>

What kind of users are we talking about here?

It seems there is a consensus that there are some users for whom the focus
then activate sequence is an important safety feature - people using
primarily voice interaction, who may not remember all the access keys, people
who are likely to bounce on keys by accident.

My own case is different - I have a problem with overuse of my hands, but I
can (normally) see a lot of information presented visually and it is rare
that I hit the wrong key, or am surprised by what happened if I did. I
believe there are a number of people in related situations (I know a handful
personally) who appreciate the efficiency of the direct activation method
above all.

I presume there are people who are somewhere between the two - in some
circumstances they appreciate the efficiency, but in other cases they want to
use the safety feature. (This is also relevant to Jonny's comment about
triggering focus events)

Can anyone help provide more data about the user scenarios they are



On Tue, 1 Oct 2002, Jon Gunderson wrote (among other things):

>Accesskeys are important for allowing direct navigation to links and form
>controls, especially web based applications that people use on a daily
>basis.  When I use accesskeys I always provide built-in documentation to
>what accesskeys are available in addition to the underlining technique of
>the key letter in the link or form label.  We have developed a web based
>database to keep track of disability services here at UIUC that uses
>accesskeys and works very effectively to speed navigation for screen reader
>users.  We have a internal link on each page to a list of the available
>accesskeys on the page[1].
>My criteria for accesskeys:
>3. I think moving focus is better than automatic activation (the IE rather
>than NN way)
>And at 10:14 PM 9/30/2002 +0200, Jonny Axelsson wrote (among other things):
>>Here is a collection of my opinions on accesskey.
>>I would agree with Tantek on the effect of triggering an accesskey. While it
>>is more efficient to do actions with no confirmation, the risk of triggering
>>an accesskey accidentally, together with the possibility that the action may
>>be irreversible (like a POST or even a GET under some circumstances, or some
>>scriptable control), has convinced me that giving the element focus is the
>>best and most predictable alternative.
>>While there are conflicting opinions on whether keyboard navigation should
>>trigger events (navigating using a keyboard would normally traverse all
>>intervening elements on the way to the target, you would not want to trigger
>>those elements), accesskey should trigger a focus event. It is the keyboard
>>equivalent to point and click (or rather point and mousedown).
Received on Tuesday, 1 October 2002 11:27:13 UTC

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