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Re: language and tool results

From: Eric Eggert <ee@w3.org>
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2017 10:57:04 +0200
To: "Shawn Henry" <shawn@w3.org>
Cc: "Green, James" <jgreen@visa.com>, public-eo-plan@w3.org
Message-ID: <906A9EEF-CF48-4876-B13A-95AA2A73867A@w3.org>


On 28 Jul 2017, at 19:12, Shawn Henry wrote:

> Hi James, Sharron, and all,
>
> We might want to caution folks not to get too hung up on the 
> HemingwayApp results.
>
> I was a surprised at the HemingwayApp results on some of the WAI 
> content. I've been experimenting with it and the content from 
> https://w3c.github.io/accessibility-intro/ I tried several types of 
> edits on the first section to get better results -- which didn't do 
> much -- and then tried the lists -- bingo.
>
> An example issue with HemingwayApp results is inline lists.
>
> Starting text: "The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all 
> people, whatever their hardware, software, language, culture, 
> location, or physical or mental ability. When the Web meets this goal, 
> it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, 
> sight, and cognitive ability."
> - Grade 10
> - 1 of 3 sentences is hard to read
> - 1 of 3 sentence is very hard to read
> The whole thing is highlighted. :(

Imho this first sentence is problematic anyway: It’s just setting the 
stage for what is to come and tries to pack a lot into a very short 
amount of words. While I agree in general to tersify all the things, it 
can make it harder to read.

In this case I’d probably only mention accessibility-related 
information, leaving out hard-, software, language and culture.

The second sentence is doing two things at once as well: Introducing 
what WAI is and saying what accessibility will “lead the web to its 
full potential”.

I found it hard to fix those issues isolated on the sentences without 
looking at the whole document and even looking at the first section was 
not really satisfactory[^1].

> Deleting lists (which we wouldn't do here -- this is to show how much 
> impact just a list has):
> "The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever 
> their hardware. When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to 
> people with a diverse range of cognitive ability."
> - Grade 6
> - 0 of 3 sentences is hard to read
> - 0 of 3 sentence is very hard to read
> For this paragraph, the lists alone were adding 4 grade levels and 
> giving the highlighted "hard to read"s.

The app really dislikes long sentences, especially if they have multiple 
syllables.

> Changing in-line lists to bullets:
> "The Web is fundamentally designed to work for all people, whatever 
> their:
> * hardware
> * software
> * language
> * culture
> * location
> * physical or mental ability
> When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a 
> diverse range of:
> * hearing
> * movement
> * sight
> * cognitive ability
> "
> - Grade 5 (taking out "fundamentally" dropped it to 4)
> - 0 of 13 sentences is hard to read
> - 0 of 13 sentence is very hard to read
>
> For this specific paragraph, my perspective is that we do *not* want 
> to bullet out at least the first list -- because it is a very minor 
> point of the overall page -- just setting the stage, and we don't want 
> them emphasized.

I personally don’t think this is easier to read than a sentence. I 
think the problems is the information density, not the lists themselves. 
Breaking the sentences up in lists with (essentially) 10 mini-sentences 
makes the algorithm happy, but as a reader I’d find it annoying.

> ---
>
> If someone just looks at HemingwayApp results on this paragraph, they 
> could critique it. However, the inline lists are the main cause of 
> high reading level and highlighted sentences, and those are OK in this 
> case.
>
> But maybe others won't get hung up about it so no need to say 
> anything. :-)

It’s important to keep the limitations in mind. On the other hand, 
sentences that we see as perfectly fine because we know what they should 
say can be hard to read for others. The first sentence needs to be 
carefully deconstructed to get the full meaning, especially for 
non-native speakers this can be a hurdle.

I don’t think we need to sweat every sentence like that[^2] but it is 
important to think about it.

Best, Eric

>
> ~Shawn

[^1]: Here’s my attempt in case someone finds it useful: “The Web is 
fundamentally designed to work for all people. This includes making it 
accessible to individuals with a diverse range of hearing, movement, 
sight, and cognitive abilities. The web can remove communication and 
interaction barriers. It lessens the impact of disability compared to 
the physical world. Poorly designed web sites or web applications can 
create barriers, excluding people from using them. Enabling people with 
disabilities to use the web equally is the Web Accessibility 
Initiative’s (WAI) mission.”

[^2]: At least not right now :-D

--

Eric Eggert
Web Accessibility Specialist
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
Received on Saturday, 29 July 2017 08:57:08 UTC

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