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Fw: User Testing of Accessiblity Features

From: Tighe K. Lory <tkl02@health.state.ny.us>
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 11:52:35 -0400
To: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>, "WAI Interest Group list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "www-archive" <www-archive@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFBA9441ED.61433114-ON85257346.00572BD7-85257346.005735E3@notes.health.state.ny.us>

Sent to wrong e-mail:
----- Forwarded by Tighe K. Lory/PWSA/PAG/DOH on 08/29/2007 11:52 AM -----
             Tighe K.                                                      
             08/28/2007 02:31          w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org           
             PM                                                         cc 
                                       RE: User Testing of Accessiblity    
                                       Features(Document link: Tighe K.    

Hi Alastair,

I think that in most cases, visiting a photo album Web site would not be of
interest to someone is AT because of a visual impairment.

That being said, I think that if an <img> is on a page it should and can
have meaningful alt text.  This would be true for a photo album site. If
the image is irrelevant to the page either it should not be there, or
should be a CSS background image.

An example would be a stockphoto of a person (commonly used on Web pages).
These photos convey absolutely no meaning, and are purely for aesthetic
purposes.  For example currently Sun Microsystems http://www.sun.com is
running a promotion on their home page for JavaFX with a motorcycle racer
photo.  This photo is used only to convey the speed of developing
applications JavaFX.

Putting in alt text would just clutter up what the screen reader says, and
I think make the site less useable.  My mother-in-law is blind and when
using JAWs tabs through links until she gets to a page with the content
that she is looking for.  She determines this by the title of the document.
I can understand that some visually impaired users would want to know
everything on the page because they don't want to miss something that a
non-impaired user would see.  But in cases like this they are not missing
anything, and if I were developing a page like this I would use a CSS


             <ac@nomensa.com>                                           To 
             Sent by:                  "Tim" <dogstar27@optushome.com.au>  
             w3c-wai-ig-reques                                          cc 
             t@w3.org                  "WAI Interest Group list"           
                                       <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Lachlan Hunt" 
             08/28/2007 01:44          <joshue.oconnor@cfit.ie>            
             PM                                                    Subject 
                                       RE: User Testing of Accessiblity    

Tim wrote:
> If it is just eye candy, it is not html content, call it as a
> background image from the stylesheet rules.

Please refer to the original comments on testing:

Not to mention when I said:
> The issue at hand is not spacers, but content images that do not have
> useful alts, and no realistic means of adding them.

The reasons I believe it would be difficult to test in that fashion are:
- Order effects need to be balanced, you're actually trying to do a
comparison test with three different states.
- Individual differences between participants are likely to be high, not
only due to the effect Debi Orton noted, but due to different
technologies and settings.
- The responses you are looking for are experience based and quite
subjective, the test-setup could massively bias the results. (In fact,
just asking the setup and questions will indicate what sort of response
you are looking  for.)

In this situation you would be better looking at a persona driven
method, or simply making sure that there is a requirement for reasonable
(I'd recommend reading the notes on Guideline 1 in

Kind regards,


Nomensa - humanising technology

Alastair Campbell         |  Director of User Experience
t. +44 (0)117 929 7333    |  m. +44 (0)7970 879 653

Defacto, the first fully accessible content management system:

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Received on Thursday, 30 August 2007 00:48:39 UTC

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