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EOWG: reaction on training pages

From: Eric Velleman <E.Velleman@bartimeus.nl>
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 14:08:49 +0200
Message-Id: <s940fa88.034@bartimeus.nl>
To: w3c-wai-eo@w3.org

In the Netherlands we are currently enjoying our vacation so I only found your mail this morning. Hopefully this E-mail arrives before the call.
First of all, I think the pages are very handsome, offer a good overview and good navigating. 

- The pages are very legible although the style sheet does not seem to cover all the tags (see technical remark below).

- The yellow background is very sophisticated. It might have a bit more contrast, or is this a W3 standard.

- I saw a remark on italics to focus attention. Please do not!. Discovered pages by the W3 that do use italics (www.w3.org/tr/). Extensive research has shown that it reduces reading speed enormously and when used in combination with small fontsize is mostly not legible at all. Using italics on a CRT is even worse than in print. We have that same experience here at our institute with partially sighted students. But also good sighted people experience difficulties with italics. In combination with serif fonts the damage is even larger. Some designers use the Photoshop alternative of crisp italics that have a very low inclination but still, also that reduces reading speed and legibility. Example of research I found on the net about this can be found at: http://hubel.sfasu.edu/research/AHNCUR.html

User control:
- All the fonts can be scaled very good except when passing on to the slides.
http://www.w3.org/WAI/training/ra#why: On this page is a link to the slides. The slides are not part of the discussion now but could be. The fonts are preinstalled scalable. I miss the user control in this. And the slides have a scrollbar making it necessary to scroll inside a slide content. Sometimes you have to scroll double: the page and the slide content. 

- My Browser, Netscape 4.7 (sorry for not switching to IE :-) has difficuties with the style sheet used on the training page. Therefore I get different fonts on the same page. In the Style Sheet I noticed that there was not a reference to the <dt> and <dd> tags? And the tags do not have end tags like </dt></dd>? this sometimes causes difficulties with Netscape.
- Also the yellow background is missing in my Netscape version. Because of that, the overview over the page is a bit less although the indenting does the same job.

>Alan wrote:I think there are advantages to one-word navitems wherever possible. 

I agree to that. I think that these items are clear as to the content I would expect behind them and easily readable.

>Alan wrote about a description of keyboard-only access to the Web: using internet software without a mouse. Keyboard-only access is used by people who are blind, laptop users, and sometimes by people with upper-body mobility impairments or learning disabilities. This is less of an assistive technology than an alternative access strategy, and it is something that I could write for this purpose (if I haven't done so already!)
>Judy replied: Where? in the "How People with Disabilities Use the Web?" (that's where we should be addressing it, and that page has edits pending) or somewhere in the training pages?

I think that keyboard-only access is very important. Just pull out the mouse :-) and see if it works well. More people should do so more often to undergo the ultimate blind-user experience. When we recently presented our book Site Seeing (about the development of an accessible website or webbased multimedia product) to the His Royal Highness prince Bernard of the Dutch Royal House, we asked him to pull out the mouse plug and tab his way to the page we wanted him to open. It was quite an eyeopener :-) to him and to many others in the room. Sorry, but although the book is in English, the page about the presentation is in Dutch.
So maybe we should suggest people to do the mouse-off test. And visit their pages without a mouse, or just listening to a speech synthesizer like we do here when we give courses and information about making the web accessible.

>Sheela wrote: I think the 'planning' page is coming together. In my opinion, the planning page should contain enough information so that a trainer can quickly get a sense of all the elements he/she needs to cover by looking at that single page. It should act like a list of check points and if he/she wants more information, the hyperlinks should be be used. 

I agree that sort of a checklist could be a good idea, on the other hand the pages are very flexible and offer many different approaches to trainings. When studying I had to visit schools and teach. We then got sort of a form that we had to fill in to be sure that we had well prepared everything for the lesson. the form asked for a timetable, definition of the group and their wishes, pre-goals, goals i wanted to achieve in the lesson, How I wanted to see if the goals where met, etc. Maybe we could combine something like that with a checklist.

>the section on this page called 'Arrange Resources in Advance' is probably the most well constructed. The four points under this section -'Consider online or off-line presentation modes', 'Arrange equipment', 'Order W3C/WAI materials in advance' and 'Check need for accessible formats' all provide concrete informtion. I like the way each of these are hyperlinked to the same page. I don't think 'Determine Needs and Expectations' and 'Choose Resources and Approaches' are constructed as well. In the second particularly, the title of the section is repeated again as a point below it. I think we can definitely come up with 3 points (each not more than 8-10 words) that can serve as checkpoints for 'choosing resources and approaches'.

- I agree to that. Maybe we could add the points that are on the linked pages to form the three of four points. so the Determine Needs and Expectations would feature the following links:
a. What does the audience need
b. What are the audience learning objectives
c. Confirming objectives and building program

- I like naming the first page "Overview" like Judy proposed

- And yes I agree, Judy wrote: one kind of feels lost when one lands in the middle of a page. If you link back to top to often the pages become to long? What is wrong with the back option?

- CSS positioning is still iffy in terms of browser implementations, no?
Anyone have new updates on that?

I understand that Netscape and IE can read CSS1 now but that they still look very different. We had great difficulties because we wanted our site www.bartimeus.nl to use style sheets that can be changed by the user and to look about the same on Netscape and IE.

For now!
Kindest regards and hear you at the call,

Eric Velleman
Henk Snetselaar

Eric Velleman
Bartimeus Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted
Utrechtseweg 84, 3702 AD Zeist
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)30 - 6982401 or +31 (0)30 - 6982346
Fax: +31 (0)30 - 6982347
Email: E.Velleman@bartimeus.nl
Website: www.bartimeus.nl & www.accessibility.nl
Received on Friday, 9 June 2000 08:26:32 UTC

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