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Re: Question about ARIA role for bubble help (DHTML style guide)

From: Chris Blouch <cblouch@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2008 12:55:11 -0400
Message-ID: <47E296EF.2000902@aol.com>
To: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@utoronto.ca>
CC: sailesh.panchang@deque.com, 'Victor Tsaran' <vtsaran@yahoo-inc.com>, wai-xtech@w3.org

It seems like there are three overlapping widgets in the style guide

http://dev.aol.com/dhtml_style_guide

#7 Dialog - Modal
#8 Dialog - Non-Modal
#14 Popup Help
It appears that #7 and #8 are more or less identical other than the 
ability to use F6 to toggle between the popup and the main content area 
in the #8 case. Toggling should maintain focus context in both the popup 
and main content area so the user doesn't have to reorient while 
toggling back and forth. Likewise exiting the popup should return focus 
to where the user last was in the main content area. Both dialog types 
should manage wrapping around within the widget until dismissed or 
context switched.

If this is the case then the popup help (#14) feels like a simple 
variant of Dialog - Non-Modal except it is invoked on demand by the user 
rather than being triggered by the behavior of the web app. The use case 
is that I'm focused on something on the page that doesn't make sense to 
me. So I bring up contextual help which is implemented as a Popup Help 
widget and might have a multi-step recipe to complete a task. I'll 
navigate to step one, toggle back to the app and complete step one, 
toggle back to the help widget, navigate to step two to read it, toggle 
back to the app and do step two etc. So we want the help to persist 
until dismissed by the user, but allow the user to flip context back and 
forth between the web app and the help widget.

I believe this is the common use case of OS-based help.

The last permutation would be popup help implemented as a Dialog - 
Modal. I couldn't think of a scenario where this would make sense for 
help. Why would I want to lock somebody into the help content?

CB

Joseph Scheuhammer wrote:
>
> Sailesh, Victor,
>
> Thanks for your comments.
>
>> Sailesh: If this alert is informational only and does not have to be 
>> acted
>> upon then it is a nuisance as a popup.
>> ...
>> In case the password popup is being presented, then it should:
>> - Require an answer and
>> - Require focus to be placed in the dialog.
> Based on Tue's teleconference, I thought that a feature of popup help 
> is that it must have at least one interactive element.  Earl, can you 
> speak to this?
>
> I am sympathetic:  purely informational popups can be distracting and, 
> actually, non-informative.
>
Received on Thursday, 20 March 2008 16:57:38 UTC

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