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Query systems (e.g. search engines): a proposal on specific acces sibility guidelines

From: Jukka Korpela <jukka.korpela@tieke.fi>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 11:32:50 +0200
Message-ID: <621574AE86FAD3118D1D0000E22138A941852B@TIEKE1>
To: "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
The importance of query systems like search engines and database queries is
well known. Their use is often highly interactive, requiring the user to
work with largish amounts of data in the query results. This makes their
accessibility very important. Yet, such systems often return results in a
format which is difficult to use, especially to the blind.

With the help of several people, I've composed a proposal on principles that
could be recommended to query system implementors and maintainers:

It suggests the "minimal recommendation" to include a link to the start of
query results proper into the beginning of a results page. This should be
very easy to implement and would help quite a lot. Then it proposes some
principles on the general structure of result pages (mainly to be considered
when designing new systems, of course) as well as the use of headings and

I wonder if it would be possible to discuss the proposal here, and maybe, if
a consensus can be found, try to get some "W3C stamp" on it. I'm pretty sure
that organizations like Google and AltaVista would take a simple proposal
from the W3C seriously, especially if there's something in it that can be
implemented very simply.

Jukka Korpela
TIEKE Tietoyhteiskunnan kehittämiskeskus ry
Finnish Information Society Development Centre 
Salomonkatu 17 A, 10th floor, FIN - 00100 HELSINKI, FINLAND
Phone: +358 9 4763 0397 Fax: +358 9 4763 0399 
http://www.tieke.fi  jukka.korpela@tieke.fi
Received on Monday, 4 March 2002 04:24:47 UTC

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