Interesting tab navigation example

20 Dec 2007 - 4:23pm
6 years ago
42 replies
1494 reads
Michael Micheletti
2006

Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before. You'll want to
narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx

Comments?

Michael Micheletti

Comments

20 Dec 2007 - 6:11pm
Anonymous

I DO think it's hilarious that MS refuses to make their sites work properly
in Firefox.

On Dec 20, 2007 3:23 PM, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com>
wrote:

> Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before. You'll want
> to
> narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.
>
> http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx
>
> Comments?
>
> Michael Micheletti
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
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>

20 Dec 2007 - 6:17pm
.pauric
2006

Interesting, looks someone fixed the height of the rows and left the
overflow on auto. Maybe not a new pattern exactly (o;

Naturally, no scroll bar in FF. So all those developers working in
800/600 monitors will lose out if they're looking for |Technical
Resources| (o;

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

20 Dec 2007 - 6:25pm
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

yeah.. doesn't work in firefox or camino... i'm not sure the scroll
bar on the tabs is intentional, i think it's just a symptom of bad web
development and design.

On Dec 20, 2007 6:11 PM, Mike Scarpiello <mscarpiello at gmail.com> wrote:
> I DO think it's hilarious that MS refuses to make their sites work properly
> in Firefox.
>
> On Dec 20, 2007 3:23 PM, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before. You'll want
> > to
> > narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.
> >
> > http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx
> >
> > Comments?
> >
> > Michael Micheletti

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
--
personal: mattnl at gmail.com / www.nishlapidus.com

20 Dec 2007 - 6:27pm
SemanticWill
2007

I see nothing - in terms of tabs with scrolls. Guess M$ doesn't have
the brainpower to design something for Safari on the iPhone.

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Dec 20, 2007, at 6:11 PM, "Mike Scarpiello" <mscarpiello at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I DO think it's hilarious that MS refuses to make their sites work
> properly
> in Firefox.
>
> On Dec 20, 2007 3:23 PM, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com
> >
> wrote:
>
>> Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before. You'll
>> want
>> to
>> narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.
>>
>> http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx
>>
>> Comments?
>>
>> Michael Micheletti
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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20 Dec 2007 - 6:32pm
.pauric
2006

Mike: "I DO think it's hilarious that MS refuses to make their sites
work properly in Firefox."

Thats funny, 'cos the site -doesnt- crash FF for me, unlike another
browser I'm using (hint: begins with I., ends with E. version
6.0.2900)

Might be just me but try making the browser as thin as possible...

Ouch... now.. what was this site trying to sell me?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

20 Dec 2007 - 6:33pm
SemanticWill
2007

Not surprising - look at the source (snark :-)

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Dec 20, 2007, at 6:25 PM, "Matthew Nish-Lapidus" <mattnl at gmail.com>
wrote:

> yeah.. doesn't work in firefox or camino... i'm not sure the scroll
> bar on the tabs is intentional, i think it's just a symptom of bad web
> development and design.
>
>
>
> On Dec 20, 2007 6:11 PM, Mike Scarpiello <mscarpiello at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> I DO think it's hilarious that MS refuses to make their sites work
>> properly
>> in Firefox.
>>
>> On Dec 20, 2007 3:23 PM, Michael Micheletti <michael.micheletti at gmail.com
>> >
>> wrote:
>>
>>> Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before.
>>> You'll want
>>> to
>>> narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.
>>>
>>> http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx
>>>
>>> Comments?
>>>
>>> Michael Micheletti
>
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
> --
> personal: mattnl at gmail.com / www.nishlapidus.com
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

20 Dec 2007 - 6:41pm
Grady Kelly
2007

That is pretty lame. Why not do it like they do in FF with the horizontal
scrolling tabs? Heck, Excel even has that!

Grady Kelly
grady at gradykelly.com
http://www.gradykelly.com

On Dec 20, 2007 4:33 PM, William Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Not surprising - look at the source (snark :-)
>
> will evans
> user experience architect
> wkevans4 at gmail.com
> 617.281.1281
>
>
> On Dec 20, 2007, at 6:25 PM, "Matthew Nish-Lapidus" <mattnl at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > yeah.. doesn't work in firefox or camino... i'm not sure the scroll
> > bar on the tabs is intentional, i think it's just a symptom of bad web
> > development and design.
> >
> >
> >
> > On Dec 20, 2007 6:11 PM, Mike Scarpiello <mscarpiello at gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >> I DO think it's hilarious that MS refuses to make their sites work
> >> properly
> >> in Firefox.
> >>
> >> On Dec 20, 2007 3:23 PM, Michael Micheletti <
> michael.micheletti at gmail.com
> >> >
> >> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before.
> >>> You'll want
> >>> to
> >>> narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.
> >>>
> >>> http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx
> >>>
> >>> Comments?
> >>>
> >>> Michael Micheletti
> >
> > --
> > Matt Nish-Lapidus
> > work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
> > --
> > personal: mattnl at gmail.com / www.nishlapidus.com
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> > February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> > Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
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>

20 Dec 2007 - 7:22pm
Anonymous

I'm shooting from the hip here, but my guess is developers aren't
going to have a screen resolution below 1024 x 768 if viewing the
site on a CRT, flatscreen, or other monitor type. Why bother going
through the effort of putting the overflow to auto? I would prefer
them spend the time thinking about what primary navigation is truly
important.

Jake Zukowski
http://zukozee.com

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

20 Dec 2007 - 10:13pm
Michael Micheletti
2006

On Thu, 20 Dec 2007 16:22:01, Jake Zukowski <jakez at zukozee.com> wrote:

> I'm shooting from the hip here, but my guess is developers aren't
> going to have a screen resolution below 1024 x 768 if viewing the
> site on a CRT, flatscreen, or other monitor type. Why bother going
> through the effort of putting the overflow to auto? I would prefer
> them spend the time thinking about what primary navigation is truly
> important.
>

Hi Jake,

I found this screen while trying to setup Visual Studio 2005 on my vista
tablet/laptop. The screen res is 1024x768 max. Yes, I'm insane, but my main
machine has a calibrated display and I need to be able to build a dev-stage
app on my uncalibrated laptop so I can see just how awful the colors will
look to everybody else, and then fix them. If the Spyder2Pro people had a
way to switch their display calibration on and off, I'd be set, but alas.

BTW the operation took three DVDs (updates of updates) and half my free disk
space, and doesn't exactly work yet. But that just might be me, and I've
only spent six hours on it. I've learned over the years that the MSDN site
is full of IE-only functionality, so poor Mister Firefox waits outside in
the parking lot when I go troll for answers to development questions. Glad
you all enjoyed the distinctive web navigation design as much as I did,

Michael

21 Dec 2007 - 3:33am
Lucy Buykx
2007

You know it could be argued that they have come up with a "pretty"
solution to the larger fonts or smaller browser window problem. Take
your average joe site with pixel height navigation and up the font
size. Kappow! the screen becomes a mess. But this MS page keeps it's
visual design.

On the other hand they have focused on the visual design and not
considered any deviation. It does not gracefully degrade without
javascript or style.

P.S. I've noticed the form to post to this list is also javascript
controlled. What functionality would be lost if that were changed to
default html submit button that would be accessible to more folk?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

20 Dec 2007 - 11:49pm
prototypeangel
2007

Checking the CSS indicates an overflow-x setting set for the content
div. I haven't dug deeper in the CSS but usually tabs like this should
overflow.

