Evaluation results: Readability

<message 3 of 8>
Participants tended not to read all the text of each Guideline / Technique,
but to skim it.  This meant that some important information was missed.

Potential solution:
* It was suggested that the text could be in shorter phrases and bullet points.

Related problem: Different presentations.
Some Participants said that they prefer to read long documents from paper,
rather than on-line.  Previous work by Andrew Dillon (1994) has indicated
that it can be more difficult to read from the screen.

Potential solutions:
* Could a printed version be provided?  This would not be a trivial task:
it would lose its hypertext nature; all links would have to be replaced by
references, etc.

* If the Guidelines and Techniques were broken into smaller files, with
links between sections, and had more bullet points it may reduce the burden
of reading it on-line.  It would also reduce the current loading time of
the pages.

Related problem: bold text
Each Guideline is made up of ordinary text, bold text, and links, which in
combination can make the text difficult to read.  The bold text is used to
highlight the text of the Guideline, to indicate the groups of users
affected, and to emphasise particular information.

Potential solution:
* The groups of users affected could be listed at the beginning or the end
of the Checkpoint.  This would remove the distraction of the bold text, for
example the second paragraph of Guideline 1 could read:
"If text equivalents are not provided for visual information, the following
groups will not know the purpose of the visual components of the page.
People who:
<list item> are blind,
<list item> have low vision,
<list item> cannot view graphics,
<list item> have chosen not to view graphics."

* Where bold text is used for emphasis, such as paragraph 3 of Guideline 2,
it could be removed altogether where the points are repeated in the

* The links in each Guideline could also be listed separately from the text
of the Guideline, so that an author can more easily read to the end of the
Guideline, then follow links (as mentioned in our previous message
regarding navigation).  This would mean each Guideline and Checkpoint would
be structured thus: its current text, none of which would be bold, with the
groups of users and links listed at the end.

By the way, some bold text is presented using <b>, others with <strong>.
Is this intentional?


Chetz and Helen.

Chetz Colwell and Helen Petrie,
<c.g.colwell@herts.ac.uk>, <h.l.petrie@herts.ac.uk>.
Sensory Disabilities Research Unit,
University of Hertfordshire,
Tel: +44 1707 284629
Fax: +44 1707 285059

Received on Saturday, 13 March 1999 07:39:21 UTC