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Re: accessible tree menus


From: Chris Hoffman
Date: Feb 28, 2009 1:30PM

On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 2:33 PM, John Foliot < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Thing is, before you skip over large blocks of anything, you need to know
> *what* you are skipping over - and for non-sighted users the only way to
> really know what that is, is to actually have to process it/them.  In the
> case of the mint site I referenced [http://bullion.nwtmint.com/], that
> would be *all 80* of those links. (Other hints, such as using headings or
> the summary or title attributes can also assist here, but
> in-and-of-themselves are not complete solutions)

I disagree. The limits of our cognition (not to mention the limits of
time) require that we skip over large blocks of content all the time
without knowing their exact details, whether we are sighted or not.

Let's say I go to the bookstore, looking for a book with a recipe
using sugar snap peas. I will go directly to the Cooking section, and
from there I'd likely go directly to the Vegetables section. Now,
there is a good chance that there is a novel somewhere on the other
side of the store in which the author describes in great detail a
delicious sugar snap pea casserole, and by skipping over the
Literature section and not reading through every page of every book, I
will have missed it. Frankly, that's just tough legumes for me.

That said, my book browsing technique is probably _good enough_ to
help me find some suitable pea recipes.

Now of course there are certain expectations that the bookstore will
have to meet if I am to be successful (we can call them "standards" or
"best practices"). For one, if this is my first time in the store, it
would be nice to have a map (or a friendly clerk) at the front door to
guide me to a particular section. Second, I have a reasonable
expectation that the books will be organized into their respective
categories. If both of those conditions are met, then I'm likely to
find the content I'm looking for, whether this is my first visit to
the store or I'm a regular.

> Use your heads people, and remember that the goal is
> users first, not technology.  Think about structure, and yes usability,
> not just for the mainstream user, but for all users - think hard when
> making foundational choices.  Try hard to avoid thinking in terms of
> user-agents and adaptive technology, and instead think about how users
> might interact with your web content in ways other than the way that *you*
> interact.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to find members on this list who are not
trying their hardest to do just that.