+I'm using firefox

On Dec 21, 2:23 am, "Michael Micheletti"
<michael.michele... at gmail.com> wrote:
> Not sure I've seen navigation tabs with a scroll bar before. You'll want to
> narrow the width of your browser window to get the full effect.
>
> http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/vs2008/default.aspx
>
> Comments?
>
> Michael Micheletti
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today:http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... disc... at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help ..................http://www.ixda.org/help

21 Dec 2007 - 8:02am
.pauric
2006

Lucy: "I've noticed the form to post to this list is also javascript
controlled. What functionality would be lost if that were changed to
default html submit button that would be accessible to more folk?"

I -think- it avoids the vulnerability exposed in posting html to the
list. Some html is allowed.

Out of curiosity, how does switching off js make a submit form more
accessible?

Thanks - pauric

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

21 Dec 2007 - 8:12am
SemanticWill
2007

IMHO they are orthogonal. using/not using js has no relationship to a
standard def of accessibility. I belie

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Dec 21, 2007, at 5:02 AM, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:

> Lucy: "I've noticed the form to post to this list is also javascript
> controlled. What functionality would be lost if that were changed to
> default html submit button that would be accessible to more folk?"
>
> I -think- it avoids the vulnerability exposed in posting html to the
> list. Some html is allowed.
>
> Out of curiosity, how does switching off js make a submit form more
> accessible?
>
> Thanks - pauric
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

21 Dec 2007 - 8:16am
SemanticWill
2007

Darn iPhone again. How does js implementation effect text-2-speech? Is
this really a 508 issue or are we talking about accessibility for
BHOF's that use emacs and opera on Linux and stubbornly "choose" to
turn off javascript?

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Dec 21, 2007, at 8:12 AM, William Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:

> IMHO they are orthogonal. using/not using js has no relationship to
> a standard def of accessibility. I belie
>
> will evans
> user experience architect
> wkevans4 at gmail.com
> 617.281.1281
>
>
> On Dec 21, 2007, at 5:02 AM, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> Lucy: "I've noticed the form to post to this list is also javascript
>> controlled. What functionality would be lost if that were changed to
>> default html submit button that would be accessible to more folk?"
>>
>> I -think- it avoids the vulnerability exposed in posting html to the
>> list. Some html is allowed.
>>
>> Out of curiosity, how does switching off js make a submit form more
>> accessible?
>>
>> Thanks - pauric
>>
>>
>> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
>> Posted from the new ixda.org
>> http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
>> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
>> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

21 Dec 2007 - 8:30am
Lucy Buykx
2007

I'm working to recommendations by the RNIB (Royal National Institute
for the Blind in the United Kingdom)

http://tinyurl.com/2ztep5

Regards controlling submission of HTML to the list, the programming
code can strip any or a selection of tags before committing to
storage.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

21 Dec 2007 - 8:22am
Lucy Buykx
2007

"BHOF" ?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

21 Dec 2007 - 9:09am
SemanticWill
2007

Ahh - so real accessibility issues - as opposed to the fact that I couldn't
see the tabs because the site was either incorrectly implemented or MS just
didn't care about me seeing it on my iPhone with Safari.

Sorry about that - actually BFOH - euphemism for old school sys
admins/hackers that are real hardasses - and tend to not trust anything with
a GUI, anything that requires JS to work correctly - and therefore turn JS
off on their browsers when they are forced to use inferior and unsafe
browsers (IE), to go to unsafe websites (M$).
:-)

-W

On Fri, 21 Dec 2007 05:30:32, Lucy Buykx <lucy.buykx at eaudomainia.com> wrote:

> I'm working to recommendations by the RNIB (Royal National Institute
> for the Blind in the United Kingdom)
>
> http://tinyurl.com/2ztep5
>
> Regards controlling submission of HTML to the list, the programming
> code can strip any or a selection of tags before committing to
> storage.
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

--
~ will

"Where you innovate, how you innovate,
and what you innovate are design problems"
-------------------------------------------------------
will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
-------------------------------------------------------

21 Dec 2007 - 9:30am
.pauric
2006

Thank you Lucy, so I read through a bit of the site (not all) and
found the following

"Use server-side submission, even if JavaScript is used to carry out
most of the form validation, it shouldn't be used to actually submit
the form content. This would make it completely impossible for anyone
to send their data unless their browser supported JavaScript."

To aid my understanding, are there any statistics available for
people with reduced vision and disabling javascript? I agree with
the use-case, but I've never seen hard facts on this topic.

I'm not a well read expert on the matter so its great to have your
attention. From what I gather, javascript in itself is not
necessarily a bad thing - as long as it is used with accessibility in
mind. I have seen RIA work well with readers, I think Cameron Moll's
presentation at UIE 12 covered this, I'll see if I can dig out the
examples...

With that in mind, I'm wondering what your views are on the rising
tide of richness in web interaction? In my mind, things are going to
become more complex in the client. I wonder if holding out for html
only client-side is a practical goal?

Correct me if I'm wrong... with the practicalities of development, I
see the hard requirements of screen reader compatibility resulting in
a reduced experience for 'accessibility' in the long term. Would
it not be better to embrace technology as it arrives and advocate
best practices?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

21 Dec 2007 - 9:30am
bminihan
2007

Javascript is an indirect accessibility issue because many text-to-speech
browsers and other specialties can't interpret Javascript to properly
"render" the form for users. I don't know how well they support actual
submit commands, so there may be some leeway there if you tested on those
browsers.

The scrollbar doesn't work in Firefox, Netscape or (probably) any other
browser but IE because the scrollbar-x CSS command was invented by MS for
its own browser, and no one else ever took them up on it. The ability to
turn off one scrollbar but leave one on is actually a really handy thing to
have - but I've never used it for exactly the reason shown here.

Strangely, I got a completely different experience in Firefox than in IE.
When I went to the link in IE it popped right up (after having to install a
huge javascript library called Silverlight), but in Firefox the page
wouldn't display at all until I turned Javascript on. THEN, it made me
register. I think someone over at Visual Studio has it in for Firefox. Hey
wait, Visual Studio's design interface is responsible for writing some of
the worst code I've ever seen...nevermind =]

Bryan
http://www.bryanminihan.com

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of William
Evans
Sent: Friday, December 21, 2007 8:13 AM
To: pauric
Cc: discuss at ixda.org
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interesting tab navigation example

IMHO they are orthogonal. using/not using js has no relationship to a
standard def of accessibility. I belie

will evans
user experience architect
wkevans4 at gmail.com
617.281.1281

On Dec 21, 2007, at 5:02 AM, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:

> Lucy: "I've noticed the form to post to this list is also javascript
> controlled. What functionality would be lost if that were changed to
> default html submit button that would be accessible to more folk?"
>
> I -think- it avoids the vulnerability exposed in posting html to the
> list. Some html is allowed.
>
> Out of curiosity, how does switching off js make a submit form more
> accessible?
>
> Thanks - pauric
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> *Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
________________________________________________________________
*Come to IxDA Interaction08 | Savannah*
February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

21 Dec 2007 - 10:23am
Lucy Buykx
2007

I've nothing against javascript per se, in fact some of my favourite
sites use it... as they say ;D I love some of the uses like checking
username availability or password strength on the fly but have issue
when there is no fall back.

Its not just to do with visually impaired people and browser agents
that could handle things better. Corporate firewalls are also a
random problem for people accessing sites that rely upon javascript.
see http://tinyurl.com/yhcr7o for examples.

