Re: Regarding ARIA drag and drop?

I've had a chance to redesign the widget, and I believe it takes care of the 
issues you mentioned. This can be seen at
It does use the same technique, but uses a single keyboard interaction model 
that scales across desktop screen reader usage, keyboard only usage, as well 
as touch screen device usage via iOS.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joseph Scheuhammer" <>
To: "Bryan Garaventa" <>; "James Craig" 
Cc: "public-pfwg" <>
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2014 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: Regarding ARIA drag and drop?

> Hi Bryan,
> Your example has resurrected misgivings I've had about keyboard-based 
> drag-and-drop.  What follows might seem as an attack on your work.  It 
> isn't; I'm using it as a springboard.
> Specifically with respect to your example:  if the goal is to move books 
> from the shelf to the shopping cart, then I would add a button or context 
> menu to each book icon that allowed the user to move it to the cart with 
> one gesture.  That button/menuitem would be accessible to mouse, touch, or 
> keyboard depending on the device.
> The sequence of TAB to focus, ENTER to grab, TAB to drop target, ENTER to 
> release, etc. is awkward.  At least, I find it so.  As a user, once I have 
> focus on a book, and I know I want to purchase it, why can't I simply 
> indicate that with one keystroke (or mouse click, or touch, or voice 
> command)?
> With respect to my misgivings:  drag-and-drop is essentially a 
> GUI/pointing-device sequence of gestures.  Trying to mimic that process 
> using a series of keystrokes is misguided if it's the first or only 
> attempt at a keyboard alternative.  The UI development should begin by 
> focusing on what the user is trying to accomplish and use that as a guide. 
> In the context of your example, it's a matter of moving books between the 
> book shelf and the shopping cart.  That should be the starting point: 
> what simple, intuitive gesture(s) can accomplish that goal?  I don't think 
> the whole ARIA drag-and-drop keyboard machinery is needed here.  And, for 
> other contexts, while it might turn out that it is appropriate, that 
> should be the outcome of the design, not the presupposition.
> End of rant.
> Otherwise, your example is an interesting exploration of the issue. It 
> feels like a lot of work and research -- thanks for posting it.
> -- 
> ;;;;joseph.
> 'A: After all, it isn't rocket science.'
> 'K: Right. It's merely computer science.'
>              - J. D. Klaun -

Received on Monday, 17 March 2014 07:16:47 UTC