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Re: Web accessibility and usability


From: Estelle Weyl
Date: Oct 30, 2004 1:39PM

Think cell phones. Think low bandwidth. Think lynx, and other imageless
browsing experiences.

Also, sometimes I see an image and wonder what it is - a simple mouse over
gives me more information.
Sometimes I get to a site, and they moved their image directory, or wrote
their JavaScript incorrectly, or have a typo in the code and the image just
doesn't come thru. With an alt tag we are not left wondering.

Many designers code with Dreamweaver. When you change a folder into a new
directory in DW it updates the links to images, but not the image calls in
JavaScript. I often find web pages where the image rollover effect is broken
and the images don't appear. That would be a prime example of when having
an alt tag helps the sited user.

Estelle Weyl
Helping make the web accessible since 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: alg230 [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Saturday, October 30, 2004 11:47 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Cc: 'WebAIM Discussion List'
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Web accessibility and usability


While reviewing www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/benefits.html that you suggested, I
came across a very helpful table that summarizes checkpoints that contribute
to different design categories including: usability, public search engine,
low bandwidth, support low literacy, and semantic web.

Checkpoint 1.1 Provide text equivalent for non-text element was listed as
contributing to usability, and other categories including public search
engine and low bandwidth.

I can understand how "alt" attributes benefit search engine results and
users with low bandwidth, but I wasn't clear on how it is important for
usability for people without disabilities. Does anyone have opinions on

It is my hope to demonstrate that accessibility efforts also improve the
experience of users without disabilities. I'm planning to do some usability
tests with visually impaired users and then users without disabilities.

Would anyone anticipate the presence of "alt" as improving the experience of
users without disabilities (in terms of any of the metrics noted on
UsableNet: time, number of errors, success rate, and subjective rating)?

Thank you very much for any help that you can offer.


----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Arch
Date: Sunday, October 10, 2004 6:33 am
Subject: RE: [WebAIM] Web accessibility and usability

> Hi Annmarie,
> Don't know of any formal studies (apart from the
> Microsoft/Forrester one),
> but many people have written articles on this topic. E.g.:
> 1.
> www.webcredible.co.uk/user-friendly-resources/web-
> accessibility/web-accessib
> ility-usability.shtml
> 2. www.w3.org/WAI/bcase/benefits.html
> 3. http://www.uiaccess.com/upa2000a.html
> 4. http://ausweb.scu.edu.au/aw02/papers/refereed/arch/index.html
> 5. http://www.frontend.com/accessibility_paper.html#Usability
> Andrew
> _________________________________
> Dr Andrew Arch
> Manager Online Accessibility Consulting
> Accessible Information Solutions, NILS
> Ph 613 9864 9222; Fax 613 9864 9210; Mobile 0438 755 565
> http://www.nils.org.au/ | http://www.it-test.com.au/ |
> http://www.ozewai.org/
> Member, Education &amp; Outreach Working Group,
> W3C Web Accessibility Initiative
> http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/
> National Information &amp; Library Service, Australia
> A subsidiary of RBS.RVIB.VAF Ltd.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: alg230 [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: Sunday, 10 October 2004 5:35 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: [WebAIM] Web accessibility and usability
> Hello All,
> I am in the early stages of a master's thesis. The topic that I
> would like
> to explore is how (whether) web accessibility promotes usability by
> non-disabled users. In other words, I am interested in making a
> case for
> how accessibility benefits more than the disabled segment of a web
> site'scustomer base.
> For the purposes of a literature survey, I was wondering if anyone
> might be
> aware of previous studies that have been completed for this topic.
> In
> addition, all opinions are most welcome and very much appreciated.
> It would
> be helpful to know in advance whether a study on this topic would
> be useful
> to the web accessibility community.
> Thank you for your time...
> Sincerely,
> Annmarie Gemma
> Master's Candidate in Management &amp; Systems
> New York University
> ----
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