I like to approach programming in a similar manner to many of the
designers on this discussion list. White space is good. Brevity is
good. The less you write the less you have to debug and maintain. The
HTML protocol includes well established and well tested form
submission so unless this javascript adds something I would ask why
reinvent the wheel?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

21 Dec 2007 - 11:53am
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Dec 21, 2007, at 12:33 AM, Lucy Buykx wrote:

> On the other hand they have focused on the visual design and not
> considered any deviation. It does not gracefully degrade without
> javascript or style.

This is simply not true.

Anyone who knows the ins and outs of traditional print layout and
composition and knows the ins and outs of web XHTML and CSS markup
also knows that the web world has still not settled on either the
agreed standards or the means to make hundreds of years of well known
rules developed for good composition whose sole purpose is to enable
*better* human understanding. Further, resolution in the technology
world with computer monitors is still an order of magnitude behind
the printing press, which is a contributing factor to why fonts are
still an issue.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

21 Dec 2007 - 12:56pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Ah, I was hoping someone besides me would say this, Lucy (quoted below)! Thank you for this and a similar post earlier in the thread. In that post, if I recall correctly, you mentioned the RNIB -- one of my favorite resources on web accessibility issues. I highly recommend them to everyone interested in the subject.

http://www.rnib.org.uk/

I'd refine and elaborate on what you say just a little, Lucy, but I admire your brevity.

The HTML/XHTML protocol includes well established and tested criteria for delivering most essential content. So for web design (this may or may not apply to intranets and other closed systems such as applications), stick as closely as possible to a core design that adheres to these well-worn standards of quickly delivering the goods. Having done that, or simultaneous to that, enhance the design with javascript, CSS and other technologies that provide added value but do not interfere with the primary delivery system. In the simplest terms, that's the only requirement for accessibility. Section 508 compliance is rather easy if you can do this much.

Javascript *can* interfere, but it is possible to create a javascript-intensive site that is pretty darned accessible. From the standpoint of accessibility, the problem goes a little deeper than saying yes or no to scripts. Key words from Lucy: "when there is no fallback." We should burn those words into our collective memory. I think we have to look at the end user's return on investment as well, and ask ourselves whether the time and code consumed in delivery is more than the delivered content deserves -- but that has to do with more than accessibility. You can also substitute the word "bandwidth" for the word "attention" in Herbert Simon's famous words below:

<blockquote>"What information consumes is rather obvious: it
consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information
creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention
efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might
consume it." ... Herbert Simon</blockquote>

Web standards are based on a number of essential assertions, thanks to Tim Berners-Lee and a lot of other Very Smart People who helped him and Al Gore invent the Internet. One of those assertions is that the end user has a right to control his/her experience with this technology. The problem with javascript and Flash and lots of other stuff is that they can be used, maliciously or not, to seize that control. As more people abuse these tools to pop up advertising or anything else unexpected, more people will turn them off by default -- not because they're Luddites, but because they are asserting their right not to be diverted somewhere they didn't want to go. Unless something changes drastically, Lucy's example of corporate firewalls is going to be the rule one day rather than the exception, as we practice due diligence in protecting our networks.

Also, because I've heard a lot of whining about this elsewhere, I'll add: People who use screen readers and other assistive technologies have no choice in the matter, so they aren't turning off scripts just to deny you your God-given right to deliver your brilliant Design. Get over that.

Traditional designers hate this way of thinking because presentation is EVERYTHING. Good web designers (and here creeps in my opinion) recognize that it's just part of the game plan. Added function and enhanced presentation are fine if they don't impede the underlying function of the delivery system, but *please* don't shove 'em down my throat.

I won't go into all the reasons why to make the effort to re-think accessibility. In the end, it's going to come down to whether you want to sell to the whole market or a piece of it. Disability of one kind or another is inevitable with age, and statistically the current populations of the world's most affluent nations are weighted more toward the latter part of life. A significant part of the wealth is concentrated there, too, as these people have saved for their later years. And so on. We deny them at our own peril.

Jeff Seager

> To: discuss at ixda.org
> From: lucy.buykx at eaudomainia.com
> Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 07:23:25 +0000
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interesting tab navigation example
>
> I've nothing against javascript per se, in fact some of my favourite
> sites use it... as they say ;D I love some of the uses like checking
> username availability or password strength on the fly but have issue
> when there is no fall back.
>
> Its not just to do with visually impaired people and browser agents
> that could handle things better. Corporate firewalls are also a
> random problem for people accessing sites that rely upon javascript.
> see http://tinyurl.com/yhcr7o for examples.
>
> I like to approach programming in a similar manner to many of the
> designers on this discussion list. White space is good. Brevity is
> good. The less you write the less you have to debug and maintain. The
> HTML protocol includes well established and well tested form
> submission so unless this javascript adds something I would ask why
> reinvent the wheel?

_________________________________________________________________
The best games are on Xbox 360. Click here for a special offer on an Xbox 360 Console.
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/wheretobuy/

21 Dec 2007 - 2:37pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Will Evans asked:
> How does js implementation effect text-2-speech? Is
> this really a 508 issue or are we talking about accessibility for
> BHOF's that use emacs and opera on Linux and stubbornly "choose" to
> turn off javascript?

Here's my take on this, and I'm assuming we're talking about interactions on the Web:

It's an excellent question for which there's no easy answer, Will. If you use "event handlers" rather than HTML/XHTML's semantic markup for access to content (text, for example), you'll probably be denying that content to screen readers and others. Javascript does not *necessarily* get in the way, but the way it's used makes all the difference. It was not designed to be accessible by default. It was designed for maximum versatility, and it's a great tool in many ways. But we should always have a very good reason to use it, and we should test each implementation for accessibility before unleashing it on the world. There are tried-and-true methods of implementing js with accessibility in mind, but I don't do much javascript so I don't know the inner workings to tell you what makes the difference. I know that if you block scripts without blocking essential content, you've accomplished something significant to a lot of people. More people than you know.

Also, why "stubbornly choose"? If I stubbornly choose to ride the bus to work instead of driving my car, I have that right. It means I can't swing by the store on the way home, so I'm denying myself that little piece of functionality and I'm the only one who sacrifices in so doing. If you're a web designer, I'm letting you come into my house, my computer. Be respectful. And for heaven's sake, wipe your feet!

?:)
Jeff

_________________________________________________________________
The best games are on Xbox 360. Click here for a special offer on an Xbox 360 Console.
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/hardware/wheretobuy/

21 Dec 2007 - 5:18pm
Jim Jeffers
2007

I would note that overflow is sometimes used as a shortcut to
addressing an actual design problem in CSS. As pages are resized or
text is enlarged designs can break. Simply adding overflow to a fixed
height containing element is an easy way to ensure the overall layout
stays somewhat intact when the viewer's system settings or personal
preferences clash with the designers original intention. More often
than not though when used improperly it doesn't actually address the
problem at all. For instance if you enlarge the text in your browser
within a narrow window the navigation becomes even less useful as
you'll only be able to see half of the word at any given time due to
the short fixed height.

Sure you could use some unobtrusive Javascript to make some sideways
scrolling UI kick in once the window reaches a certain width but
wouldn't be flexible to accommodate the viewer's preference in text
size.

I think a simpler solution would be to simply allow the containing
element of the navigation to grow horizontally while having the menu
items floating within it. When the window gets two narrow the content
will just get pushed down as the nav box grows to become two visible
rows large, etc..

That's pretty much what they've done but they apparently believe it's
more important to ensure the content does not get pushed further down
by a navigation that demands more vertical screen real-estate. I
personally think it would be better to sacrifice some screen real-
estate for low-res viewers over the current solution. Especially
considering that even in a 1024x768 resolution enlarging the text
breaks the navigation for these viewers as well.

