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RE: [WebAIM] More data on accesskeys (New article written Nov. 1)

From: Alastair Campbell <ac@nomensa.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2006 10:21:28 -0000
Message-ID: <2A876A583754DD4E8E03CFE899FA16068F5DB3@saturn.intranet.nomensa.com>
To: <joshue.oconnor@ncbi.ie>, <foliot@wats.ca>
Cc: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "WebAIM Discussion List" <webaim-forum@list.webaim.org>

Josh wrote:
> At the risk of upsetting a hornets nest here, can you please point to
> any resources which indicate exactly what UA key combinations are
> effected by user defined access keys?

There's a list of browser, OS & access technology keys here:

Colin wrote:
> I would be curious to read about any user or users who either use the 
> feature or who have tried and found it unhelpful.

There are some, you might find such a reply in the WAI-IG archive
somewhere, but it is rare. 

When testing client sites with a variety of people with different
abilities and access technologies, I've not found one who spontaneously
used accesskeys when they were available. 

When asked after the tasks if they noticed the accesskeys or used them
on other sites, replies varied between "what accesskeys", "what are
accesskeys", and "yes, but I've never used them". Given the poor
implementations both in browsers and in sites (e.g. one that gave
'helpful' hidden text that spelt them phonetically, but then they didn't
work anyway), those type of results are hardly surprising.

I'd love to make this sort of data available, but 1) It's confidential
to each client, and 2) we asked out of curiosity, the tasks were to find
or use things on the site. Accesskeys were not the focus, which I guess
is quite realistic!

I can see good uses for often used applications (e.g. intranet apps or
webmail clients), but they would still have to be user defined. For
general sites, the @role style methods are the way forward.

Kind regards,


Alastair Campbell         |  Director of User Experience

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Received on Friday, 3 November 2006 10:21:41 UTC

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