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Re: Legend wrap (or not)


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: Aug 31, 2007 10:00AM

On Fri, 31 Aug 2007, Patrick Lauke wrote:

> It's a balancing act. Yes, users should be aware of how to switch
> between modes, and yes the majority of forms in the wild are marked up
> in such a crappy way that they've been forced to learn this...but, if
> you want to make the forms more usable, you'll try to minimise the need
> for mode switching and backtracking through the form to get to the
> explanatory text and try to make the legends and labels themselves carry
> enough information to make the form understandable.

But where is the balance between the needs of people using technologies
that skip content in forms mode and the needs of all other people? Verbose
legends and verbose labels are are problem to many people. This includes
the legend formatting issue (which is more than just the wrapping issue)
and the clarity of the association between labels and fields.

Sometimes the forms mode issues might be important enough to justify
slightly illogical markup, or maybe a separate version of the form. But
making the basic form less accessible to the majority does not sound like
balance to me.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/