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R. EOWG: Review this week: Evaluating with Users

From: Roberto Castaldo <r.castaldo@iol.it>
Date: Fri, 2 Sep 2005 09:14:08 +0200
Message-ID: <42F22414003AE615@ms004msg.mail.fw> (added by postmaster@fastwebnet.it)
To: "'EOWG \(E-mail\)'" <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>

Hi Folks,

I agree with Pasquale's notes.

Moreover, I think that the document "Evaluating Web Accessibility with
Users" has the chance to cover an important issue; too many developers still
believe that testing accessibility is simply a "Bobby-like" job, or believes
that user testing is too difficult and/or exepensive for them to be
performed. So, it's fundamental to make understand that users are the only
real reference when developing a web site/application, and how to correctly
involve them during the developing steps.

At a first glance the document's structure seems good, but some sentence (in
curly brackets) maybe need some hard wording; in section "Understanding
[Findings/Results]" I read the following sentences about usability and

"{Usability problems impact all users equally, regardless of ability. That
is, a person with a disability is not disadvantaged to a greater extent by
usability issues than a person without a disability.}" 
"{Accessibility problems impact people with disabilities, and not people
without disabilities. When a person with a disability is at a disadvantage
relative to a person without a disability, that is an accessibility issue.}"

Well, I know that the document is a very rough draft and I know that stuff
in curly brackets can be quotes cutted and pasted from other resources, but
the concept inside those phrases is simply not correct; I don't think that
those definitions can represent exactly what we are going to say in this

So, if those two sentences simply mean that we want to talk about
accessibility and usability tests with users, it's ok for me; but if they
intend to represent the concepts to put into the document, then i'm
concerned that it may sound like: "accessibility issue are an exclusive
matter of PWDS, so users involved in accessibility test can be only PWDS". 

I think that a reliable user test should involve people with AND without
disabilities; for (extreme) example, a blind user may consider accessible a
web site whose text is black on a black background: we all know that one
single user cannot give a definitive opinion (and the document correctly
says this in one point, "one user not representative of all"), but the whole
document seems to put people without disabilities out from accessibility
user tests, which (imho) is not the best message we could give; if
accessibility intends to make the Web usable also (not only) to people with
disabilities, any kind of user test should be performed also (not only) by

My best regards,

Roberto Castaldo
www.Webaccessibile.Org coordinator
IWA/HWG Member
Icq 178709294
Received on Friday, 2 September 2005 07:14:24 UTC

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