[Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time

Terry Thompson tft at u.washington.edu
Mon Nov 5 19:10:40 PST 2007

Hi Dylan,

I think you've done a great job overall. This site has a well-structured,
accessible, and aesthetically-pleasing design. Regarding the Suckerfish
menus, I'm personally not a big fan. They are technically accessible to
keyboard users and screen reader users, but not all that usable. Keyboard
users have to tab through every link, inlcuding those that are nested two
levels deep. That's a lot of tabbing if they just want to get to, say,
"Research", or any of the other top level menu items.

I prefer UDM4 (http://www.udm4.com). It's dependent on Javascript for full
functionality, but allows for a more intuitive keyboard model. Users can
navigate by tab just as they do with Suckerfish, but can also move up, down,
left and right through menus with arrow keys. It's also highly customizable
so you could keep the current look of your menus.

Terry Thompson
DO-IT, Computing & Communications
University of Washington
tft at u.washington.edu

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

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

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

> Dylan Wilbanks

> Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 2:19 PM

> To: AccessibleWeb at u.washington.edu

> Subject: [Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time


> 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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