W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ua@w3.org > January to March 1999

Re: tabbing through the active elements

From: Jon Gunderson <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 1999 14:59:12 -0600
Message-Id: <199903112054.OAA05863@staff2.cso.uiuc.edu>
To: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>, w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
1. In the guidelines we want to have features that support several types of
user strategies.  It is important to remember that the checkpoints are not
strategies, they are features that support users access a document.
Therefore the checkpoints should support many types of users and there

2. Users with disabilities have the same tasks as other users.  They want
to know the content of the elements in a document and they want to use the
active elements (links and controls) to naviage to new information or to
send information to another location.  We want to have controls and
renderings that help support their access to WWW documents.  

3. Most of our understanding of the techniques and strategies use by
persons with disabilities is based on group memebrs own personal
experiences or experience working with people with disabilities.  Kitch
Barnicle has just completed a study on people with visual impairments
accessing the WWW.   Many people with severe disabilities have little or no
experience using the WWW to understand their strategies.

4. Most users do not know what the content of a WWW document is before they
get there, so unless they have been there before they will probably use a
similar strategy for all WWW documents.  My guess is that most strategies
are not overt or well defined.

The sequential (tabbing) feature is considered the most rudementary
technique for accessing the document.  But it is still very powerfull since
it requires little user sophistications in learning how to use it to access


At 03:02 PM 3/11/99 -0500, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:
>I'm still struggling to understand the tasks that the users who are not
>able to see the page are trying to do when they use different kind of
>tabbings .
>Somebody said at the last teleconf that active elements (links and
>controls) are used to get a peak or an overview of what is in the page. I
>looked couple of pages shortly trying to simulate that.
>One big difficulty was that I really would like to separate between the
>navigation bar elements, advertisements and the actual content of the page.
>Which one I want to look at a certain time depends at least on what I have
>done earlier and what my goals are.
>Sometimes I might want to browse first the main title of the page and then
>see the navigation bar links to orientate myself. The last part is the
>active elements in content. Sometimes I might want to see just the content
>links and controls as I am looking different pages at the same site. Often
>however, I still browse the headers first and then go to the links and
>controls (if I go to a control do I get the explanation of the control as
>It would be nice to learn what the users frequently using these tabbing
>techniques do. What kind of strategies they have in going through the pages
>and what kind of difficulties there are? Are there clearly different types
>of sites that need different strategies? Would it help to use hierarchical
>tabbing where you can go up and down to more or less details in the
>semantic structure with one button while tabbing forward or backward the
>page with another?
>  Marja
Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
Received on Thursday, 11 March 1999 15:54:19 UTC

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