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Finding examples which demonstrate "Concurrent Input Mechanisms"

From: Chuck Adams <charles.adams@oracle.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:32:02 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <d2a35210-8054-42cd-b9c4-dc5968bcfd46@default>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
On 2/6 of this year I volunteered to find one or more websites which demonstrated the spirit of "Concurrent Input Mechanisms".  This email details my findings thus far.


As has been covered in our WCAG meetings, there are really two flavors of conformance.  One flavor is where the website passively meets a standard.  In this scenario the web page may not have functionality which can truly challenge the standard.  Under this circumstance, the standard is met because the web page doesn't contain functionality which will violate the standard.  The other flavor is where the website actively meets a standard.  In this scenario the web page has functionality which challenges the standard.  Under this circumstance, the page does contain functionality which can be deemed as either meeting or failing the standard.


I performed a variety of searches to find pages to test "Concurrent Input Mechanisms".  I first found pages that met the standard, but I quickly found that the standard was met passively.  My preferred "find" was:  HYPERLINK "http://www.apple.com"www.apple.com.  I selected this site because there were numerous reports that this site was very tablet friendly.


My testing methodology was as follows:


I first tested to see that the site didn't contain any blatant or obvious accessibility violations.  For example, the site needed to consistently demonstrate focus, color contrast needed to be good, etc.  Without too detailed of testing, HYPERLINK "http://www.apple.com"www.apple.com appears to meet existing accessibility standards.


I then tested the functionality of the page using only touch.  I exercised the various components and functionality that existed on the page.


I then tested the functionality of the page using an attached mouse and keyboard.  I did this in the same testing session, so my transition from touch to mouse and keyboard was seamless.


I then tested the functionality of the page using Talkback.  My android phone was my testing platform, and in the same session I enabled Talkback and proceeded to use Talkback feedback and gestures to exercise the functionality of the page.


I then randomly switched input methods during my test.  I did find that the page behaved as expected in any of the input methods described above.  I did, however, find that there were some minor issues if multiple input methods were mixed (for example, using Talkback simultaneously with mouse and keyboard).  I encountered these issues accidentally, and I believe that such a test is really outside the scope of the standard.  I also believe that my issues were more related to the platform and not the web page.


I then switched platforms to my Surface Pro 4 tablet and my Toshiba X1 Tablet, and repeated my tests (without Talkback).


My conclusion was that HYPERLINK "http://www.apple.com"www.apple.com does passively meet the standard.


I then sought out any site which contains functionality which would be directly related to the standard.  My evaluation included sites like:  Google Earth, Mapquest, Codepen, and some sites which demo'd the capabilities of Microsoft's Sway.  I felt that these sites might contain interactivity (mouse, touch, etc) which could be viewed as being directly related to the intent of this standard.


Mapquest:  Interaction with the web based application seems to fit quite nicely in the standard, and in brief tests I was able to switch between touch and then keyboard/mouse.  The issue I had with Mapquest is that keyboard only usage was challenging, as there are many instances where I was unable to determine which object had focus.  As such I concluded that Mapquest was not a good site to demonstrate this standard, because of concerns about how well other standards are met.


Codepen:  This is a publicly available tool for testing code.  The issue I had was that I was unable to determine what keyboard shortcuts and combinations were necessary to move around the components and regions in the tool.  Codepen may an adequate example page, but either I need to learn how to use it effectively with keyboard only or it is too dependent on the mouse.


Google Earth:  This site was promising, and may require more investigation.  There's a lot of interactions that I was intuitively able to figure out how to exercise with just keyboard, but there were some functions I could not figure out.  Enough of it worked for me to continue exploring it, but there were enough issues to inspire me to look elsewhere for more promising sites (this was the first site I evaluated).  As this one held the most promise, I'll return to it to continue testing.


Sway:  The https://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/wiki/WCAG_2.1_Implementations#2.5.4_Concurrent_Input_Mechanisms documentation mentions the possibility of Sway sites.  Inspired by this, I did find some example implementations of Sway on the web.  My concern with all of these examples was that they each contained a link entitled "Accessibility View".  When this link is exercised, each site becomes a large vertical representation of the presentation.  The user then scrolls down the page to experience the presentation.  This works well, but this "view" becomes quite "passive", and the standard is never challenged.


If anybody has any suggestions for other public facing sites, I certainly could use some inspiration.  I'll continue to hunt for a site, and I'll go back to exploring Google Earth.


Also, as this is my first assignment for our team, I'm open to any critique of my testing methods or my approaches.  Now's the time to help me develop good habits and help me become a valuable team member.



Charles Adams

Accessibility Evangelist, Corporate Architecture, Oracle Corporation

Received on Wednesday, 14 February 2018 20:39:31 UTC

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