1st Draft: EO Comments on ER Tools Reference Page

on Friday morning, during the EO teleconference, I minuted
the following exchange:

Judy: we need someone to summarize what has been said in this telecon and 
feed that back to EO list today to request comments; think just scratched 
surface here; include additional comments by Monday or Tuesday and then 
feed to ER;

Harvey: ER meets every Monday

Bill: are you looking for the EO point-of-view of the ER tools page?

Judy: yes, but our comments are so diverse that it might be best to collate 
them, sit back and think about them, and then comment upon them; need 
someone to gather together all of our thinking; is anyone willing to do a 
brief summary? Gregory, would you be willing to do it?

me: sure

// ACTION GJR: bounce first round to WAI IG and then take to ER //

// GJR offers to be liaison between ER and EO //

// RESOLVED: GJR will liaison between ER and EO on this
issue //

so, here's what i've got to throw against the EO wall...  download and 

EO Comments & Suggestions on the ER-IG Tools Reference Page
(Version 0.01 -- First Collation)

Organization (Table of Contents)
Section One: Background
Section Two: Comments & Questions Organized by Thread
    Thread 1: Content Questions
    Thread 2: Usability Suggestions & Questions
    Thread 3: What's In a Name?

Section One: Background
Judy Brewer asked the Education & Outreach Working Group to
take a look at the Tools Reference Page, located at:
which Wendy Chisholm has been updating for the Evaluation
and Repair Tools Interest Group. The topic was discussed at
the 4 February EOWG, teleconference at which time I was
given an action item to collate the EOWG's observations,
comments, and suggestions regarding the ER-IG's Tools
Reference Page.

Section Two: Comments & Questions Organized by Thread

Judy Brewer (JB): want to give some feedback to the ER
group; Wendy Chisholm been working on it a lot; ER group
working to make sure that info current; our group function
is to make sure pages usable

Thread 1: Content Questions

Helle Bjorno (HBJ): will there be any kind of disclaimer on
the page? page doesn't yet have a disclaimer;

JB: there is a disclaimer on the browser support page, but
not on the existing tools page

HBJ: has anyone tried all of the tools?

Harvey Bingham (HB). The date at the end, 1999/03/12  and
the copyright 1997, 1998 suggest that some of the links
therein may be aged/dead;

HB: Task for ER members: Someone should take each entry,
verify it, and identify answers for the issues identified up

Karl Hebenstreit (KH): tools making progress, but need for
validation or verification process for government pages;
this page could be part of it, but need to guide people
through a minimum threshold of test; a lot of people
frustrated with length of Bobby reports -- to much manual
checking when all is said and done; what they want to know
is "how do I fix what they say It can't evaluate";

Thread 2: Usability Suggestions & Questions

Chuck Letourneau (CL): I would move the brief explanation of
each of the three sets to the first section, then either
eliminate or duplicate the same information at the start of
each main section.  This would let the user know which
section(s) are of immediate interest.  A link could be made
to the start of each section.

HB: Augment the entries in the second and third sections
with descriptions;
Suggest a tabulation, for each section: by issue, by tool.

CL: A list indicates what information is to reported for
each entry but not all
entries complete the list.  I would suggest either more
consistent data
collection, or reduce or remove the list.  It was also
suggested that the
information would be more useful if it was structured in
each definition
(e.g. a bulleted list).

CL: Insert some white space between each paragraph.  That
would make it easier for touch screen users where links not
separated by a line.  Also I think
it would improve the appearance of the page.

HB: Use consistent form of presentation: Top section used
definition list with a DT and DD defined for each tool, but
the other two sections are simply lists of tools, without
detailed descriptions.

CL: Be consistent in layout from one section to another. The
entire page should use the definition list style. Which also
means that the Repair, Filter/Transform and Other tools
sections deserve short explanations of the function of the
tools (as in done for the Evaluation tools section).  I don't
want to link out to another web site until I know a bit more
about what the tool is used for.

