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Re: i do not understand?

From: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 09:46:24 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: "Robert Neff" <robneff@home.com>, <w3c-wai-eo@w3.org>
Cc: "wai-gl" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
A lot of this sounds like the problems when first starting to promote the
importance of usability. Maybe it would be good to gather some successful
cases of how these accessibility problems are/were tackled in companies to
somewhere to help other people with similar problems and also to give
feedback to working groups.

For instance, some beginning solutions with usability were often to invite
developers (and managers) to give input for usability test cases and them
show them how the users are struggling (often things that had been too hard
to change for months were changed in five minutes during the break between
the test users).


At 11:13 PM 7/27/99 -0700, Robert Neff wrote:
>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 Wednesday, 28 July 1999 09:48:04 UTC

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