[Accessibleweb] New Microsoft Homepage

Terry Thompson tft at u.washington.edu
Thu Feb 1 11:02:20 PST 2007


Hi Kate,

For sighted mouse users, it's pretty fun to play with the moving visual
feature that's prominent on the page. Other than that....

For keyboard-only users:

I can tab over the navigation menu on the right, and can select an option
from that menu, and the corresponding submenu fills the screen. However,
then what? After some experimentation, I figured out that if I tab through
the entire main navigation menu, I ultimately end up in the submenu div, but
then I have to tab through the entire submenu before getting to the main
submenu features (the ones with the icons). That's a lot of tabbing, and
it's not very intuitive. For someone who presses tab slowly due to a
physical disability, navigating this page could take a very, very long time.


For large font users:

Fonts resize ok, but the size of the divs is fixed, so if a user resizes the
font (try Ctrl and the "plus" key in Firefox) the text either gets chopped
off due to the contrainsts of the div, or it overflows into neighboring
text. Either way, it's unreadable. Not good scalability.

For screen reader users:

With JAWS 7.1, the page is a total mess. There's a lot of noise - images
without ALT text, rediculesly long URLs as link text, and some other stuff
that I can't figure out. After struggling through all the noise, I am able
to get to the navigation menu and open up and navigate to the secondary
menu. However, the "x" button in the top right corner of the secondary menu
window isn't verbalized in a meaningful way by the screen reader, so I can't
close this window. I could go on and on.

Re. usability:

You mentioned that the back button doesn't work as we're accustomed. Another
issue is that the submenu that pops up assumes full focus. The content in
the background is darkened somewhat, but it doesn't completely disappear. To
me it's not obvious that the background is no longer available, especially
the links at the top of the page, which are dark anyway so there's very
little change. I was trying to select "About our new home page", and
couldn't figure out at first why the link wasn't working.

Terry

Terry Thompson
Technology Specialist, DO-IT
University of Washington
tft at u.washington.edu
206/221-4168
http://www.washington.edu/doit





> -----Original Message-----

> From: accessibleweb-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu

> [mailto:accessibleweb-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On

> Behalf Of Katherine Deibel

> Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 12:31 PM

> To: accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

> Subject: [Accessibleweb] New Microsoft Homepage

>

> Back in December, Microsoft apparently made some major

> renovations to their website, including a new navigation

> system. I'm curious to hear any opinions on the

> accessibility of the new design. One thing I've noticed is

> that the back button does not function as I would expect it

> to. If I use the navigation tool to find a page and then go

> back, I'm returned to the main page instead of a

> sub-navigation page that I expected.

>

> Microsoft Homepage

> http://www.microsoft.com/en/us/default.aspx

>

> FAQ about the changes

> http://www.microsoft.com/about/mspreview/en/us/abouthomepage.mspx

>

> kate deibel

>

> -- "I just won three pachyderms," said Tom triumphantly.

>

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> Accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

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