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Re: WAI Site Redesign, site-wide navigation concept

From: Chuck Letourneau <cpl@starlingweb.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 08:38:29 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Shawn Lawton Henry" <shawn@w3.org>, "'EOWG'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
With my font size set at large (my preferred setting in Internet Explorer) 
the combination of the left-column white space and the navigation cluster 
fills almost 1/2 of my 15 inch LCD screen, leaving only half for critical 
content.  Even at default (medium) font size more than a third of the 
screen is occupied.  I can't say I like my main content to be shoe-horned 
into a newspaper-like column. Using my imagination I moved the cluster to 
the left margin and that made me somewhat happier.

I don't know whether this (and the previous comment) is a forbidden 
"detailed design" comment, but my first couple of stabs at the mockup menus 
left me somewhat confused as to how to work them (i.e. expand and, 
especially, collapse).  I think my confusion had something to do with the 
CSS choices for link highlighting (or perhaps simply because not all the 
links in the mockup are active, in which case I withdraw my comment until a 
more detailed mockup is available for review).

However, all concerns aside, I think the concept goes a long way to meeting 
the stated goals.  The devil, I think, will be in the details.

The Quick Links mock up - with the left column white space taken over by 
the link list is more to my liking (i.e. more traditional). I guess I am a 
design conservative! (i.e., a fossil) <grin>. One concern is that the lower 
part of the list looks like alphabet soup.  I had a quick panic thinking my 
default character set/font display had been corrupted.

Chuck Letourneau
Starling Access Services

At 2004-06-17 00:38, Shawn Lawton Henry wrote:

>The WSTF is currently working on a model for site-wide navigation and
>would like EOWG input before continuing.
>The current WAI site has essentially no site-wide navigation. WSTF
>proposes incorporating site-wide navigation on every page within the WAI
>site. [1]
>Goals and advantages (pros):
>- increase visibility of all resources on WAI site
>- make it easier to navigate to resources and between resources
>- make the site structure more clear from any page, including indicating
>where the page fits in the structure
>- meet the vision of being an example site [2] (since most sites have
>site-wide navigation)
>Concerns and possible negatives (cons):
>- adds complexity to each page
>- takes up space
>- can we make it highly accessible and highly usable?
>Drafts for Discussion:
>1. One possibility is to have hierarchical navigation vertically along
>the left; a _rough_ mock-up [3] starts at:
>         http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/sketchpad/nav/1.html
>and two sample ending pages are at:
>         http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/sketchpad/nav/a4.html
>         http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/sketchpad/nav/g4.html
>Note that in these mock-ups the following "paths" are live - that is,
>those links are clickable - and all the others are not:
>         WAI > About WAI > Education and Outreach > Participants
>         WAI > Guidelines and Resources > General Resources > Why
>Standards Harmonization is Essential
>2. WSTF also discussed other options, including tabs across the top,
>"breadcrumbs" (showing the path in the hierarchy horizontally, such as
>"WAI > About WAI..." above), quick links along the left [4]. These were
>ruled out because they didn't meet the goals.
>Discussion Parameters:
>At the EOWG teleconference on Friday 18 June 2004, we will discuss the
>concept of site-wide navigation and the issues surrounding hierarchical
>navigation along the left.
>In the teleconference we will _not_ discuss detailed design, nor
>technical implementation issues. (WSTF had concerns about making the
>navigation accessible and usable, and we recorded that as a major
>dependency, which we would address before going very far with the idea.)
>The WSTF has completed a working draft of the information architecture,
>which is documented in the site map at:
>         http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/UCD/site-map
>This information architecture will be re-evaluated, and possibly
>revised, based on the navigation design work.
>On Friday, we _might_ talk about the information architecture if there
>is time and interest; however, we want to get through the discussion of
>navigation before we go on to other related discussions.
>End Notes:
>[1] note that "every page on WAI site" does not include the technical
>report (TR) pages, which include the guidelines themselves, the
>techniques documents, and anything under http://www.w3.org/TR/
>[2] from vision at http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/2003/analysis-sum#vision:
>"implements best practices: an inspiring model for graphic design/visual
>appeal, accessibility, usability, technology"
>[3] PLEASE NOTE: These mock-ups are for concept discussion only. They in
>no way represent the design or final wording, e.g., color, abbreviations
>or not, etc. These are only for the purpose of discussing the concept of
>a site-wide navigation and the option of hierarchical navigation along
>the left.
>[4] quick links mock-up:
>~ Shawn
>Shawn Lawton Henry
>W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
>e-mail: shawn@w3.org
>phone: +1.617.253.8788
>about: http://www.w3.org/People/Shawn/
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Received on Thursday, 17 June 2004 08:38:37 UTC

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