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RE: Thoughts about tooltips

From: Schnabel, Stefan <stefan.schnabel@sap.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 16:44:18 +0100
Message-ID: <A0F55B8DE2D56245AE2D0578E57450CE027D545B@dewdfe25.wdf.sap.corp>
To: "Becky Gibson" <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>
Cc: <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Hi Becky,

Please find my comments below in your original mail.

Besides of that:

Tooltips are a true cornerstone for SAP's future accessibility concept.

FIRST STATEMENT: Originally title attribute is designed to host tooltip
strings. 
It should solely remain for this purpose and explecitely designated by
W3C for this.

SECOND STATEMENT: I don't want to have describedBy to be used for the
tooltip BY ANY MEANS.
 
describedBy (which maps gracefully to MSAA's AccessibleDescription)
should be used for 
additional control related information to the very element, namely
special purposes 
not been covered yet by special role definitions, some special keyboard
useage info for that element.

Of course, also for addtional explanatory text on the screen
(for instance a combination "Label - InputField -
VisibleExplanationText", 
the explanation text will be mapped to the field with describedBy)

The more roles/properties we'll get the less we will need this property
for control-related info.

This will be a design concept for the SAP ARIA libs.
Please see attached sample for an implementation example. Unzip to any
dir, then go to examples/button.xhtml.

-> Can we have multiple describedBy for a single element? THIS WOULD BE
VERY USEFUL.

By the way, this is an excellent example that the W3C reccommendations
should include 
in future more requirements for the assitive settings in browsers and
definitions for screen reader features.

Best Regards,
looking forward to discuss with you,
Stefan



-----Original Message-----
From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Becky Gibson
Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 2:13 PM
To: wai-xtech@w3.org
Subject: Thoughts about tooltips


Tooltips can be very useful but I'm not sure how to go about making them

keyboard and screen reader accessible without being intrusive. 

Ideas:

a keyboard command to invoke tooltips and they display when mouse over
the 
"trigger" element

-> There should be in ANY screen reader a keystroke to selectively read
the title attribute of an element


visual indicator that a tooltip is available
Tooltips could be given the ARIA role of alert  so a screen reader will 
speak the alert when it is made visible or Tooltip can be implemented
via 
the described by property on the trigger element. 

NOOOOOOOOOOO, MUST BE SCREEN READER CONFIGURABLE IF TOOLTIP SPOPKEN ON
FOCUS OR NOT

Concerns:
If the tooltip is implemented via the describedby property, screen
reader 
users will hear the tooltip whenever the trigger element receives focus
- 
would this be too annoying?

YESSSSSSSS, this should happen on request, not always


Is a visual indicator necessary or can the tooltip be discovered if
there 
is a universal keystroke to invoke it.? 

SEE ABOVE

How to implement the visual indicator?  If a small  image is used it
would 
have no alt text since the tooltip is associated with the trigger
element 
and is not the trigger itself.

NOT NECESSARY

Is is necessary to identify the existence of a tooltip for screen reader

users?  The describedby property could be used to indicate "Press
Alt-F10 
for tooltip" but I worry that could be more annoying that having the 
tooltip itself spoken via the describedby property.

NOOOOOO, on request only

Generally tooltips are displayed on a timer and then disappear.  There 
have been complaints that this makes it difficult for people with 
cognitive impairments to read. Should there be a mechanism to display 
tooltips until they are explicitly closed via escape?  

YES, in BROWSER


Tooltips invoked 
via a certain key sequence would  remain visible until closed and mouse 
over and "standard keyboard invoked" tooltips would be  removed 
automatically.  It will be difficult to find two sequences that can be 
used to invoke alerts which do not  conflict with existing sequences. 

My inclination is to not include a visual indicator, use a keystroke to 
invoke the tooltip,  have the tooltip display on a timer, and implement 
via the ARIA alert role.  

NOOOOOO, timer MUST be in BROWSER ACC SETTINGS

Keyboard and screen reader users would have to 
discover the tooltip by trying the keystroke sequence with focus on the 
trigger object.  

YES BUT UNAVOIDABLE

Adding a second keystroke to display the tooltip until 
dismissed would be an added feature.



Becky Gibson
Web Accessibility Architect
                                                       
IBM Emerging Internet Technologies
5 Technology Park Drive
Westford, MA 01886
Voice: 978 399-6101; t/l 333-6101
Email: gibsonb@us.ibm.com





Received on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 15:46:33 GMT

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