CL: placement of definitions; maybe duplicating would be
good; more information up front; Judy has pointed out that
that would expand the introduction portion of the page even
more, so one wouldn't see where one was going anyway, but at
least one would know what was available; gaps in what say
will be reported and what is actually reported -- second
part with no definitions of tools; maybe remove or make sure
that all info there; whitespace between paragraphs -- all
bunched up in MSIE -- looks messy -- someone using touch
screen would have trouble with it; finally, only first
section on evaluation tools describes in any detail what
each tool is; like it; should be extended to the other 2
classes of tools; want to know more about tool before
following external link; settle on list style first uses DL
others use UL

Sheila Sethuraman (SS): I agree -- there is a need for
descriptions up front; appearance is inconsistent; order is
indicated (or at least implied) in the front matter, but it
is not adhered to as you go down the list; getting back to
the page, how about listing of tools in alphabetical order?
need consistency or reason for listing order;

JB: There is a need for more structure in area that
describes tool; can't get a lot of info from longer
descriptions of tools; violates Jakob Neilson's rules -- too
many words; Peter Bosher worked really hard on that during
last summer when he compiled the alternate browsing page --
he worked with EO to really tightly structured the
information and reduce the word count, created better
spacing and flow;

Helle Bjorno (HBJ): will this information be made available
in some kind of matrix? some users prefer (and understand)
such a structure better

JB: data could be available as either

HB: Wendy Chisholm does a very good job of creating
matrices, so we can safely leave that in her capable hands

William Loughburough (WL): any use of this in form of slide
show?  going to be
presented at conferences?

JB [with unanimous agreement of all on call]: want to talk
with Len Kasday (chair of the Evaluation & Repair Interest
Group) about that; Len gave excellent presentation on tools
at the Web4All day; he not only has a good style of
presenting the stuff, but has some excellent demonstration
slides; went through several different tools and went
through enough of each to give a flavor of what each could
do; need to turn Len Kasday's presentation into a standard,
stand-alone slide show for use by WAI/W3C

KH: probably need simple text -- keep free of technical
jargon; describe process and where this would fit into
validation process so that managers know what is involved;
repair tools, especially, need some materials from ER to use
when discussion evaluation and repair with other federal

GJR: check Chris Ridpath's mock ups of how a tool built
according to the techniques outlined in the Evaluation &
Repair Techniques document -- not sure if they are still
available at the University of Toronto site -- they would
make an ideal slide show for managers and technical
audiences alike;

SS: is the presumption is that you would get to the tools
page from main ER page?

JB: problem is: how do you get to this page if don't have
any idea of what this stuff is; getting to this page is
conceptually weak; want on simplistic level to look at where
this things lives -- maybe under /WAI and not
/WAI/References -- easier to find one could just go to
/WAI/Tools -- QuickTips and policies pages may likewise move
up a level, too; something this important should be linked
off of the top level of WAI home page resource section and
made more visible;

WL: main thing is getting people to the reference from the
main WAI space -- even from W3C front page; a lot of people
looking for just this type of info -- it should be linked-to
from both the W3C and the WAI home pages

HB: currently buried down in reference list on main WAI page

JB: I'm thinking on the EO side that we might need a "how do
I start to get my site accessible?" section -- the existing
tools page would be but one of 3 key complimentary pages
along with the Policies and References pages; but the "how
do I get started?" page should be their parent

Thread 3: What's In a Name?
JB: another problem is the name of the document -- why
"Existing"; what would be a better title to make someone
realize what the resource is -- that it is a list of "Tools
for Evaluation and Repair of Web Pages"?

SS: I also have a naming issue -- what a lot of these tools
do is simply testing for accessibility -- a much more simple
process than evaluation and repair!

JB: could it be confused with usability testing? validation
would be more specific

SS: then perhaps a definition is needed

HB: current title is not only misleading, it is vague --
Existing Evaluation and Repair Tools -- tools for what?

He that lives on Hope, dies farting
      -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1763
Gregory J. Rosmaita <unagi69@concentric.net>
    WebMaster and Minister of Propaganda, VICUG NYC

Received on Friday, 4 February 2000 21:13:34 UTC