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Re: What is Recommended Practice for "Option Lists"?

From: Patrick Burke <burke@ucla.edu>
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 13:25:15 -0800
Message-Id: <199903052125.NAA06092@serval.noc.ucla.edu>
To: Chris Kreussling <CHRIS.KREUSSLING@ny.frb.org>
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Hi Chris & all,

At 12:43 PM 3/5/99 , Chris Kreussling wrote:
>I've tried both the [Alt]+[Down Arrow] and the [F4] suggestions on my own
form, Windows+Netscape, both with and without JavaScript. They both seem to do
the same as clicking the button next to the selection field: "drop down" the
list of options, making more of them visible. Repeating the keystroke simply
"drops-up" the list back to its original, hidden state. Neither provide
navigation through the options in the list.
>There still seems to be several problems, at least one of which is a
design/author issue:
>1) What's the non-visual equivalent of "dropping down" the list to make more
of the options apparent? How can a non-visual user navigate/scroll through the
list without making a selection? How can they even know the "dropped-down"
state of the list? A user-agent/platform issue.

After activating the list with either f4 or ALT+DOWNARROW, the plain Up & Down
Arrows move through the list (& typing a letter jumps to the first
option).  Curiously, I can tell with the Braille display what is about to
happen, because if it looks like the choice is not highlighted (no underline
dots), then I can keep scrolling. If the choice appears to be highlighted,
any key will launch that selection (unless I immediately toggle off the
highlight with F4/ALT+DOWN). Users of speech output alone could query what if
any highlight text is showing, but that would make the process of dealing with
this structure pretty cumbersome.

Good point about the platform-specific nature of this solution.

Received on Friday, 5 March 1999 16:26:03 UTC

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