- Jim

22 Dec 2007 - 10:02am
.pauric
2006

Jeff: "Traditional designers hate this way of thinking because
presentation is EVERYTHING. Good web designers (and here creeps in my
opinion) recognize that it's just part of the game plan. Added
function and enhanced presentation are fine if they don't impede the
underlying function of the delivery system, but please don't shove
'em down my throat."

I do accept some teams jazz up their UI's with frivolous flash-y
wizzbang crap. That is bad practice. However, on the whole the world
is heading in a more immersive online experience using -good- design
practices.

I do agree with you what you've said to an extent, that is for only
the most basic interactions, shopping carts, simple forms etc.
However, I'm wondering how your views fit with the following 2
genres;

a)RIAs, e.g. gmail.com have a html only version but it's kind of
limited. I think those that advocate accessibility user rights are
doing the them a disservice in mandating this 2nd class experience.
Its my understanding that gmail.com proper is accessible, are
keyboard shortcuts not useful for people with motor limitations?

b)Sites like Pandora, which it could be argued is useful for vision
limitations. First, they cant present a basic html version as that
would allow the content to be ripped and therefore the site loses its
license. Or, try youtube with js turned off. Now Pandora is far from
being high contrast, has small pokey buttons and no keyboard shortcuts
(I think) so - that should be addressed. Not some blanket statement
that bans all js & flash.

I think the analogy of the little dutch boy with his finger in the
dam is apt here.

Now, I'm not sure what the answer is going forward, I appreciate the
argument and fwiw I spend the majority of my time outside of my
professional design role working with and advocating for people of
all abilities. However, as a techonolgist I just dont believe
holding on to the what we everything we learned in web1.0 is really a
workable option frankly. We should have a hand at the tiler guiding
the direction, advocating best practices for js, flash, Expression,
Air, etc

One final thing, I asked Lucy and I'll ask you now.. you said
"I'll add: People who use screen readers and other assistive
technologies have no choice in the matter, so they aren't turning
off scripts just to deny you your God-given right to deliver your
brilliant Design."

Show me the stats on browsers with js swtiched off. I know they must
be out there - but I cant find them... and only when I see the numbers
will I buy the argument. Readers and js -do not- have to be mutually
exclusive from what I've read.

Thanks - pauric

p.s. The 'firewall' argument, http://tinyurl.com/yhcr7o , is
-completely- bogus. I've been building corporate networks for 12
years and designed a number of firewall UIs. This limitation is
purely down to dumbass lazy network admins BOFH's (as Will put it).
If you cant access blogger from your place of work - talk to the admin
and get the site whitelisted, if they refuse then you're really
facing work-practice politics, not true concerns over blogger.com
injecting malicious js code in to your corporate network.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

22 Dec 2007 - 4:20pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Dec 21, 2007, at 9:56 AM, Jeff Seager wrote:

> The HTML/XHTML protocol includes well established and tested
> criteria for delivering most essential content.

If you change "essential content" to "essential passive, non-
interactive content" then I would agree. Otherwise, the browser still
suffers from the dead page/server model which is fundamentally
counter to providing any sort of interactive experience.

> Web standards are based on a number of essential assertions, thanks
> to Tim Berners-Lee and a lot of other Very Smart People who helped
> him and Al Gore invent the Internet. One of those assertions is
> that the end user has a right to control his/her experience with
> this technology.

Can someone to find a quote from Tim Berners-Lee that ever made such
an assertion? I know of none. As far as I know, Lee was simply
interested in developing open technology that the creators of such
technology could do what they want with. In other words, he was
trying to solve a technical problem, not an end user experience one.
And the browser guys to my knowledge never had in mind to let users
control their experience, just that they were rendering a developing
standard that took off to the surprise of everyone involved.

Custom style sheets, CSS, increasing font size, etc... all of that
stuff came much later in the browsers development, so I have no idea
where this notion that the web was created with the assertion the end
user the right to control their experience.

> People who use screen readers and other assistive technologies have
> no choice in the matter, so they aren't turning off scripts just to
> deny you your God-given right to deliver your brilliant Design.
> Get over that.

The percentage of people who do that is actually quite small.

> Traditional designers hate this way of thinking because
> presentation is EVERYTHING.

This is false and I wish people would stop propagating this sort
misinformation about graphic design.

Presentation is not everything and any good graphic designer who
knows anything about graphic design will tell you that presentation
as a means of communication is what the goal is. Presentation that
exists solely for aesthetics outside of communication is called art
or style, but not graphic design.

> Good web designers (and here creeps in my opinion) recognize that
> it's just part of the game plan.

Web design is still struggling with a set of standards not developed
in conjunction with people in the graphic or print industries. Just a
quick look through the XHTML DOM and one can see that the model is
more closely related to linear content that is read like a tech
manual or a book, not structured content that is not linear like a
newspaper or such. The H# tag model screams this and the lack of any
true way to create multiple linear flows like one would find in a
newspaper is all the evidence anyone needs.

Further, the web browser is also dealing with technological change
even at this stage and will do so for a few more years yet. It still
needs to mature and is doing so, we're just not there yet. For
example, the correct way to handle increasing or decreasing web
layouts (not just fonts) in browsers requires browsers and the
operating system to properly handle the resolution of the computer
screen (determined on the fly based on the screens physical size and
the pixel width and height it is set to), then scale accordingly if
the web layout is set a real measurement system like points. This
would require a host of technological changes that simply aren't
practical yet. One would be that photos need to have more pixel data
passed down the pipe so they can be scaled dynamically on the client
side and still retain visual integrity to match whatever size the end
user is scaling to. This will happen someday, and when it does, every
single tried and tested graphic design principal for the past few
hundred years will still be relevant. Why? Because presentation is
about communication, no matter how much people in this industry seem
to say it isn't.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

22 Dec 2007 - 4:52pm
Mark Schraad
2006

This is left over from the agency days of old. It is absolutely not
correct. Sure, there is power in the presentation... but as graphic
design progressed from pure visual in the old ad days to solving
problems and building systems (as with the design firms) the
substance came to be as important, if not more important, than the
style. And now 'fit' is the third leg along with form and function.

This very shallow understanding of design is offensive... and a
misunderstanding that I have spent most of my career working to help
correct.

Mark

On Dec 22, 2007, at 4:20 PM, Andrei Herasimchuk wrote:

>
>> Traditional designers hate this way of thinking because
>> presentation is EVERYTHING.
>
> This is false and I wish people would stop propagating this sort
> misinformation about graphic design.
>
> Presentation is not everything and any good graphic designer who
> knows anything about graphic design will tell you that presentation
> as a means of communication is what the goal is. Presentation that
> exists solely for aesthetics outside of communication is called art
> or style, but not graphic design.

22 Dec 2007 - 12:02pm
Jeff Seager
2007

I agree with you somewhat, Pauric, that "the world is heading in a
more immersive online experience using -good- design practices."
But full immersion is not desirable for all. Some of us have a real
life beyond the virtual world. And it seems to me there are a lot of
people actively working in a manner that pulls us away from accessible
design, which has many benefits for all of us. For the most part, I
think it's because they don't understand it. And users of
accessible technology (like most other users) don't understand how
it works; they just hope it does.

I don't pretend to know everything on the subject myself, but let's
take Gmail as an example.

Here's what the "noscript" message delivers at Gmail: "JavaScript
must be enabled in order for you to use Gmail in standard view.
However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by
your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing
your browser options, then try again. To use Gmail's basic HTML
view, which does not require JavaScript, click here. If you want to
view Gmail on a mobile phone or similar device click here."

