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Re: Definition list vs. Table


From: Birkir RĂșnar Gunnarsson
Date: Dec 24, 2010 9:27AM


I have a slightly different perspective on this, as a screen reader user.
If you have a lot of user information on a page, providing it without
a structure is a big inconvenience to a screen reader user.
Providing the info as a list or a table allows screen reader users to
quickly jump between users using an html shortcut key, like "l" to
jump to next list or "t" to jump to next table.
I have many problems with www.nhl.com/scores but I love their format
during live games, each game has its own table with game information
that is updated every minute or so, it is easily navigable, if I want
to follow the fifth game of the night I simply press t five times and
get straight to it. If I had to use the arrow keyes or tab to get
through all the other information before getting there it would take
forever, plus the page refreshes and would put me back on top before I
got a chance to find the info I want.
I believe all the major screen readers have one key shortcuts to find
next table or list on a page, usually t for table and l for list.

So, if we are talking about one or two person whose info you want to
display, sure, you can use plain text and no html mark up so I agree
with Jared in that scenario.
But if you are displaying more, say 3 to 6 users, you can create an
unorderred list for every user. That way the uscreen reader user can
use "l" to jump between them until they find the user first name they
are looking for.

If you have more users I'd recommend a table with one row ffor each
user. Screen Readers generally cope quite well with tables so this
would be the quickest way to present such info in my opinion,
especially if you can keep the users listed in a predictable order,
such as alphabetical.

Thanks and happy holidays.

On 12/24/10, Jared Smith < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> On Fri, Dec 24, 2010 at 4:39 AM, adam solomon
> < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> Let us say I have a web page which contains information about a particular
>> individual. The content would look like this:
>> first name: john
>> last name: doe
>> telephone: 111-1111
>> city: beverly hills
>> state: california
> Why isn't this sufficient? This is by far the easiest, most
> straightforward presentation of this information. I see no benefit
> from using a list or table. All it would do is overburden the author
> and present additional information to the user that is not necessary.
> You could use microformats in addition to this, but no assistive
> technology I know of utilizes them.
> Jared