[Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time

jody tate jtate at u.washington.edu
Mon Nov 5 14:55:19 PST 2007

I'm new to the list so I hope I don't speak out of turn.

First off, I think it's great to see a public-facing UW page that's
well-designed (visually strong), well-developed (it validates!) and
attentive to usability/accessibility.

I looked at the site using Lynx (http://lynx.isc.org/) and it turns
out pretty well using that text-based browser. Having the "skip to
content" link was crucial and a smart choice.

But the site looks like a tough assignment--lots of information to
make findable from one page. Navigation-wise, the old (maybe not too
old axiom) is that if you think your site needs drop-down menus, you
need to rethink your site. But these aren't instrusive and I can
potentially see how they're helpful.

I'd agree with you on the discrepancy between the homepage and
internal pages. Is it part of your mandate to make the internal pages
jive with the homepage? If not, the difference isn't too large, but
ideally I think one would want to get the internal pages to all have
at least the same horizontal navigation area up top.

That's my $0.02.


On Nov 5, 2007, at 2:19 PM, Dylan Wilbanks wrote:

> I launched a new home page for the School of Public Health over the

> weekend:

> http://sphcm.washington.edu/


> And as things are usually done around here, I really didn't get in

> much accessibility testing and zero usability testing. (Sigh.)


> I ran the site through Cynthia Says and Watchfire's Bobby testing

> replacement and think I've hammered down the major issues. I also

> ran it through the Colorblind Web Page Filter (http://colorfilter.wickline.org/

> ), and it looks like the contrast is OK.


> It all seems OK to me. The modified Suckerfish dropdown menu I'm

> using really worries me -- you can tab through the list pretty

> easily, but something doesn't seem right about it. Maybe it's

> because I don't have tabindex set anywhere.


> So. I'm throwing it out to all of you. Where have I screwed up? What

> am I missing? Something about this design really bothers me from an

> accessibility standpoint, but I can't figure out what it is.


> (Maybe it's the fact the home page user interface points to an

> underlying information architecture that doesn't exist. In other

> words, the interior pages look nothing like the home page, and worse

> still, the nav links on the interior pages don't resemble the home

> page in the least.)


> Thanks.

> dw


> Dylan Wilbanks

> Web Producer

> School of Public Health and Community Medicine

> University of Washington

> F-350 Health Sciences Bldg

> 1959 NE Pacific St

> Box 357230

> Seattle, WA 98195-7230

> V: 206.221.6395

> F: 206.543.3813

> E: wilbanks at u.washington.edu


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