That is a useful message, and much better than what many people do.
If we go to the "simple HTML" alternative page, it is indeed
simple. No DOCTYPE specified, table-based layout with plenty of
presentational tags which could easily have been averted with CSS. I
can get my mail and nothing more.

This is a choice Google made, and it's their choice to make, and as
a private enterprise they are entitled to all the above. And in so
doing, they deny their service to people who might benefit, but those
people can go elsewhere.

I think it's fine if everyone follows Google Apps over the cliff
like a bunch of lemmings, if that's what they really want to do. I
won't. We'll never find the better way, the simpler and more
elegant way, if we don't explore it.

I'm advocating for the ideal that the upgrade from Web 1.0 to Web
2.0 is something better than, say, the upgrade from Windows 98 to
Windows ME. And right now, it isn't looking much better to me.
It's a lot of "cool stuff" that takes up a lot of bandwidth, and
the developers creating it are all on T1 lines while something like
60 percent of the connected population of my state uses dialup. How
do you think Gmail looks at 28.8? At 14.4? I can write a letter and
deliver it on horseback quicker.

Anyway, I just think these are things to consider. We can continue
to design for the affluent 10 percent of the world who will have
ideal connections, or we can expand our market and our universe to
design for everyone.

Disability statistics ... pretty dreary stuff, but suffice it to say
that we're talking pretty small numbers. If people want to judge
that "statistically insignificant," OK. Consider, if you will,
that those numbers are a great deal smaller than they would be if the
tasks were not so incredibly frustrating (and it's partly my job to
make it less so, though I'm sure your marching orders are very
different). If one of those "numbers" is my grandmother or my
sister or my child, though, that's a pretty important number, isn't
it? It's amazing to me how many people with disabilities persevere
and use this technology as well as they do. But if you required two
hours to get dressed in the morning, as do some of the people I've
worked with, you'd learn to be patient too.

Pandora Radio is a wonderful concept, and I love it! I know a blind
guy who hosts a statewide radio show on West Virginia Public Radio,
and he would love it too if he could use it. That javascript
implementation stands in his way. To many of us, accessibility is an
academic topic. To some of us, it's about real people.

I guess my ultimate point is that it might be wise to evolve instead
in the direction of simplicity, with the "a la carte" option of
added functionalities as desired, and I don't see developers
thinking that way quite enough to suit my own taste. The HTML/XHTML
specs were developed with that possibility in mind.

There's a biological design principle of "exogeny" that's been
proved over millions of years; it describes the way plants preserve
their core and add on external layers like tree bark. Why can't we
think more like that?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

22 Dec 2007 - 12:29pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Also, I think you're partly correct here, Pauric:

"p.s. The 'firewall' argument, http://tinyurl.com/yhcr7o , is
-completely- bogus. I've been building corporate networks for 12
years and designed a number of firewall UIs. This limitation is
purely down to dumbass lazy network admins BOFH's (as Will put it) .
If you cant access blogger from your place of work - talk to the admin
and get the site whitelisted, if they refuse then you're really
facing work-practice politics, not true concerns over blogger.com
injecting malicious js code in to your corporate network."

The problem remains partly because there are, and always will be,
dumbass lazy admins. For most users on our network, Blogger is
wholly inappropriate during work and should be blacklisted. Scripts
are not forbidden, but we've already had a major virus incident
compromise our server. If such an incident is ever traced to some
malicious script, I believe the knee-jerk reaction will be to forbid
all script. Real-world paranoia trumps logic every time.

So I'd agree that doesn't make it right, but I'd still argue for
what your linked article calls "progressive enhancement." Maybe
good interaction design should make allowances for the existence of
human variables like dumbass reactionary sysadmins, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

22 Dec 2007 - 12:18pm
Luis de la Orde...
2007

Jim,

I just would like to add a little bit of detail to what you are saying
below.

The use of overflow:hidden would be in disuse if Internet Explorer 5.5 and 6
understood the CSS box model. It is browser inconsistency which forces
front-end developers to give a content container a fixed width/height and
then set that anything inside the container that doesn't fit in (overflow)
should be hidden. There are ways to counter-act this by using em units which
grow with the zoom of the browser and work pretty fine. If you are
interviewing web designers/HTMLers/etc. make sure they not only understand
CSS but know how to work with ems.

What just reminded me why I am migrating from front-end development to
Interaction Design, 10 years of browser inconsistencies is enuff :).

Cheers,

Luis

"I would note that overflow is sometimes used as a shortcut to
addressing an actual design problem in CSS. As pages are resized or
text is enlarged designs can break. Simply adding overflow to a fixed
height containing element is an easy way to ensure the overall layout
stays somewhat intact when the viewer's system settings or personal
preferences clash with the designers original intention."

--
This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.

23 Dec 2007 - 1:21am
Jeff Seager
2007

A few actual quotes from Berners-Lee:

"Whatever the device you use for getting your information out, it
should be the same information."

"The Mobile Web Initiative is important - information must be made
seamlessly available on any device."

"IT professionals have a responsibility to understand the use of
standards and the importance of making Web applications that work
with any kind of device."

"Customers need to be given control of their own data - not being
tied into a certain manufacturer so that when there are problems they
are always obliged to go back to them."

"The original idea of the Web was about supporting the way people
already work socially, but this doesn't happen with a lot of IT
projects."

"The Semantic Web is not a separate Web but an extension of the
current one, in which information is given well-defined meaning,
better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation."

"There could still be a huge battle which leaves a big mess and
fragments the Web into two pieces whenever a new feature comes
along."

"We could say we want the Web to reflect a vision of the world where
everything is done democratically. To do that, we get computers to
talk with each other in such a way as to promote that ideal."

... So I'd suggest that the vision of user empowerment and
democratization was there rather early on, Andrei. I don;t think my
interpretation was too far off the mark.

What's the primary interaction to consider? Isn't it the user's
interaction with information? The economies of scale disappear when
we have to build an alternate presentation, so what's the problem
with building a solid core from the start and offering enhancement as
an option, rather than forcing people to opt out of javascript or
Flash or anything else they perceive as superfluous? Should I endure
a "rich" experience just because someone has decided that's better
for me?

I said earlier:
>> People who use screen readers and other assistive technologies
have no choice in the matter, so they aren't turning off scripts
just to deny you your God-given right to deliver your brilliant
Design. Get over that. The percentage of people who do that is
actually quite small. <

That's fine if you're planning for today, but I think the effort
might be better spent planning for 20 years down the road. Age
inevitably brings us disability if we survive our youth. That
doesn't even touch on my desire to make things better right now for
my grandmother who's nearly deaf, my aunt with mobility impairments
due to multiple sclerosis, and many other people who have various
impairments and appreciate the benefits of connectivity.

Also, the percentage of people who give up because they don't know
*how* to turn off javascript is undocumented. There's a lot that
statistics don't tell us.

As I recall, one actual statistic goes something like this: By age
65, more than half of us will have a disability that prevents us from
working (regardless of our profession or trade). By age 80, more than
90 percent of us. That's from memory, but it's darned close.
These statistics apply to the U.S., where longevity and health care
are arguably better than some other countries.

So you may look at current population and current technology usage
and say "oh, it's *such* a small number of people, I think I'll
disregard them," but that number will increase dramatically, and
soon. In the next two decades, rates of vision loss from diseases
like age-related macular degeneration are expected to double in the
U.S. as 78 million baby boomers reach retirement age. Unlike their
parents, those old folks (ahem ... *we*) will be very familiar with
this technology and we'll want to use it. Already, an estimated 6.5
million Americans over age 65 are experiencing age-related vision
loss. Screen readers are the mostly likely adaptation for them, if
they seek web access, and screen readers as we know them today are
easily flummoxed by javascript ... unless it's implemented with
accessibility in mind from the start. That's what I advocate.

