Re: Equivalent Sites: What It Means

On Mon, 22 Jan 2001, Kynn Bartlett wrote:

  Here's a start.

  Two interfaces are equivalent if:

  (1) The same functionality is available in each interface.

  (2) The same content is conveyed through each interface.

CMN I agree that both these things are necessary.

  (3) The same meta-content -- if not interface-dependent -- is conveyed
       though each interface.

CMN I'm not sure if I understand this one - can you explain a bit more?

  (4) The branding/identity components of each interface are
       as similar as possible given the limitations of each
       interface type.

CMN Yes, I think it is important that Branding and Identity components
identify two interfaces as being equivalents. I think it is important to have
"metadata" identifying the two as equivalents, although that may be a
technique for doing this.

  Additionally, each interface should be constructed so as to maximize
  the usability of that specific interface by the possible user
  types.  (For example, if a screenreader presentation is created,
  the interface should be optimized for screenreader use.)

CMN I think this is more a principle of good design than part of a
definition of equivalence - don't lose it, but it might not belong in the
definition itself.

Another principle, I think, is that it should be possible to move from one
interface to another - perhaps by use of the metadata that sayss where there
are equivalent interfaces. For example, You may have optimised your interface
to use with a screenreader, but I learned touse a screenreader as though it
were a different kind of interface, and would much rather actually work with
your cell-phone-enhanced interface, or something like that. I don't know if
this is an overriding requirement for accessibility, but it is something that
is definitely important. Not least becuase you are unlikely to have developed
your system for the quirks of every different screenreader solution
available. (Actually, at the moment I use a system where I select text line
by line to get it read, and do wierd things to find out where I am. It isn't
the most efficient, but it works on the Macintosh and it's free...)


Charles McCN

Received on Monday, 22 January 2001 22:55:48 UTC