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Re: "Greater Than" symbols used for other things


From: Terence de Giere
Date: Sep 30, 2002 12:04PM

Jakob Nielsen, a well known usability expert, and one of the few who
seems to have a strong authentic interest in accessibility, uses
breadcrumbs on his site http://www.useit.com/

He uses graphic arrows to deliniate the hierarchy but uses the greater
than entity (>) as the alternate text for the arrow graphic.
Usability tests on some sites at Human Factors Inc. sometimes showed
breadcrumbs not working for some site designs, and it seemed related to
the position on the page and general visability. This was for normal
users. No data for disabled users. Nielsen's site places the breadcrumbs
at the very beginning of the page, except for the home page where it is
left off..

As for the right arrow symbol (→) this may cause a problem with
both older and newer assistive technology and browsers which do not
support Unicode or the extended HTML character set; the operating system
also may not have fonts to display this character either. For example,
this character displayed properly in the visual window of Home Page
Reader 3.0 when Internet Explorer 6.0 was the base browser technology,
but in the low vision window and in audio, HPR rendered → as a
question mark and "question mark" respectively, so even recent
technolgies may have trouble with extended character sets. It appears
for now at least that the greater than symbol is more likely to work.

Terence de Giere

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