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

Re: Recommendation for Disabled Items

From: Joseph Scheuhammer <clown@utoronto.ca>
Date: Tue, 20 May 2008 11:29:17 -0400
Message-ID: <4832EE4D.3000509@utoronto.ca>
To: David Poehlman <david.poehlman@handsontechnologeyes.com>
CC: wai-xtech@w3.org, Becky Gibson <Becky_Gibson@notesdev.ibm.com>

Hi David,

> Voiceover is 
> always interactive and browseable and provides information about 
> disabled/(dimmed) items in menus and dialogues depending on how the app is 
> coded.

Voiceover is "smart" in this regard.  When Voiceover is active, keyboard 
navigation to disabled widgets (e.g., menu items) is enabled; but, when 
Voiceover is turned off, keyboard navigation skips over disabled items.  
I believe the assumption is that if one is using Voiceover, one cannot 
see disabled/dimmed items, but wants to know of their existence.  
However, if one is not using Voiceover, one can see them, and can see 
that they are disabled, and so need not waste one's time navigating to 
them only to be told they are disabled.

Becky is correct in that if a user knows that an item is present but 
disabled, then they probably do want to skip over it.  The problem 
arises on their initial use of the interface.  At that point, they don't 
know what is present and want to discover functionality, by navigating 
to disabled items as they normally would.  They want to explore the 
possibilities.  Once they know what's what, however, they may well want 
to skip the things they know don't/won't work.

The idea of making this is a user preference -- let the user decide what 
they want to happen in this regard -- is most appealing.


'This is not war -- this is pest control!'
      - "Doomsday", Dalek Leader -
Received on Tuesday, 20 May 2008 15:30:18 UTC

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