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Re: text-only version of web pages


From: Steve Green
Date: Jan 30, 2013 10:30AM

Your browser already provides all the tools you need to access well-designed websites. You can turn off images, in which case the alternate text will be displayed. You can turn off styles and apply whatever text and background colours you want. This will also convert the pages to fluid design so you can set any window width you want and the text will reflow and there will not be a horizontal scrollbar.

Unfortunately badly-designed websites will continue to give you a poor user experience. You may need different approaches for different websites, such as leaving styles turn on while setting the text and background colours you require. I have found that this works well on some websites and not others.

You should not be so dismissive of those of us who are fully-sighted. Many of us on this email list do a great deal of work with people with a wide range of visual impairments and we do have a good understanding of their needs. All too often they are not aware that the tools they need are already available or they do not know how to use them, which is not the fault of the website designers. Whilst I don't always agree with Patrick, he is highly experienced and deserves more respect.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of GF Mueden@
Sent: 30 January 2013 17:05
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] text-only version of web pages

I can't fight evidence and must back off on those points.
My need remains. Have you a solution to offer?

On 1/30/2013 11:41 AM, Chagnon | PubCom wrote:
> GF wrote, "When ordering groceries on line, it is not necessary that
> the list of departments have a graphic incorporated for each department."
> Actually, for the company selling groceries, it is necessary.
> Statistical research shows that nearly 100% of fully sighted customers
> interpret and comprehend the graphic before reading the actual text.
> So website visitors will recognize an apple graphic for the produce
> department and a fish graphic for the seafood counter faster and more
> accurately than if only words designated the departments. This has
> been so convincingly proven by marketing and psychological research
> for over 100 years that it is no longer studied. It's an accepted
> truth in the business and advertising world.
> The message contained in a graphic (that is, a photo, illustration, or
> logo) is interpreted and comprehended in less than 1 second by someone
> who is fully sighted (0.8 seconds if I remember correctly). That same
> message in words will take several seconds, maybe even minutes to have
> the same impact, and the worded message will often be misinterpreted
> or misread. The old saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words" is accurate.
> Your comment, "I have no objection to graphics where needed to tell
> the story, but I do object when it is obvious that the designer is
> just showing off," points in the wrong direction to find a solution
> for your visual disability.
> Websites with beautiful graphics, eye-catching designs, animations,
> rotating slideshows and carousels, and all the other "show-off" stuff
> complained about on WebAIM out-sell, out-market, out-persuade, and in
> all other criteria outperform websites without these features.
> So these visual features are not going to go away because they make a
> lot of money for the website owners.
> GF wrote, "I am not for outlawing graphics, but please give me the choice.
> The ability to "X out" graphics would be appreciated."
> You're right, that's a solution for you.
> Given that all graphics on a website use the <image> tag in the HTML
> code, it might be possible to create a code widget that can hide the
> graphics for you. Click and graphics are hidden, click again and they are visible.
> But I wouldn't wait for the solution to be built for you. Pigs will
> fly before that happens!
> Why not reach out to the coder community and find someone who can
> co-create this with you? There's probably a college student somewhere
> in the world studying computer science who needs a small project like
> this for his coursework. Heck, there might be someone in Computer
> Science at Utah State University, which hosts WebAim. It could be sold
> as a $9.99 code widget to web developers, who then can add that feature to websites.
> GF wrote, "My "Advice for Publishers", written for the benefit of
> those who still read with their eyes but not well, is available as an
> email down load."
> I'd love to read your ideas, GF. Please forward it to the list or to
> me directly.
> -Bevi Chagnon
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