RE: success criteria wording

Hi Lisa

I am working on "When there is a barrier between the content and the user that requires additional abilities an alternative is provided that does not require additional abilities." and I definitely feel that the content associated with this definitely needs re-thinking in terms of scoping and testing.

In trying to fill out the template, and also in my task of trying to compare the W3C work and the ETSI work to look for discrepancies/omissions, I have found a significant problem. I think that this potential SC (and possibly others) has some difficulties:

-          Scoping: in the ETSI the scope has been restricted to user authentication and there are six guidelines, each one relating to one specific user ability e.g.  "The mobile ICT should offer at least one user authentication method that does not rely on a user's ability to memorize character strings." In the draft SC there is a general target of "barriers" and, as well as those envisaged in the ETSI work the examples given include things like 2-factor authentication, voice menu systems that sub-divide topics into categories and remembering what symbols mean.

-          Potential testing: because the scope of barriers appears to be so broad it is not clear to someone trying to apply the SC when it might be applicable. Also to test the SC it would be necessary to know what abilities might be needed to make use of "the content" in order to determine whether "additional abilities" are being required to overcome the barrier. Particularly if the barrier is a general user interface navigation mechanism like a voice menu, the cognitive abilities required to make use of the target content will vary from target content to target content and will be generally unknown to a tester.

I think that the above may be a rather general problem. The very excellent aim of the work has been to try to address all of the problems encountered by people with cognitive disabilities. This has led to the scope of many of the SCs being very broad (to catch all of the important use cases).

The work of ISO TC 173/WG 10 identifies many global high-level issues that need to be addressed, but it doesn't attempt to even make detailed design guidelines (let alone concrete requirements like SCs). In contrast the ETSI work has targeted very many "atomic" issues to address with guidelines (such as the sex guidelines that map to a subset of the ""When there is a barrier between the content ..." SC that I am trying to fit into the template .

The ETSI team did not attempt to provide guidelines that would apply to all the many issues that it was possible to identify. Instead it tried to identify a set of guidelines that might be possible to apply and test (even though testability was not an essential characteristic for a guideline).


1)      I think that it would be valuable for all of the SCs to be checked by experienced people who were not so closely involved in the drafting of the proposed SCs (as I was).

2)      I would like to restrict the scope of the "When there is a barrier between the content  and ..." guideline to user authentication and then fill in the template for this reduced version (I think that several of the parts of this broad proposed SC may be covered by the other SCs e.g. the issue of understanding categories is covered in "The main purpose of each page and section of content is obvious ...").

Best regards


From: lisa.seeman []
Sent: 21 August 2016 18:29
To: public-cognitive-a11y-tf <>
Subject: success criteria wording

Hi Folks

the most important thing is that each success criteria is clear and testable. In other words different people in different organisations would understand it exactly the same way.

Mary JO and Mike Gower  (from WCAG) have offered to help me clarify the wording of the success criteria.

Does anyone feel the do not want us to rework/re check the wording from the success criteria they are working on?
 If you do want us to go over it again, then work on the other sections (benefits, intent , techniques etc)   for now.
Also please  send me any clarifications or suggestions for changes in the wording that you may have.

All the best

Lisa Seeman

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Received on Monday, 22 August 2016 15:44:28 UTC