E-mail List Archives

RE: Accessible popup menus


From: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Date: Jul 29, 2005 7:31AM

> No artifacts tabbing backwards either.

Can you clarify what you think an artifact is? When I tab backwards in
Safari, Firefox(Win), and IE(Win) there are times where there are 2
submenus open at the same time.

Whether you think this is an artifact or not, it is clearly not correct
behavior for a menu. I won't characterize this as a substantial
accessibility issue, rather it just seems slightly broken.

> It does validate and it does meet accessibility standards
> without error. Whose real world are talking about :-)

I like your menu, but it is not beyond reproach. I have yet to see an
HTML menu that is. Sometimes this is due to the level of support for
this kind of thing by the user agents, sometimes it is the lack of
specific semantics for this in HTML, sometimes it is just that the
dynamic menu doesn't do some things right, and sometimes all three.

In your menu, the loss of visual focus when tabbing backwards, whether
due to the user agent or the menu scripting, represents a substantial
usability issue and it also runs afoul of 1194.21(c) (A well-defined
on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves
among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes.).
Whether you want to argue that 1194.21 doesn't apply to web pages or not
is up to you, but this is a problem for users. People on the list have
highlighted other issues for you and are generally happy to provide
advice if you are willing to listen.

> No, I find accessibility issues on that page. My own interpretive and
> subjective issues, which is what the pseudo-science of accessibility
> really boils down to.

Jim would, I'm sure, be willing to discuss the rationale behind any
decision made on his site. I'm not sure that a discussion of his site
or any other has any bearing on the accessibility of your product.


Andrew Kirkpatrick
Principal Accessibility Engineer, Macromedia