W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > January to March 1999

Re: accesskeys - standards for which keys do what?

From: David Meadows <david@heroes.force9.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 23:05:55 -0000
Message-ID: <025901be4be3$d87d43e0$4201a8c0@astra>
To: "wai" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Chris Croome <chris@atomism.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Are there any standard access keys assignments? E.g. Alt-S for search or
>whatever? And if not is there a danger that every site will have a
different set
>of keys for people to learn?

Well every site on the web currently has a different (non-intuitive)
interface for the user to learn, so why should access keys be an exception
to this?

Seriously, this is an important usability issue. Ideally, all software
presents the user with a common interface. Unfortunately the interface
standards are different on every platform. How do you make a web page
interface match what users see in their other software when you don't know
what their other software will look like?

Microsoft define common Windows access keys and rules for selecting access
keys in "Windows Interface Guidelines for Software Design" (Microsoft
Press). But if you follow these guidelines you will probably confuse your
Mac and Unix users...

Shouldn't the user agent set the access keys based on the standards for the
platform it runs on? The HTML mark-up should "suggest", rather than dictate,
what the access key will be. The user agent will then determine how to
implement it appropriately. The situation would be analogous to the way that
HTML "suggests" the presentation of the text but the browser actually
determines how it will be displayed.

David Meadows [ Technical Writer | Information Developer ]
DNRC Minister for Littorasy * david@heroes.force9.co.uk
"He who does not imagine in stronger and better lineaments, and in
 stronger and better light than his perishing mortal eye can see
 does not imagine at all."     -- William Blake
Received on Friday, 29 January 1999 19:02:20 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:03 UTC