W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > March 2008

Re: closing a Tab?

From: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@utoronto.ca>
Date: Tue, 04 Mar 2008 10:43:05 -0500
Message-ID: <47CD6E09.6090305@utoronto.ca>
To: David Bolter <david.bolter@utoronto.ca>
CC: Aaron M Leventhal <aleventh@us.ibm.com>, Becky Gibson <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>, Jon Gunderson <jongund@uiuc.edu>, "Schnabel, Stefan" <stefan.schnabel@sap.com>, Thomas.Wlodkowski@corp.aol.com, wai-xtech@w3.org, wai-xtech-request@w3.org

David Bolter wrote:
> I see, so "haspopup" would be a kind of a catch all. I suspect for 
> tabs, users might habituate that haspopup probably means closeable 99% 
> of the time and they could try the keystroke. 
Some random thoughts:

It's interesting that (a) both the visual and eyes-free user can acquire 
a context menu here, but (b) only the visual user is given, up front, a 
visual cue of the popular 'close-the-tab' operation.  That implies that 
there should be a analogous up-front audio cue.  Perhaps it's part of 
the title of the tab -- whenever the title is presented/spoken, so is 
the cue 'closable'.  Perhaps a standardized sound effect would suffice.  
This is similar to Stephan's suggestion that closability is part of the 
tool tip.  I suggest that when focus is placed on the tab and its name 
is announced, it is also announced that it can be closed (if it can be).

Another factor: doesn't it depend on how the tab was created?  If the 
user created the tab by some previous UI gestture, then, by symmetry, 
they should be able to close it.  But, on the other hand, if the tabs 
are within a dialog that the system is presenting, then users do not 
expect that those tabs can be closed.  In short, the context of the 
situation and mind set of the user comes into play -- do they expect 
that a given tab is closable?

Finally, putting on my Fluid hat:  are there any user experience studies 
to go by regarding putting the close icon in the tab-focus order?  If 
90% of the users want the close box to be in the tab order, then it 
should be in the tab order.  If only 10% want that, then it is likely a 
hindrance to put it in the tab order.  And, finally, if a significant 
but less than a majority of users want it in the tab order, perhaps it's 
a user preference -- the user interface (here tab order) is adapted 
according to that preference.  Only those users who want it in the tab 
order get it that way.

-- 
;;;;joseph

'This is not war -- this is pest control!'
      - "Doomsday", Dalek Leader -
Received on Tuesday, 4 March 2008 15:44:59 UTC

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