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Re: Inline link icons

From: Patrick H. Lauke <redux@splintered.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 21:24:40 +0100
Message-ID: <42DEB308.4090600@splintered.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

fstorr wrote:

> My company is using the services of an external usability company and  
> are making a recommendation to use small inline icons within <a> tags  
> when linking to Office/PDF documents.

 > Their argument is that  the icon
> would contain alt text to make it accessible, but that's  fine for blind 
> users but not for those who aren't but just need some  very large 
> content.

I'd say that the fact it doesn't scale only causes problems up to a 
certain point, after which users with severe impairments are more likely 
to use screen magnification and/or lower screen resolution to 
compensate, rather than simply bumping up browser text size.

Ideally I'd do both: have an icon (placed via CSS, not inline IMG 
element...just create classes for "word", "pdf" etc and assign those to 
the A elements) that makes it visually obvious what type of file you're 
referring to, as well as a slightly smaller, bracketed piece of info 
after the link that states in plain text what type of file it is and 
possibly the file size. If those links are all on one page, I'd have an 
introductory text that states the files open in a new window, and 
additionally a title on the A elements reiterating the name, type, size 
and "opens in a new window").

Overkill? Perhaps, but you may do some clever styling on the extra info, 
for instance, and offer alternate stylesheets, etc.

Patrick H. Lauke
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
Received on Wednesday, 20 July 2005 20:24:46 UTC

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