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Re: examples of accessible document downloads


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Aug 29, 2011 3:54PM

To offer up an opinion.
For single downloadable files on web pages I prefer downloads
presented as buttons rather than links.
The word "download" should be the first word in the name
of the button"download document x".
Often I have to search back and forth in web pages, since I am not
sure if the link is a download link or just a link that takes me to a
place with further info about said document (msdn I find very
difficult, or used to, think it is getting more organized now).
Example of a very confusing page (at least for screen rreaders) is
This is a collection of freeware and shareware software, baed on
categories, very useful site.

You have to click on the developers name to get to an area where you
can download the installation, but this is not obvious.

When you expect user to just choose one file from a list of
files/formats, You could present documents for download as a list
with a descriptive title
(Reports for years 1992 to present (doc), with a combobox and a
"download" button.
For multiple format reports I prefer the format in parenths
Report for 1998 (doc)
Report for 1998 (pdf)
I don't have a website off the top of my head that uses ths format,
but I can find one.

It is probably very politically incorrect, and I am not saying I ever
use this page, but www.piratebay.org (torrent site) has a pretty nice
and clear interface for downloading files.
Do a search for something like an artist, and see the table of results
(of course you may get a pop up). There is file info and then a link
that says "download" right next to it (at least as screen reader reads
it). Whereas I prefer download links to be actual buttons, this is as
ok presentation as well. One column presents the file info, the next
(arrow down if you use an SR) is a link that says "download", so there
is no ambiguity as to what filename the word "download" refers to.
The following column lists who uploaded said file and its size, and I
find this helpful too (replace "uploaded by" with file format).
This way you can offer additional file information for those who want
to know the size and file formats (to some size matters, not to
others), but you are not creating overly long link texts. Of course
looking at this site is fully legal, as long as you do not download
copyrighted matirial from it.

Hope this has given you something to work with.

On 8/29/11, Angela French < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Hello,
> I would be especially grateful if you might send me a URL or two of your
> favorite method for representing the download of different document types on
> a web page. As a developer, this might be your preferred way of coding for
> the presentation of document downloads, or as a user of a screen reader,
> this might be a site that you feel presents documents for download in the
> best way.
> A site that I am working on has no less than 10 ways of presenting documents
> for download. Some are accessible, others not. I can understand the logic
> behind some of them, but the content creators knew nothing about
> accessibility. So now I am trying to come up with a standard way (or a few
> ways) to represent docs-for-download on our site.
> I am particularly looking for complex presentations - for example reports
> that might have the same title, but available for many individual years.
> Thank you in advance,
> Angela French
> Internet Specialist
> State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
> 360-704-4316
> http://www.checkoutacollege.com<;http://www.checkoutacollege.com/>;