Outer Court

Tech - Posts to comp.infosystems.www.*

From: Jester@t-online.de (Philipp Lenssen)
Newsgroups: comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html,comp.infosystems.www.authoring.site-design
Subject: Re: Accessibility - No. 10 Downing Street Website
Date: 1998/05/11
Message-ID: <6j6p2k$d8$1@news00.btx.dtag.de>#1/1

peter@crowdproud.co.uk wrote:
> I find the concept of a single web site for all users to be in dispute with
> your other points. I read the article Liam Quinn and while it makes sense
> (describing graphics to the blind is not the same as making a site that does
> not depend on those graphics), I do not agree that to meet this goal a single
> 'degradable' site is the _only_ approach. In order to make each page seem
> like it is designed for the current user why not design the site seperately
> for each user group.
> The original site has a attractive look which draws people into the site.
> People who want the content and not the gloss have the text only site which
> is designed for them and their needs. I notice that I did not have to click
> to enter the text only site when I used lynx but rather arrived at a site
> that seemed to have been designed directly for it. When I used IE4 I got the
> graphical look which an option to degrade. I suspect that there is some
> browser detection going on here to help users to find the optimally designed
> site for them.

I wouldn't know how to do a browser detection, unless you use a script
language and then you already assumed certain browsers with certain
settings. In most cases an optional text only site is a bad excuse for
not caring about doing one fits all design. It's like saying don't blame
me for putting heavily graphics in here, you could've chosen the
text-only version. But what if a user wants to have a reasonable amount
of graphics. 

> >
> > And the dreaded "click here" syndrome strikes again.
> >
> What is the dreaded "click here" syndrome

The click here syndrome is about non-self descriptive links. It's the
same problem when "this" and "there" are used as links. In most cases a
link should be something like the title of the next document, _and_ it
should be integrated into the text so you're not really distracted when
you want to continue reading, _and_ it should be non-technical because
you don't know how the user follows links. The click here's are neither
self-descriptive (unless the linked document would contain information
about click here's) nor integrated (they always add a redundant extra
sentence. If you read the link alone, and you often do this because it
might be hilited by your browser, you don't instantly know what it's
about) nor non-technical (what if I use Opera with keboard, Lynx with
Winspeak?). For a look at a click here check out my redirection URL's

> >
> > > In the text only site there are
> > > only a few images and all seem to have reasonable alt tags.
> >
> > That does not explain why their graphical site had images of text for
> > which the ALT attributes had been explicitly set to ALT="
> >
> > If one were to believe that the designers knew what they were doing, one
> > would have to conclude that they were being deliberately hostile to the
> > blind.  I prefer to suppose that they didn't know what they were doing.
> >
> There is now a text only site which caters for the blind (I believe) and it
> is obviously the correct option for the blind. Graphical sites of this type
> are not viewable by text browsers (as you have pointed out) and would not be
> even with perfect alt tagging.

If you can't get the point across smoothly with an alt attribute and
there's cases in which this happens, then a text only site which leaves
the graphics out wouldn't be any better then an empty or marked alt. 

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