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From: <lisa@ubaccess.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jun 2003 05:34:41 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <43576.>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org

Before we nit pick…The only question we should be asking is “do we like the 

Note that this is an extended checkpoint. So it is an opt-in checkpoint, 
that does not have to be appropriate to all pages.

Let me explain the thinking behind it. We need to say things like “provide 
clear words” – but that becomes impossible to test. What I have done is 
asked people to use clear content and then defined what we can test about 
it. It is clearer and workes better then limiting the text of the 
requirement to what happens to be testable.
Also note that some tests are more clear cut then others. I have tried to 
include some of each for each criteria.

Final word. Don’t knock it unless you want to think of a better way to do 
and now to the main............

3-E1   [4.1 and 4.2]  Provide an easily understandable form of the content 

Minimum Success Criteria for this Checkpoint

1.	simple words
2.	clear words
3.	short  sentences and paragraphs
4.	coherence of flow of ideas 
5.	supplementary non text
6.	indications of relative importance of sections of  content
7.	summaries


Note:  some conmen sense needed…
The best way to test this checkpoint will be usability testing with low 
reading age audience. However as this is not always possible, the following 
tests have been  included for each of the success criteria:

	simple words –compare to a (public) low reading age dictionary  
(such as VOL top  1000 word).  if a word does not exist in that dictionary, 
check to see if a word that does exist in that dictionary can be 
substituted without loss of meaning. Any words that are not in your base 
dictionary should be included in a glossary. When adding terms to a base 
dictionary ensure that you have provided a glossary which can be easily 
accessed from each page were the term is used.

Technique  example: do a thesaurus check, and see if any replacement words 
will fulfill the same function as the original word
Note: you can take a standard low reading age dictionary, and supplement 
it, if necessary, with terms and words that are conmen within your field. 
For example the term accessibility is extremely common in the field of  
accessibility,  but less common outside this field. 

	clear words
unclear words (can be simple words)  include conjunction and words that 
create semantic ambiguity – IE were the sentence can be understood two 
ways. For example: “it” “he” “she”  “they”  “with”…

noun phrases, where nouns are strung together, are often not clear. Do not 
use known phrases of more then three nouns. (eg : “web content 
accessibility guidelines” should be “guidelines for writing accessibility 
content for the web” – only two nouns are next to each other..)
noun phrases that are part of the jargon of your field can be used if added 
to the glossary

Titles, headings and summaries are special cases of clear text. It is 
important that each is unique and makes sense when read out of context. 
When presented a mixed up list of titles and headers, you should be able to 
clearly associate each title with the content that it relates to. There 
should be a clear relationship between the text of each hyper link with the 
page that it goes to.

Special care should be taken with form labels. Hear you should use active 
voicing and remove all ambiguities. Eg: “Enter applicant name” should 
be “enter your name” 

	short  sentences and paragraphs
A paragraph should have one idea, with each sentence conveying one 
individual point. To test this you can imagine you are making a “sound 
bite” for radio, or a note for revision in the margin. Can the paragraph be 
summarized by a phrase? If you were making a summarized form of the 
document – can each sentence be represented by a list item?

Rule of thumb : double check  sentence over 20 words. Check paragraphs of 
more then 5 sentences.Do not use careful of sentence over 35 words. Do not 
use a paragraphs of more then 7 sentences

Rule of thumb : double check sentences with two or more conjunctions. (or, 
and …). Do not use sentences with four or more conjunctions. Rule of thumb: 
double check sentences with two or more comers.Do not use sentences that 
needs four or more comers.

	coherence of flow of ideas 
Within a paragraph the sentences should flow and be well connected.  When a 
new idea starts –it is time to start a new paragraph. Paragraphs within a 
topic should flow with a clear link. When a new topic starts it is time to 
start a new topic. Topic changes should be indicated through mark up. (such 
as with a new header)

One can test for coherence by  drawing a flow chart of the page content. Is 
the flow logical? Test coherence by stating the relationship between each 
paragraph and the next –If it is hard to do then the coherence is lacking.

	supplementary non text
A picture can be  worth 1000 words, especially to people with low reading 
ability. When performing usability tests, ensure that all steps required by 
the main goals of the site are supplemented with icons.
If you do not have usability testing goals, then supplement
1.	Help
2.	Contact us
3.	Important
4.	Danger (danger is any section of content about how harm can come to 
the user –physical, financial or other)

In forms that are required for some of the core site functions (an on site 
search form is helpful -  a login in form may be core) add icons were 

1,  you are asking for something you can point to (such as a credit card 
expiry date)
2,  there is a representation available (a house for address, or a 
telephone for phone number.)

For example 
Credit card number can be accompanied by a picture of the credit card with 
an arrow pointing to the position of the number

	indications of relative importance of sections of  content

the relative important of site content should be made available so that it 
can be presented differently. For example the user may want a summarized 
form of the site, or all important information marked in a bright color.

	provide summaries.
A summary of content should be made so that the user know what is coming in 
the next section of content.
A simple page (such as an ecomerse site) a can be summarized using the page 
title and description. For example title:” our brand swimwear page” 
Description “ see all our swimsuits for both adults and children”  

Note to use the title and description meta data as a summary, each tile and 
description must be clear and unique for each page of your site.

The summary must represent the main flow of ideas within the page.  Pages 
that contain a complex flow of ideas include, guidelines, academic work, 
articles and discussions.  Such as pages require additional summaries to be 
Received on Sunday, 1 June 2003 08:34:49 UTC

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