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Re: [script-techs] Possible Scripting Techniques to help with baseline evaluation

From: Isofarro <lists@isofarro.uklinux.net>
Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 17:17:19 +0100
Message-ID: <4267D20F.7050805@isofarro.uklinux.net>
To: developer@tomwright.me.uk
CC: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>

Tom Wright wrote:
> Isofarro wrote:
>>> I've got a working example of this I've devised on my own using 
>>> internal anchors as a basis. If its okay, I'd like to make it 
>>> available for discussion in this group (or WAI-IG if that's a 
>>> more appropriate venue).
>> <url:http://sandbox.isolani.co.uk/demo/integratedHelp/>
> A nice technique Mike.
> One suggestion. IMO might it be better for the help content to be 
> placed at the bottom of the document - like a footnote.

I liked the idea of having help content at footnotes, the problem I ran
into was trying to get the screen reader back to the field they were
trying to fill in.

That's why I've currently got the help text immediately before the field
- that way, when the help text finishes, visitors are right back on the
field they are trying to fill in - without having to do anything.

Just taking advantage of the order of element in the HTML. I'm debating
whether I can simulate this behaviour acceptably in the footnotes
approach by using onfocus to refocus back on the form element. I'm not
sure at this point what a screen reader user would expect or find useful.

> Then in a non script-enabled environment (visual or speech) the user
>  would not have to work through the help content before reaching each
>  field if they do not need the help.

Very true. I'm swayed by the idea that a screen reader in forms mode
will skip the help text anyway. I'm not yet convinced either way whether
the help content before the field is completely good or completely bad.

> While the internal links would allow them to jump to the relevant 
> /help/ note (with a corresponding 'back to field' internal link).

My hesitation there is that there isn't a nice clean way of stopping the
screenreader at the end of the help content and not encouraging it to
keep going into the help content for the following fields (when 
JavaScript is disabled). In this instance, I'm probably being too 
controlling :-).

> Perhaps the link-text for each help link could be numbered (as per 
> footnotes) to provide a visual clue to the relationships (ie for a 
> page with all content above the fold).

That's a smart idea. By adding helpnote numbers to the help link, and
reading out the "footer" number, people can associate the help content
with the right field, so if they do happen to go on to the next help
content item, reading out the help note number is a useful cue.

> The above would also minimise the potential 'flashing content 
> problem' when the help content is hidden, on load, by shifting this 
> content to the bottom of the page.

Another good point in favour of the footnote approach. At least in the 
footnotes the flash of content isn't so prominent as if it were in the 
main content.

> As a technique I would favour being a little more unobtrusive with 
> removing the content, using the technique of declaring styles at the 
> head of the script file - synchronise accessibility and aesthetics
> :). But this might not meet with approval.

IMO, certainly worth a discussion.

Excellent comments - thanks!

Received on Thursday, 21 April 2005 16:17:11 UTC

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