I'm not saying anybody *must* do anything. I'm just saying it
might be a really good idea to be ready for this, just as you grab an
umbrella on the way out the door when the sky darkens. It might
actually be a very good business decision to build accessibily.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

23 Dec 2007 - 10:31am
Jeff Seager
2007

Andrei said:
"Web design is still struggling with a set of standards not
developed in conjunction with people in the graphic or print
industries. Just a quick look through the XHTML DOM and one can see
that the model is more closely related to linear content that is read
like a tech manual or a book, not structured content that is not
linear like a newspaper or such. The H# tag model screams this and
the lack of any true way to create multiple linear flows like one
would find in a newspaper is all the evidence anyone needs."

Having worked for many years in print, I truly understand this way of
thinking but it's [often? usually? ... but not always] mistaken when
applied to web design because it denies the multi-platform potential
of a language like XML. I've come to believe that the real power of
the Web is in its flexibility to transition data into multiple usable
formats, including formats that are accessible to as many devices as
possible.

There are various limitations now inherent in many of our
interpretive devices, and some of those will change when sufficient
resources are committed to them. But for now, content delivery can
be linear and still be guided by CSS placement and various other
means to allow for satisfying and complex visual presentations that
degrade gracefully to serve anything from a cellphone to a text
browser or screen reader.

All styling will be irrelevant for a screen reader or text browser,
which will discard CSS and script and read the semantically
structured linear content. We can trascend that linearity somewhat
if we include an accessible menu, because simple hyperlinking allows
these users to jump around the "page" or anywhere else in the same
way (cognitively) as if they could see. If navigational controls are
consistent and ergonomic, they'll understand how to scan in a way
that is different than you and I, but comparable.

The commitment to do all this has to be made before a project begins,
though, and if we don't see the advantages of such a commitment we
won't ever realize the benefits of it.

Graphic design in print was and is physically bounded by the page
size. Graphic design for the Web is both constrained and liberated
by the capabilities of the iterative devices with which we access the
Web -- a wide-screen monitor one day, a PDA the next. It also adds
another dimension of time, which is the hardest one to harness (in my
newspaper, all content is already "loaded" when it arrives). I
often remind myself that my experience on a high-speed connection is
very different from the experience on dialup. And many, many people
still use dialup connections because they have no choice. What are
we building for them?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

23 Dec 2007 - 1:42pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Dec 22, 2007, at 10:21 PM, Jeff Seager wrote:

> A few actual quotes from Berners-Lee:

None of those quotes have a lot to do with "user controlled
experience," at least not as defined as what people in this field
consider interaction and experience. If one is defining being able to
see data on various devices, that's about as low a bar for
"experience" as it gets, as experience requires interaction.

> ... So I'd suggest that the vision of user empowerment and
> democratization was there rather early on, Andrei. I don;t think my
> interpretation was too far off the mark.

There's a vast difference from using XHTML to present dead, passive,
non-interactive data on any device to being able to use technology to
give people the power to layout their own personal newspaper on a
screen while still keeping the thing readable, interactive and
otherwise "user empowered."

> What's the primary interaction to consider? Isn't it the user's
> interaction with information?

Yes. That's partly the point. And I mean "interaction," not "reading."

> The economies of scale disappear when
> we have to build an alternate presentation, so what's the problem
> with building a solid core from the start and offering enhancement as
> an option, rather than forcing people to opt out of javascript or
> Flash or anything else they perceive as superfluous?

Because the lowest common denominator with XHTML and the web and the
current set of web standards if used as the solid core takes us back
a few hundred years with regards to how structured communication
works for better human understanding and communication. The newspaper
is a basic standard of non-linear structured communication. The
current crop of web technologies and standards fall well short of any
reasonable mark to reach the structured and non-linear approach that
a newspaper provides, which is why designers of online newspapers
employ all sorts of tricks to get at the structured part to work in
ways that make their content more presentable. Let's not even get
into trying to use the web to work like interactive catalogs or
enterprise application that manage large, massive data sets. Amazon
and eBay have always been the examples of what you get with the
lowest common denominator for presenting content.

> Should I endure
> a "rich" experience just because someone has decided that's better
> for me?

No one is asking you to. No one is asking you to bother to use the
computer, or a newspaper, or a magazine, or a drill or a hammer or
any number of products that someone else designed for you either.

> Also, the percentage of people who give up because they don't know
> *how* to turn off javascript is undocumented. There's a lot that
> statistics don't tell us.

It doesn't tell us anything until you or someone goes and proves it
does. Until then, it's wild speculation.

> As I recall, one actual statistic goes something like this: By age
> 65, more than half of us will have a disability that prevents us from
> working (regardless of our profession or trade). By age 80, more than
> 90 percent of us. That's from memory, but it's darned close.
> These statistics apply to the U.S., where longevity and health care
> are arguably better than some other countries.

I'm not sure what the point is. I wear glasses already and have done
so since I was 16. If all you are complaining about is small fonts,
then that's pretty low on the totem pole of problems we encounter as
we grow older. (At least I fear something like diabetes far more than
I do having to get stronger glasses.) Technology is getting better,
and the real true way of scaling layouts to make them larger and more
readable will happen. All I'm saying is don't toss out hundreds of
years of good design practice in the interim, or we lose that
knowledge to pass on to the next generation. (Try finding new
business folks who know how to write a memo these days, for example.)

> Screen readers are the mostly likely adaptation for them, if
> they seek web access, and screen readers as we know them today are
> easily flummoxed by javascript ... unless it's implemented with
> accessibility in mind from the start. That's what I advocate.

Then you advocate regression instead of progression. People can't
have it both ways... Either the web and the browser is going to get
more interactive and more non-linear or its not. The uses and
purposes of JavaScript will simply get in the way of what you
advocate at some point, and that some point is very fast once you
decide to use it.

The moment it gets interactive and even more non-linear, you are
going to have a hard time making it accessible on the front end. I've
said this in other threads, the only true way to guarantee
accessibility is to make Apple and Microsoft build it into the OS.
Preventing or otherwise discouraging things like JavaScript in web
applications is both impractical given what people want to do these
days and making the request of people who actually don't have the
means to guarantee it can happen. Only Apple and Microsoft have that
power.

Further, what's the entire point of being an "interaction" designer
if the technological means for doing such things on a platform like
the web browser is actively pushed back by people in the very
profession that is supposed to design interaction? Never made any
sense to me to be honest.

> I'm not saying anybody *must* do anything. I'm just saying it
> might be a really good idea to be ready for this, just as you grab an
> umbrella on the way out the door when the sky darkens. It might
> actually be a very good business decision to build accessibily.

Again, if accessibility is what you seek, those people need to work
with Apple and Microsoft and have it built into the OS as a core
piece. Asking people who design web sites to handle the problem when
they have to make their work *more* interactive and *more* non-linear
to make progress is not the right path and and simply won't work.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

23 Dec 2007 - 2:05pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

On Dec 23, 2007, at 7:31 AM, Jeff Seager wrote:

> Having worked for many years in print, I truly understand this way of
> thinking but it's [often? usually? ... but not always] mistaken when
> applied to web design because it denies the multi-platform potential
> of a language like XML. I've come to believe that the real power of
> the Web is in its flexibility to transition data into multiple usable
> formats, including formats that are accessible to as many devices as
> possible.

