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RE: FW: Adding a label to search box


From: Hoffman, Allen
Date: Apr 19, 2006 12:40PM

To me this still sounds like the emperors new clothes to me.

A big word near an unlabeled edit box saying "search" doesn't say
"search for this".
it doesn't say "search what for this"

Sometimes being clear with language is worth a thousand visual layouts.

Even if only 0.1% of the audience has a usability problem with something
done as a "standard" visual way, isn't a reason to consider it really
purposefully accessible.

One of many complaints regarding the use of the web and electronic
communications in general is the great drop in the quality of writing.
This is often reflected not just in posts, but in actual web interfaces.
Try putting the box with search near it up for five year olds and see
how many times they have to try it to understand what the visual layout

convention doesn't mean clarity if not agreed to.

To be honest I'm not even remotely attached to my perspective but I tend
to question "the way it is" all the time. Any time the assumption that
its obvious is made I question if it really is obvious, and if so, to
whom, and to whom it isn't.

I'll leave it alone, but just wanted to raise the questions.

Allen Hoffman

-----Original Message-----
From: Patrick H. Lauke [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2006 4:26 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: FW: [WebAIM] Adding a label to search box

Hoffman, Allen wrote:
> OK this probably is more open ended a question than I should ask, but:
> Why do people feel the need to have an edit box for searching without
> associate textual visible cues?

Is a big submit button immediately next to it reading "Search" not
enough of a visible cue? Has the "input box plus 'search' or 'go' submit
button immediately to the right" not been firmly established for years
now and many major sites?

I'd like to see some counter-argument research showing that this very
particular situation is causing confusion to users.

Patrick H. Lauke
re*dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively [latin : re-,
re- + dux, leader; see duke.] www.splintered.co.uk |
www.photographia.co.uk http://redux.deviantart.com
Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force