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RE: Skip Nav Ideas

From: Chiarito-Mazzarella,Jay <jay.chiarito-mazzarella@gartner.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 15:53:19 -0400
Message-ID: <8647AD35DEC2D411A4DD0002A513481A05802183@mammoth.gartner.com>
To: "'Kynn Bartlett'" <kynn@idyllmtn.com>, sec508@trace.wisc.edu
Cc: michael_cortese@ita.doc.gov, "_W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines List" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, _W3C WAI XTECH <wai-xtech@w3.org>, _W3C WAI EO <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>, _Trace 508 List <sec508@trace.wisc.edu>
Kynn, et al.,

I agree that encouraging the use of <img> and <spacer.gif> is not a good
idea particularly since they are mostly used to solve visual interface
problems and do not offer much value for the user beyond that.

Adopting a more purist perspective, if pages were better constructed and
emphasized purpose and content rather than presentation, we would probably
not need to address this issue.

My two lira,


Jay CJ Chiarito-Mazzarella
Senior Information Architect/Usability Engineer
Gartner, Inc.

Tel:     +1 203 316 3054
Email:  jay.chiarito-mazzarella@gartner.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Kynn Bartlett [mailto:kynn@idyllmtn.com]
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2001 3:13 PM
To: sec508@trace.wisc.edu
Cc: michael_cortese@ita.doc.gov; _W3C-WAI Web Content Access. Guidelines
List; _W3C WAI XTECH; _W3C WAI EO; _Trace 508 List
Subject: Re: Skip Nav Ideas

My main worry about using <img> for "invisible" skip nav links is that
it's just more of misusing the markup; it's a hack, and not a real good
solution for the long term.  It involves mislabeling and misapplying
alt text, and using images pointlessly, and confuses presentation and
structure and content -- and ultimately that will not prove to be a
blessing for the cause.

Without sounding too much like an advertisement for Reef EveryWare
(I hope), I really do think the best general solution is to create web
sites which can automatically adapt themselves (or be adapted) to
provide those types of links on demand for anyone who would request

This is one of the cases in which there is no good solution using a
single interface.  A "skip navigation" link is required by people who
can benefit from it, but it serves only to confuse and damage the
usability for those who don't.  This is a case where a single-interface
presentation will continue to prove to be limited, and where there is
a need for a system that can produce output tailored to the expressed
needs of the users, rather than simply relying on a "one size fits
all" approach.


Kynn Bartlett  <kynn@idyllmtn.com>                http://kynn.com/
Technical Developer Liaison, Reef             http://www.reef.com/
Chief Technologist, Idyll Mountain Internet   http://idyllmtn.com/
Online Instructor, Accessible Web Design     http://kynn.com/+d201
Received on Monday, 4 June 2001 15:54:13 UTC

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