W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 2005

Re: Access Element is WRONG (was RE: Are we really still talking about Access Keys?)

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2005 07:26:08 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200506060626.j566Q8s01086@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: www-html@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

> I think you are over generalizing.  It is not a non-Web use of HTML.  It 
> a Web Application.  Web Applications are, in general, written using 

Web applications fall into two categories, true web applications,
e.g. typical e-commerce sites and intranent thin clients.  The
latter use I only consider to be a marketing term - they rely on
the pre-installation of the web browser but that is about all.

> HTML.  If they are written to only work in IE, they are poor 
> applications indeed.  Open Systems (anyone remember that name?) is about 

Intranet application vendors, even more than internet sites are in the
position that if the customer doesn't use one of a small set of browsers
the vendor can afford to not sell to them (the support cost outweighs
the profits).  I think the typical spec these days is probably IE 6, 
and possibly Netscape 6.

> application portability. Static documents are a simplistic sub-class of 
> the more general class of content that can and is frequently generated 
> dynamically on the web.  Think about cnn.com.  Think about nick.com 

In my view any true web application that needs instruction documents on
how to use it is badly designed.  Most people use individual applications
so infrequently that they cannot remember all the details from one 
session to the next.  There are a lot of bad web applications out there.

Thin client intranet applications are in a controlled environment, are
frequently used, and have management who can provide specific training.

For true web applications it is particularly important that global user
interface standards are followed and designers are not allowed to be
too creative.  Unfortunately, the money is in branding, not in making
the web as a whole easy to use and easy to learn for people who have
not been using it for the last ten years (particularly older people, 
although I've seen references that even young people don't like the
usability of the current web).  Even without multiple access keys, one
either has to know many many user interface paradigms, or hunt for links.
Older users, particularly, are scared of failure and will just not use
the web at all, instead.
Received on Monday, 6 June 2005 06:40:29 UTC

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