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RE: WAI Site Redesign, site-wide navigation concept

From: Shawn Lawton Henry <shawn@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Jun 2004 11:20:52 -0500
To: "'EOWG'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>, "'Chuck Letourneau'" <cpl@starlingweb.com>
Message-ID: <000e01c45487$0f852a40$6944c418@SLHenry>
Thanks for the quick reply and opportunity to clarify the current level
of discussion. And sorry for the quick panic. :)
- Yes, please use your imagination and move the navigation all the way
to the left
- Yes, please try to ignore design, acronyms, etc.
- Yes, the mockup is not functional so you will not be able to get a
full idea of how they might work
For now we want to focus the discussion on the concept of hierarchical
navigation along the left, and if the group decides to move forward with
the idea, we will then explore those details.
The concern with the Quick Links option was that it doesn't show where
the user is in the navigation and doesn't provide navigation to other
pages throughout the hierarchy - because only one level is shown.
~ Shawn

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-eo-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of Chuck Letourneau
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2004 7:38 AM
To: Shawn Lawton Henry; 'EOWG'
Subject: Re: WAI Site Redesign, site-wide navigation concept

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:
and two sample ending pages are at:
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:
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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