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Re: direct and spatial mapping to functionalities

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 09:14:21 -0400
Message-Id: <199910051317.JAA19853@smtp2.mail.iamworld.net>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-pf@w3.org
At 02:10 AM 10/5/99 -0400, Marja-Riitta Koivunen wrote:
>>2) Users need two types of access to user agent functionalities:
>>   serial (with context) and direct (e.g., activated through the
>>   keyboard, voice, or mouse). We don't have a checkpoint about
>>   this, although I did include prose in the 4 October version of
>>   the spec (in the intro) distinguishing types of access.
>I don't undestand serial? I think we have spatial mapping with pointing and
>direct mapping without pointing. And both are important. It is important
>not to be be forced to point because some users have great difficulties
>with this. 


a) Ian: 'serial' is not a good term here.  Think in terms of the intrapage
navigation flavors: sequential, hierarchical, and direct.  What we are
talking about is the same process-structure flavors to get to "an action in
the UI or page has been commanded" as opposed to "a point in the page has
been made the current [focus | point of regard]."  The classical GUI mode
is somewhat hierarchical with verbs collected under menus.  One is not
usually sequencing through all available verbs in the GUI to find one.  So
'multistep' vs. 'direct' encoding of the comands is probably better
terminology to communicate what is going on.  But we have the following
_three_ axes mixed together in the discussion so far: keyboard vs. pointing
device for selection and activation; spatial layout vs. named hierarchy for
orientation to the range of verb options; flat command list vs.
hierarchical menus (multistep dialog).

b) Marja: You say some people have trouble with pointing.  I thought that
one group that most wants a flat command list with many symbols but direct
activation from the long list are those who have trouble completing any
input action.  So they want to get to the bottom line with a minimum of
steps.  There are other people who have problems with pointing devices but
can type a mile a minute.  The latter group can use MouseKeys and the menus
work fine, or use the keycodes for the hierarchical descent through the

This leaves me thinking that the group that needs direct versions of
commands the most is not "those that have trouble with pointing" but "those
that have trouble performing any UI action, be it a keypress, mouse move,
mouse click, etc.."

Received on Tuesday, 5 October 1999 09:15:09 UTC

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