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Background on FW: Proposed Final Design for W3C Technical Reports style in 2016

From: John Foliot <john.foliot@deque.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2016 12:06:56 -0600
Message-ID: <CAKdCpxyOp-MhF54aU2DpgHfO+RxC=YV2wVN_tUcCyfVayTwZGA@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-apa@w3.org
Colleagues,



With the transition to the new APA mailing list, I have been asked to
include a pointer to previous discussion on this topic captured elsewhere
at W3C,
​primarily
for archival purposes.



The initial thread started here:
​
https://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/spec-prod/2015OctDec/0009.html


​Cheers!


JF ​
​



*From:* John Foliot [mailto:john.foliot@deque.com]
*Sent:* Tuesday, January 5, 2016 8:18 AM
*To:* 'fantasai' <fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>; 'David Carlisle' <
davidc@nag.co.uk>; spec-prod@w3.org
*Cc:* chairs@w3.org; w3c-ac-forum@w3.org; 'W3C WAI Protocols & Formats' <
public-pfwg@w3.org>; 'public-low-vision-a11y-tf' <
public-low-vision-a11y-tf@w3.org>; 'Wayne Dick' <wayneedick@gmail.com>;
'Srinivasu Chakravarthula' <srinivasu.chakravarthula@deque.com>
*Subject:* RE: Proposed Final Design for W3C Technical Reports style in 2016



fantasai [mailto:fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net
<fantasai.lists@inkedblade.net>] wrote:

> > Fantasai, while I appreciate that you've made the link less faint, the

> > color used (#C0C0C0) still fails a color-contrast test.

> > (http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html#fg=C0C0C0,bg=FF

> > FFFF)

> >

> > To be crystal clear, the WCAG 2.0 Recommendation only speaks of “text”

> > when referencing color contrast (so for example, it does NOT speak to

> > icons, etc.), however since **underlined text** is indeed recognized

> > as a link, I would argue that the color contrast requirement would be

> > in play here, as the underlining is part of the active text, and that

> > the visual indicator should be as visible as the text it is underlining.

>

> It's a reasonable argument on the surface, but actually, I think the
contrast

> requirement for an underline isn't as stringent.



Therein lies one of our problems: this has not been definitively clarified.
I believe this is an open question for the Low Vision Task Force (now
copied on this thread), who are addressing issues related to this
user-group that were not addressed in the original WCAG 2.0 publishing
time-frame. I'll gently push back on your assertion, as I believe it is the
combination of text and underline - together as a visual whole - that
signals to most readers that a link is indeed a link. In other words, it's
not "  link text ", nor is it _______, but rather, the combination of the
two:  *link text*





> Unlike text, for an underline you

> only need to be able to distinguish that it's there, not distinguish
which of a

> variety of shapes it is.



Correct, the low vision user needs to distinguish that it is there. If it
is too faint in color contrast, it is not perceivable.



> I've tried increasing the contrast, but I run into a few problems trying
to do that.

> I have to balance:

>    * contrast with the foreground color, so that it's visible

>    * contrast with the text color, so that it's easy to visually filter

>      out the link style and focus on the paragraph text

>    * contrast between visited and non-visited links, so that they can

>      be distinguished

>

> One thing I could do is to swap the darker color for unvisited links, and
the

> lighter color (harder to see, but also less intrusive) for visited ones.



Balancing all of the functional requirements you’ve listed, I’d say that
this is a compromise that might work, but I am loathe to be the final
arbitrator of that decision. W3C also has a mandate to be conformant to
WCAG, and how we thread this particular needle will require some consensus.
I will take the Action to socialize this further inside of the WAI domain,
and specifically will ask the LVTF to weigh in here.



>

> > Suggestion: could you lighten the line weight, darken it and perhaps

> > use dashes or dots instead? (see in-page links at WCAG -

> http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20).

> > I’m not a graphics person however, so feel free to explore other

> > alternatives. Jonathan Snook’s online color contrast tool is quite

> > useful

> > there: http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html

>

> Lightening the weight or using dashes/dots instead would allow me to
follow

> the letter of the WCAG rule without actually following its

> spirit: lighter-weight or discontinuous lines are perceptually lighter in
color, even

> though the screen pixels will test at a higher contrast.

> So I don't think that's actually helping real people, even though it'll
help the

> color-contrast checker.



LVTF, do we have any research or feedback on this point that either
supports or dispels?



>

> I can do the opposite, though: make them thicker, so that they're easier
to

> perceive even though the colors are the same. :)

>

> It would look like this:

>    http://fantasai.inkedblade.net/style/design/w3c-restyle/2016/sample



This looks better **to me**, but again I’ll seek some other feedback going
forward. Thanks for being patient Fantasai! J



JF



>

> ~fantasai
Received on Tuesday, 5 January 2016 18:07:25 UTC

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