If we're talking dead, passive data, then I'd agree. It's pretty easy
to design something that is nothing more than glorified book on the
web and do so in such a way as to make it portable to a variety of
devices.

But that's not what people want or where the web is going. Basically,
most people seem to want 1984 all over again to get back the basics
of interaction added to their web experiences. They want the web to
work more like they are used to the basics of the OS that Apple made
popular so many years ago. Once you get into that problem space, all
bets are off on the web standards and the restriction of using of
JavaScript to help you get there.

> There are various limitations now inherent in many of our
> interpretive devices, and some of those will change when sufficient
> resources are committed to them. But for now, content delivery can
> be linear and still be guided by CSS placement and various other
> means to allow for satisfying and complex visual presentations that
> degrade gracefully to serve anything from a cellphone to a text
> browser or screen reader.

Again, if all you are talking about is passive, dead data then I
agree. And only barely. The single moment you want any sort of
structured presentation that implies non-linear flow even though it
still behaves mostly like a linear reading problem like say a
newspaper -- a pretty basic standard form of communication at this
point in time -- the current set of standards fall pretty hard in
allowing you to design that elegantly.

By the way... Facebook is not a passive, dead data model. So now what
do we do? Try to make all these social networking sites read like
linear books? I wish anyone luck with that. I'll be off taking
advantage of what technology allows me to do for the very large
majority of my audience.

> All styling will be irrelevant for a screen reader or text browser,
> which will discard CSS and script and read the semantically
> structured linear content.

People need to stop using the "styling." It demeans and obfuscates
what is going on. The "styling" is part of the structure in the
presentation on the web. The fact that margins, padding, line-
heights, etc are all designed in the "styling" prove this. To remove
the "styling" is to also remove the visual structure, which is the
core of the problem on the web. If all that removing the "styling"
did was remove color and font face then that'd be different. But in
CSS, all the structure definition also exists in the CSS, and since
there's not way to define non-linear content at the markup level,
designers have to use CSS to define it, putting the problem of "form
and function" back in.

While it's true one can restructure content using nothing but CSS,
make no mistake that CSS and the "styling" is precisely where the
structure for the content is currently being defined. Without the
CSS, there's basically no reasonable structure to work with for a lot
of content types. The markup structure is only useful for linear, non-
interactive content, of which there is less and less of these days on
the web.

> We can trascend that linearity somewhat
> if we include an accessible menu, because simple hyperlinking allows
> these users to jump around the "page" or anywhere else in the same
> way (cognitively) as if they could see.

This model falls apart so quickly its of little to no use. You seem
to be again referring to dead data. I don't think most people have a
problem with the browser as dead, passive book model to be honest.
It's when the browser is used as more than that issues and arguments
arise.

> The commitment to do all this has to be made before a project begins,
> though, and if we don't see the advantages of such a commitment we
> won't ever realize the benefits of it.

It has nothing to do with commitment. All the commitment in the world
does you no good if the underlying technology does not solve the
problem in way that can be built. One could design the best car in
the world that uses no gas, but if that car can't be manufactured,
then there's no point to it. It's kind of like that.

> Graphic design in print was and is physically bounded by the page
> size. Graphic design for the Web is both constrained and liberated
> by the capabilities of the iterative devices with which we access the
> Web -- a wide-screen monitor one day, a PDA the next.

The "screen" is the same problem as the page. Computer screens don't
magically scale in physical for you when you demand it. The fact that

The problem is again things I've hinted at and 'm not going to go
into on this list because it require me to write a book on the
subject. However, the resolution of the computer screen is still an
order of magnitude lower than printed pages. The day the computing
power and bandwidth gets there and reaches the resolution of paper,
is the day the amount of scaling and "resizing" and all these other
things will be dramatically tempered.

> It also adds
> another dimension of time, which is the hardest one to harness (in my
> newspaper, all content is already "loaded" when it arrives).

Agreed. Good luck dealing with time and richer interaction when
forcing yourself to follow the rules and standards designed for dead,
passive, linear data models.

--
Andrei Herasimchuk

Principal, Involution Studios
innovating the digital world

e. andrei at involutionstudios.com
c. +1 408 306 6422

23 Dec 2007 - 3:09pm
Jeff Seager
2007

Thanks, Andrei. I think I have a better understanding now of your
perspective on this. About some of it, I simply disagree but I'm
open to change my mind as my experience and understanding grow.

Your patience and your thoughtful responses help a lot, though I
notice you've avoided much of the issue of bandwidth constraints.
Far from the ideal of democratization, we're heading quickly toward
an internet experience that will be available only to those who can
access and afford a very fast connection.

"Progressive enhancement" addresses both ends of the spectrum. One
man's enriched experience is another man's noise, just as you decry
the passive deadness of simplicity. Interaction is possible on many
levels, and some people benefit from less.

I also have somewhat different constraints than many of you here.
Working for a government entity, I'm bound to do everything I can to
provide "equivalent" access to people with disabilities of all
kinds, insofar as that is possible. Having done it for a while, it
has become my choice to do it because I've seen real-life examples
of the benefits. Your mileage may vary, and I understand I may
always be something of a pariah in some circles -- or on some topics.

Happy holidays to you all!

Jeff Seager

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

24 Dec 2007 - 7:43am
.pauric
2006

Jeff:" it seems to me there are a lot of people actively working in a
manner that pulls us away from accessible design, which has many
benefits for all of us. For the most part, I think it's because they
don't understand it"...."This is a choice Google made, and it's
their choice to make, and as a private enterprise they are entitled
to all the above. And in so doing, they deny their service to people
who might benefit, but those people can go elsewhere."

Yes! could not agree more. I'm happy to see the discussion focus on
good design practices going forward, not an XOR switch that will
degrade gracefully to html only interfaces as what appears to be the
thinking behind current accessibility standards alongside argument
from development that costs are too high to justify the statistically
small market.

My perspective on addressing accessibility needs; A person with
reduced eyesight or limited motor control is still a unique human
just like everyone else. Yes there's a few extra 'requirements'
here and there but I dislike the 'special needs' kind of thinking,
I feel its condescending.

I would restate the issue you describe as too much design effort on
creating delight, part of the 'essential' granted but, at the cost
of defining the core goals. This results in feature creep in my view
(and gmail is well down that road now).

Poor analogy time: I can sit in a chair with wheels on it, my friend
Paul with CP can sit in my Herman miller, the core design goal of the
chair is universal, the requirements are added on to give him a
practical variant with mobility and I a chair that is more
delightful, our individual needs are addressed with the core function
inter-usable. While a herman miller on wheels is some theoretical
ideal, its too impractical in reality. I think there's a middle
approach between meeting accessibility requirements and unified
access for all in a single UI.

You elude to a methodology/thinking that could be the path forward,
Exogeny: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exogenous (look to nature, it
will never fail you!) So, as I see that approach, the core design
"should be as simple as is possible, but not more simple"-
Einstein, and the accessibility requirement be addressed with an
optional add-on, the more gui intensive variant for me if I want it
on a fast connection. And all the product segments inbetween
addressed as they are needed.

I'm thinking Greasemonkey control but produced inhouse by the
development team. See the Lifehacker extension better gmail as an
example that meets the needs of power users. Gmail should -not- have
a degraded version, thats a design loop-hole past the accessibility
requirements frankly. Why not an accessibility 'extension'?

