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RE: touchscreens and interactive whiteboards

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2003 08:17:45 -0400
To: "Jonathan Chetwynd" <j.chetwynd@btinternet.com>, "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENIEHCDGAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

Having used an older Panasonic Toughbook (CF27) with a built in touch screen
(http://www.panasonic.com/computer/notebook/html/01a2.htm) I have had some
experience.  In this incarnation, there is no right-click functionality
directly from the screen... the best I could accomplish was to tap a "focus"
onto the screen and then use the right click button on the laptop.  Care was
needed as well as tapping focus on a hyperlink was the same as "clicking"...
off we went.  Also of note is the fact that the touch screen required a
certain amount of pressure to register a click.  As far as JavaScript event
handlers are concerned, while onMouseover and onFocus technically worked,
they ultimately also applied the onClick event handler, as the pressure
required for the "focus" was also enough for the "click".

Since it is a lap top, with a screen of approximately 12", this rig also
allows me to bring home the point about scalable text; it is also useful for
illustrating the need for large enough "hot spots" when creating links,
image maps, etc.  Really tiny icons, small text links (imagine trying to
click on the letter "I" from an alphabetical list: "...G H I J K L...") are
also problematic, as are radio buttons and checkboxes; for while my hands
and fingers are not overly large for a man's hand, they aren't petit either
<grin>.    The issue with small icons led me to experiment with sizing
images with "ems", with some nifty results (see:

Jonathan, I'm a little confused.  When visiting your "leaves page" all mouse
click functionality has been removed.  Does not removing "expected"
behaviours from a page (and arguably an operating system) also present
accessibility problems?  If a user (any user) normally uses the right click
functionality of the standard Windows environment and attempts to do so
here, they are presented with a "new" model of behaviour (i.e. right click
does not work).  Heck, even the most basic "left click" on the screen has
been disabled, again opening the possibility of "confusion" to the average
user.  And I won't even begin to surmise what "Access Bob" will say about
this page, as rendered in a text only browser (or for that matter JAWs or
IBM Homepage Reader or any browser which does not support JavaScript).

And so you have built an application specific, task specific, audience
specific web page.  Does it serve a function and it's intended audience
well?  Probably... I can see this as being a great training tool for those
with poor gross and fine motor skills.  But accessible, in the broader
context?  I don't get it... this could have been created in Flash as well,
and served the same function.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Jonathan Chetwynd
> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2003 3:39 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> Subject: touchscreens and interactive whiteboards
> Some of our students learning to use a computer were having problems
> with mouse clicking, that is they were inadvertently and repeatedly
> clicking without intended purpose. Not all like trackballs, so we
> recently removed right and left click events on this page
> http://www.pmld.org/leaves. How does this effect touchscreens and
> interactive whiteboard users?
> We have a very broad range of users, and are concerned to get this
> right if at all possible.
> Does anyone know how touchscreens and interactive whiteboards activate
> onclick and onmouseover events?
> some I know have a 'hold' facility, but has anyone seen a survey?
> Does WCAG address this difference sufficiently, it may be that this
> needs some additional specification similar to that for onfocus.
> thanks
> Jonathan
Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2003 08:18:12 UTC

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