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Re: direct and spatial mapping to functionalities

From: Ian Jacobs <ij@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 05 Oct 1999 09:36:32 -0400
Message-ID: <37F9FEE0.139EA428@w3.org>
To: Al Gilman <asgilman@iamdigex.net>
CC: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org, w3c-wai-pf@w3.org
Al Gilman wrote:
> 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.
> AG:
> 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 

Yes, I agree.

> 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. 

The terms I used in the 4 October draft [1] were "contextual" and


  User agents should provide access to functionalities in different
  ways to meet the skills and needs of different audiences:

  * Contextual access (e.g., through cascading menus, 
    through help systems, etc.) helps users with cognitive 
    impairments and any users unfamiliar with the tool.

  * Direct access (e.g., through keyboard or voice shortcuts)
    helps some users with motor limitations and speeds up
    use by experienced users.

> But we have the following
> _three_ axes mixed together in the discussion so far: 

1) >keyboard vs. pointing device for selection and activation; 

 Checkpoint 1.2 requires device-independent activation (there's
            no mention of selection, but that's covered by 1.1).

2) spatial layout vs. named hierarchy for orientation to the range
   of verb options; 

   So it sounds like we need to say something about being able
   to access user agent functionality along the following
   "axes of independence" (do I sound like Al here?? ;-):

    a) Device-independence
    b) Spatial-independence (I don't want to have to move a pointer
                             in a 2- or 3-dimensional space).
    c) Temporal-independence (Don't make me activate within 2 seconds).

   Am I getting it? Al, how does that relate to your thought below 
   (refer to "This leaves me thinking...".

 - Ian

3) flat command list vs. hierarchical menus (multistep dialog).

   Only the prose quoted above addresses this design issue.
> 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
> menus.
> 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.."
> Al

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/UA/WAI-USERAGENT-19991004 

Ian Jacobs (jacobs@w3.org)   http://www.w3.org/People/Jacobs
Tel/Fax:                     +1 212 684-1814
Cell:                        +1 917 450-8783
Received on Tuesday, 5 October 1999 09:36:56 UTC

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