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Re: Personalised interfaces (was Re: appropriate hypertext)

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2000 15:42:35 -0400
Message-Id: <200007192015.QAA2092941@smtp1.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
At 06:28 PM 2000-07-19 +0100, Brian Kelly wrote:
>Hi Kynn
>   Thanks for the reply.
>   I gave a brief talk at a WAI meeting held in Toronto after the WWW8
>conference on the need for metadata to provide personalised interfaces
>which could have accesibility benefits.   (Unfortunately my talk didn't
>go as I'd intended, due, I think, to cultural differences in
>interpreting the term "filtering").
>   Anyway my slides (Powerpoint and derived HTML formats) are at:
>   In one of the slides (slide 11) I said:
>Is "universal design" a false goal? Shouldn't we we aiming for
>personalised services based on individual preferences?

Universal Design is a fine goal.  Universal HTML is only one way to pursue
a Universal Design solution, however.  Thinking that Universal Documents
are the only option that satisfies the principles of Universal Design is

Alternatives to Universal Documents have their own problems and are not
automatically to be preferred, either.

But a Universal Service that dispenses tailored documents with a better
usability-vs-disability envelope that is achievable by Universal Documents
is not in principle impossible, so the disability community should listen
to all offers to try to seek the best deal they can get.  But be from
Missouri.  You want to be "showed" that it's going to work.

In particular for high-dollar business transactions, I personally feel we
very much need a Universal Document solution.  It needs to be universal so
that one can both audit to ensure that comparable terms are being offered,
meeting non-discrimination rules, and at the same time the recipient of the
offer can review the deal at their leisure in a computing environment of
their choice.  The latter is in order to provide adequate consumer
protection that works for all.  This tilts toward a document type defined
strictly in terms of _public standard_ markup and schemas.

And, by the way, digital signatures and XML make the latter solution
technically a piece of cake, if only there is the will to commit to it.  


>I was arguing against the notion of HTML as a basis for universal design
>and saying that be should be going for XML, and generating (possibility
>personalised) XHTML from this richer resource.
>Is this what you're involved in doing?
>Isn't there a contradiction between this view and the universal design
>argument which is perceived as using HTML as the basis?
>Interested in your views.
>> >Kynn, in some of your message you mention that you're now involved in
>> >developing personalised Web sites.  Is this the type of thing you're
>> >involved in?
>> Yeah, what Edapta does is that we go beyond the single-presentation-
>> for-all-folks model (but all from the same source content!) to provide
>> customized user interfaces that have been personalized for a user's
>> specific needs.  We do this using intelligent selection and/or
>> of user interfaces based on the user's capabilities and preferences
>> profile.
>> This allows for some pretty interesting stuff -- for example, for
>> blind users we restructure the page entirely, moving the "most
>> part (designated by the web designer) to the front of the page
>> of where it normally is in the GUI layout, and we autogenerate an
>> internal "table of contents" for each page to give a sense of what's
>> on each page and allow for better intra-page navigation.
>> For users with limited dexterity (of certain types) we can restrict
>> the movement onscreen to a small area, so that there's no broad mouse
>> movements; the use of frames allows the user to actually bring the
>> links _to her_ rather than having to move to the links.
>> These types of adaptations -- or edaptations, in Edapta-speak -- let
>> us make improvements in usability and accessibility for _those
>> audiences_ that would simply not be possible if we were trying to
>> serve up only one presentation that degrades gracefully for
>> everyone.
>> >Feel free to promote your work in some detail - I've been intrigued
>> >the brief mentions you've made in the past.
>> Hope this helps some -- email me privately if you want more details
>> about this.
>> --
>> --
>> Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
>> http://www.kynn.com/
Received on Wednesday, 19 July 2000 16:12:30 UTC

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