The Exogeny design approach focuses the core design on the essential,
the core set of requirements, not the largest marketshare. Instead of
chasing the 'focus group' or marketing driving target userbase you
work off all people being equal. Pull out the common requirements
from all your personas, build, then add in individual considerations.

Regards - pauric

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Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

24 Dec 2007 - 11:33am
Matt Nish-Lapidus
2007

That's a fantastic idea actually... taking the common practice of
progressive enhancement a step further, so that the "enhancements"
aren't just about making things prettier/fun/fluid, but also about
making things work better for different groups of people. this seems
like a really great approach, as long as there is technical support
for it in the software clients.

the other issue with accessibility on the web is software
manufacturers... I think somebody already mentioned this but it didn't
seem to get that much attention. there's no reason that enhanced
javascript/css/etc couldn't be supported in an accessible way, it just
isn't. i'm not sure why the current batch of accessibility software
(screen readers being the most common) are so far behind today's
browsers. maybe there's a legitimate reason that i don't know about..
but from what i've seen they're just way behind. it seems to me that
if screen readers supported javascript at the same level as modern
browsers, and coders put a little more effort into adding the
appropriate alt and title attributes, and markup structure, we'd be
much further ahead.

On Mon, 24 Dec 2007 04:43:50, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:

> The Exogeny design approach focuses the core design on the essential,
> the core set of requirements, not the largest marketshare. Instead of
> chasing the 'focus group' or marketing driving target userbase you
> work off all people being equal. Pull out the common requirements
> from all your personas, build, then add in individual considerations.
>

--
Matt Nish-Lapidus
work: matt at bibliocommons.com / www.bibliocommons.com
--
personal: mattnl at gmail.com / www.nishlapidus.com

24 Dec 2007 - 10:45am
Jeff Seager
2007

Pauric: "I would restate the issue you describe as too much design
effort on creating delight, part of the 'essential' granted but, at
the cost of defining the core goals. This results in feature creep in
my view (and gmail is well down that road now)."

My thinking exactly, Pauric!

I also very much agree that it's useful to look to what works and
doesn't work in nature. Castles in the sky are built on weak
foundations, and we might do better if we looked for examples outside
the confines of our narrow specializations. I walk in the woods a
lot.

More than 2,500 years ago, LaoTzu said: "Be at one with all these
living things which, having arisen and flourished, return to the
quiet whence they came, like a healthy growth of vegetation falling
back upon the root."

In programming/design, I usually call this root the "core." But
it's the same exogenous idea. Whether it's a tree or a design
concept or a civilization, I think we'll do better by tending to
root needs and guarding against being unsustainably ambitious (I'm
not advocating conservatism so much as solid structure). I love the
designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, but some of his most beautiful homes
have not held up well for this very reason.

All the points you're making also tie into principles of universal
design, Pauric, which I see as a sensible way forward in many
disciplines:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_design

Simple structures always prevail over complexity. Study a beehive or
a spider web; each relies on one or two very strong and flexible
concepts. The accessibility question is at least partly one of
whether we want to do the job once in a way that accomodates most
people well, or do it once in a way that accomodates elite users --
development oriented toward a diverse human community, or survival of
the fittest?

I'm not a pessimistic person, but I think realistically we must
assume that we will not have infinite resources to sustain and power
our complexity, either. I'm inclined to get in, get the job done
and get out without entanglements.

Here's the catch, the elephant in the living room that we don't
want to talk about: If I own a design firm founded on the principle
of providing the coolest, most cutting-edge product in this
particular market ...

I don't even need to finish the sentence, do I? Is it harder to
sell simplicity if it truly is the best solution? I guess that's
for the salespeople to answer, but many people before us have proved
that great design can be elegantly simple.

... Which brings us back to your Einstein reference, Pauric. Right
on the mark. Thanks!

Jeff Seager

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

24 Dec 2007 - 3:45am
O2ateam
2007

Hi,
I am web master trying to provide accessibility to our corporate
website. I checked our site with http://508ita.com and it gave me a
very comprehensive report. I would like to know if there are any
similar free products available.

o2ateam

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

24 Dec 2007 - 3:26pm
.pauric
2006

Jeff: "Is it harder to sell simplicity if it truly is the best
solution?"

Mark Twain once received this telegram from a publisher:

NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY TWO DAYS.

He responded:

NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS. CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS. NEED 30 DAYS TO
DO 2 PAGES.

There within lies 'the sell'. The value proposition will hopefully
change some day from the quantity of the end result to the effort
needed to produce it.

One can only dream (o;

Have a great break everyone, I'm told I must go socialise in the
real world.. bah humbug.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://gamma.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

24 Dec 2007 - 4:47pm
Jeff Seager
2007

In the final analysis, there is no perfect objective test that's automatic. Ther are too many variables, including doctypes, and many of the accessibility criteria can only be assessed by the subjective human mind.

That said, I use and appreciate http://www.cynthiasays.com/ after checking for HTML and CSS validation. I have a few other tools to assess such things as color contrast, which is important for people with vision problems. Some are available free from this site: http://www.wat-c.org/. Very good advice about accessibility for the blind is available from http://www.afb.org and from a source I mentioned earlier, http://www.rnib.org.uk

I'm not a complete nut for accessibility as it's understood by many people. Few people with serious vision impairments drive cars, for example (!), so maybe it isn't necessary for Ford or Toyota to think much about serving those customers a website that's blind-accessible. For other products, it may be a very good idea. For government sites, which theoretically serve all citizens, it's imperative.

Jeff Seager

> To: discuss at ixda.org
> From: o2ateam at gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 24 Dec 2007 00:45:14 +0000
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] Interesting tab navigation example
>
>
> Hi,
> I am web master trying to provide accessibility to our corporate
> website. I checked our site with http://508ita.com and it gave me a
> very comprehensive report. I would like to know if there are any
> similar free products available.
>
> o2ateam
>
>
>
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
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> February 8-10, 2008 in Savannah, GA, USA
> Register today: http://interaction08.ixda.org/
>
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25 Dec 2007 - 12:06am
Jeff Seager
2007

> "i'm not sure why the current batch of
> accessibility software (screen readers being
> the most common) are so far behind today's
> browsers. maybe there's a legitimate reason
> that i don't know about but from what
> i've seen they're just way behind."

Very true, Matt. I think it's mostly about money and economies of
scale. The development of "JAWS for Windows"
(http://www.freedomscientific.com/) and "Window Eyes"
(http://www.gwmicro.com/) has been funded by the people who purchase
the product at about $900 a copy. How many blind people can afford
that? True, some can get assistance if, for example, it is a
workplace accomodation ...

Both of the major screen readers are also married to the Windows API,
and their development has been slow because they're kept busy making
accomodations for Windows' many quirks. They aren't specifically
designed for Web access, but for all programs in all versions of
Windows in all its proprietary standards-non-compliant glory. So on
top of any other impairments a blind user may have, add the lack of
choice in operating systems.

But maybe not anymore. The latest version of Ubuntu Linux includes
the open-source Orca Screen Reader and Magnifier. I see this as
another small step forward, a leveling of the playing field for those
who know about it. It worked well on my computer (not a high-end
machine) as soon as it was installed by default with the latest
upgrade (Ubuntu 7.10). I haven't tested it to compare its
functionality with the others.

I personally don't suggest doing anything special to accomodate
those screen readers. I suggest writing clean semantic code,
separating content and presentation, linking to external CSS and
scripts, and "progressive enhancement." In the long run, I think
this will benefit everyone on all platforms. But as you suggest,
Matt, it would be nice if the screen readers could keep up with the
technologies that are advancing more quickly.

Jeff Seager

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=23821

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