W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > July to September 1999

i do not understand?

From: Robert Neff <robneff@home.com>
Date: Tue, 27 Jul 1999 23:13:16 -0700
Message-ID: <001301bed8c0$4825a660$64520518@alex1.va.home.com>
To: <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Cc: "wai-gl" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
to share some experiences as we gear up to support a large scale e-commerce
and interactive site...

we are implementing a web based configuration management tool in a very
rapid application development environment.  we are testing and implementing
this in our large office that has programmers, coders, writers, graphic
artist, multimedia types, technical manager, and just plain mangers.  Easy,
right? Not really, i now have more grey hair.

we had powerpoint slides, text, instructions and documents.  it took us
three to four weeks to get everyone in a room to show the concept.  tried
marketing earlier and people gave me time but were more interested in
telling me why they could not support it  or why they they did not have
time.  even had upper management support to move forward.

our heavy deliverable schedule and customer support just did not permit a
group meeting or individual training.  i spent more time explaining roles
and concepts and trying to walk people through this.  so we implemented
before we had all the materials and forced people to use CM.  we also held
their hands and provided a lot of nuturing.  they also were not using the
guidleines we gave them.

some people just did not want to understand, because they cannot comprehend
why they need it.  some people do not want to do it because it gives up
control and impacts their abilitiy to deliver.  some people want to learn
but do not understand the language and are afraid and confused.  To win
these confused types, we had to reword everything and pay quarter everytime
we used an acronym or technical term.  Turns out the lead CM manager and
trainer who was explaining everything had no idea he was losing the
non-technical folks. neither did i and i understood it.

The programmers and coders caught on quick and learned the process.  Some
want to learn but didnt have time.  still some refuse.  we found some could
beat the system after the fact and had to address these issues.  we caught
that in quality checks.

Our office was one heck of a testbed!  When we deploy the intranet and
assign coordinators and responsibilties to offices and larger sites, we are
dealing with people who do not know HTML and have never been in a web
production environment or software engineering environment.  So by now you
are wondering how we could have done things better given a lack of resources
to prepare and no time to train. We just had to do it or else it would have
never been done.  Then you say good luck implementing the process in the
field where no one uses HTML, just web authoring tools.

Hmmm, does this sound similar to the guideline's path?  well hope so,
because this is our environment and the biggest barrier i found was
communication.  Technical types do not speak the same language amongst
themselves and even far worse, they do not know how to communicate to the
non-technical folks who are the foundation for most web shops in the

thanks for reading this far and that is why i am pleading to make these
understandable and easy to find so we can accomplish our goal - universal
design!  based upon experience <smile>  and the no-technical types are
taking down my picture form their wall - they found someone else to throw
darts at!

Received on Tuesday, 27 July 1999 23:19:03 UTC

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