my action item,

Here is my action item, first draft,t of a rewrite of principle 3, divided into two principles.
I have written to some ADD friends to ask their opinion, so this input is still to come.


3, Design for ease of comprehension

3.1 Use a consistent style of presentation that will facilitate comprehension of the content.

    The purpose of presentation is to communicate the meaning of the content, as effectively as possible. Thus, to aid understanding, it is vital that the structure and semantics of the content be readily apparent from the presentational conventions chosen by the author. 
Use of color, styles, and graphics to emphasize the structure of the document, and to aid the users ability to: a) orientate himself within the document, b) focus on the important elements of the document, c) differentiate between key element and the explanatory or supplementary material.

2 Divide large blocks of information into more manageable groups where natural and appropriate.

For example, divide user interface controls into logically organized groups. Use headings, paragraphs, lists etc., appropriately to communicate relationships among items, topics or ideas. 

    Paragraphs and sections should have clear, accurate, and informative headers. Processing information further made manageable by limiting each paragraph to one main idea. The topic of the paragraph can be specified (within a tag?) at the beginning of the sentence. 

3.6 Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content. 

    This guideline is intended to facilitate comprehension of the content by all readers, especially those with cognitive disabilities. It should not be interpreted as discouraging the expression of complex or technical ideas. Authors should however strive for clarity and simplicity in their writing, and review the text with these considerations in mind prior to publication on the web. 
3.7 Supplement text with graphic or auditory presentations where they will facilitate comprehension of the content. 

    Auditory and graphical presentations can do much to improve the comprehensibility of a web site, especially to people with cognitive disabilities or to those who are unfamiliar with the language in which the textual content is written. Particularly helpful are clear, uncluttered, minimalist, diagrams representing the association and relationships between different ideas. In contrast, diagrams that are designed to represent multiple layers of ideas, are often cluttered and confusing.
    Note that material provided in auditory or visual forms must also be available as text (see guideline 1.1). 
3.8 Use headings, labels and titles appropriately to identify structurally significant divisions within the content. 

    For example, use headings to identify important topics or subdivisions within a document. Label table headers, user interface controls and other complex structures within the content. Note that in addition to full, descriptive labels, it may also be appropriate, in designing complex structures such as tables and forms, to provide abbreviated labels which can be used when the content is rendered on small displays or via speech output. 
3.9 Provide an overview or summary of highly structured materials, such as tables and groups of user interface controls. 

    A structures should be considered complex, if it is not immediately obvious what each piece of information is, and the reason for its position within the structure.
    Insinuations and trends that are intended to be identified by analyzing the structure, should be explicitly stated in the summery.
3.10 Define key terms, and provide expansions for abbreviations and acronyms, which should be identified using appropriate markup. 

    Note: only the first occurrence of an abbreviation or acronym occurring in a document need be expanded. Expansion dictionaries, for instance in metadata, may be provided as an alternative to an expansion in the text of a document. 
Minimize content that will interfere with the users ability to focus.

Animations and banners frequently disorientate the user and interfere with the users ability to focus from the main content of the page. Restricting these items to one section of the page can help the user retain his focus.

For a content filled site, one may further provide the user with an option view without banners.

4, Design for ease browsing and navigation

4.1 Provide clear and consistent navigation mechanisms throughout a document or web site. 

Such navigational mechanisms may include logically organized groups of hypertext links, an overview or table of contents, a site map (with an appropriate textual equivalent; see guideline 1.1), an index, etc. They should be easy to locate within the over-all structure of the content and consistent across web pages or related documents.

Navigation can be made clearer by place links on a phrase that explains the link, and not on generic phrases.

Navigation techniques can also be employed to help the users skim a document, examples of this includes inpage anchors at each heading, blocking groups of links and allowing them to be by passed. 

4.2 If search functions are provided by a web site, enable different types of searches for different skill levels and preferences.

4.3 Avoid methods that can disorientate the users navigation.

    Practices that can disorientate a visitor's navigation include automatic refresh and redirecting the visitor to a new browser window 
Frames can confuse and disorient site visitor's navigation, messing up the "back" functionality offered by browsers. 

To improve this situation, title frames for orientation, avoid opening new windows, and always use a readable document as the frame source.

4.5 Ensure that links are available to the non visual audience.

    (See guideline 1.1)
Ensure that all links have a textual equivalents. 

Example include buttons and clickable images. Image maps should preferably be defined client side. Use the "alt" parameter on all <area> tags and use redundant links. A server side image map should alternative links. For example: alt="Server side site map, but text links will follow". 

Received on Sunday, 17 September 2000 03:46:01 UTC