[Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time

Pace Arko jsay at ngtvoice.com
Wed Nov 7 13:12:15 PST 2007


Dylan,

I also am a recent addition to the list and I don't have to time to go into
a lot of detail but, for your next site face lift, you may want to consider:

Ordering your source so that content comes first and navigation links comes
afterward in groups of increasing generality. You'd CSS positioning to "fold
everything up" so that it looks like navigation comes first. To modern
browsers, everything looks the same but if someone needs to turn CSS off

To give a short example of what I mean. Look at www.ngtvoice.com in IE and
uses the style switcher to turn CSS off. Or look at the same with Opera,
Safari or Firefox and just turn off CSS. Notice how the content comes first?
Googlebot likes this because your pages don't put the repetitious stuff
first. Lynx and screen reader users also like it. Notice also that I also
have the "skip navigation, jump to content links" but because of way I've
ordered my source I can put these at the end of the content, not that the
very top of the page.

Doing this requires an enormous redesign and testing to ensure reliability
so it really shouldn't be a step you take lightly or at all. Doing things
requires you to get ready for the advanced CSS-fu.

I only throw it out there for your consideration. It is not essential for
accessibility but it does help.

Another thing you'll want to consider in terms of Terry Thompson's comment
is to us JavaScript in an unobtrusive way. *Never* require it for your site
to work or navigate. JavaScript is very useful and actually can improve
accessibility for people with mobility impairments but remember always that
it's icing on the cake. I'm sure many on this list are aware of these sites
but I list them here for your benefit:

http://adactio.com/atmedia2005/
www.onlinetools.org/articles/unobtrusivejavascript/

But obviously you have to strike a balance with a lot of things. Improving
things too far for one area of accessibility may actually reduce
accessibility in other areas.

Pace Arko (Webmaster, NGT Inc.)

PS: To give a little context here, I've been working on and thinking about
accessible web design since 1997 when Greg Lowney hired me to maintain the
Microsoft accessibility site.

-----Original Message-----
From: accessibleweb-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu
[mailto:accessibleweb-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Dylan
Wilbanks
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 10:04 AM
To: AccessibleWeb at u.washington.edu
Subject: RE: [Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time

Thanks Terry. I'll give it a closer look. I initially rejected this because
I didn't see there was a free educational license, and I was just coming off
using Milonic for the last four years and wanted to be free of it.

My one concern is whether people navigating with keyboards will think to use
the arrow keys, and if not, how to communicate that to them without creating
too much clutter.

Thanks.
dw

Dylan Wilbanks
Web Producer
Sch of Pub Hlth, U of Washington



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

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

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

> Behalf Of Terry Thompson

> Sent: Monday, November 05, 2007 7:11 PM

> To: AccessibleWeb at u.washington.edu

> Subject: RE: [Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time

>

> 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

> 206/221-4168

>

>

>

> > -----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

> >

> > _______________________________________________

> > Accessibleweb mailing list

> > Accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

> > http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/accessibleweb

> >

>

> _______________________________________________

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> Accessibleweb at u.washington.edu

> http://mailman1.u.washington.edu/mailman/listinfo/accessibleweb

>


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