On the usability of contextual URLs

November 29, 2007

10 Comments

Topics: Accessibility, Usability.

Example: Visit this site! http://www.joedolson.com/ I run into this, or into something like it all the time, and it’s pretty understandable why. Obviously, if you don’t know how to create a hyperlink, or if you’re working with a CMS which will automatically convert a URL into a hyperlink, this is the most reliable way to provide access to somebody else’s site. Either they have the URL, and can use it “straight up” if they know how, or they can follow […]

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An Example of Automated Accessibility Testing

November 15, 2007

14 Comments

Topics: Accessibility.

Every once in a while, somebody mentions to me how they’re concerned because their (or my) site didn’t “pass” some online accessibility evaluator or another. This always opens up the conversation for one big, complicated issue: why automated accessibility testing just doesn’t work. This isn’t to say that automated testing doesn’t have a place; but it should never be considered the deciding factor for accessibility. The Functional Accessibility Evaluator from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was pointed out to […]

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Know your why’s and how’s…

November 12, 2007

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Topics: Accessibility.

The Accessibility Cookbook: a Recipe for Disaster, by Aaron Cannon. This is a very well-written article which provides an “insider’s” viewpoint from both an accessibility and an interface designer’s perspective. The article remarks, in brief, on the importance of knowing the why’s and how’s of accessibility. If you don’t understand why or how you’re helping a disabled user, you are immediately opening up a gateway to create new barriers. It’s not about following a set of rules; it’s about sitting […]

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Accessibility and Usability issues with AJAX

October 15, 2007

6 Comments

Topics: Accessibility, Usability, Web Development.

This is not a technical article. You will not learn how to code AJAX by reading this; either in an accessible and usable fashion or otherwise. This is a conceptual article. It will run through basic user-interface issues with AJAX (and other rich media). These are the reasons that AJAX functionality can be a problem for users — if you consider these issues carefully during development, it should greatly enhance the usability of your end product. The basic limitations encountered […]

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More News on the Target Accessibility Lawsuit

October 4, 2007

22 Comments

Topics: Accessibility, Law, News.

For a major issue in accessibility, I have to say that this really hasn’t seen much press. Granted, major lawsuits tend to move slowly — glacially, you might say. However, given the fact that the last announcement concerning the National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation lawsuit was in September of 2006, you’d expect some kind of blog coverage on the latest announcement. In fact, I found it difficult to find anything about it at all, at first — […]

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