Designing an Easy-to-Use Web Site
This page lists a checklist of the top accessibility design questions, links to design hints, and design questions that need answers. Can you help our team to answer these questions?
Checklist of the Top Ten Accessibility Design Questions
- Do your pages display in any browser? Yes or no?
- Do your pages display in less than 10 seconds? Yes or no?
- Is the information in an easy-to-read format for screen readers such as JAWS, Window-Eyes, or Window Bridge? Yes or no?
- Do your pages provide navigation links that show your users where they are and where they can jump to? Yes or no?
- Do your pages mainly use text and not more than three graphics? Yes or no?
- Do the graphics have a description in the alt tag? Yes or no?
- Does your site use simple headings, paragraphs, lists, and tables but not frames? Yes or no?
- Does your site comply with the
W3C HTML 4.0 tags? Yes or no?
- Was the site tested using the popular screen readers such as JAWS, Window-Eyes, or Window Bridge? Yes or no?
- Was the site tested for accessibility by using the
CAST Bobby Accessibility tool? Yes or no?
Additional Design Hints
Use the same layout for each page.
Provide a text file with all the site information including instructions on how to navigate from page to page.
Use Skip links that allow screen readers to avoid information that is not readable.
If you have a PowerPoint file to download also provide the information in a simple text file.
Make sure that the information is accessible by using keyboard commands. Using a mouse is difficult for people who are totally blind.
Provide access keyboard commands, that is, commands for commonly used links. For example, to jump to the PinBall home page, press CTRL 1H. Does anyone know how to implement unique keyboard commands on a web page?
Use the RealPlayer software to retrieve audio media to your desktop faster by using streaming technology.
Servers on the Internet store media files. You access them by clicking a link on a browser page, or by going to a page that has the clip automatically set to launch for you. The media files, or clips, you play are specially created so that they come to your desktop in much smaller pieces that are ready to be used. Because of this, you donít have to wait for a whole video file, for instance, to be downloaded before you get to begin to enjoy it.
In 2001, the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) developed the
508 Standards to which Web pages of federal agencies must comply. The Technology Related Assistance for Individuals Act requires that the state agencies of states that accept funding under this Act comply with Section 508.
Do you want to see what your page will look like without images? If you're using Internet Explorer, choose the Tools->Internet Options (Alt-T-letter "o") command. Select the "Advanced" tab (Control-Shift-Tab). Under multimedia, uncheck "Show Images". Press the Space bar if you are using the keyboard. Choose "OK" until you return to the web page. Now, refresh the page (press F5) and you'll see your page without images.
At Sea Life Park Hawaii, Earthtrust researchers set up custom underwater touch screens connected to Power Macintosh computers. Dolphins interact with the touch screens by interrupting a grid of infrared rays with their rostrums ó what most of us would call their noses. Dolphins at the park are free to use the
computers at their own behest, and they apparently find it quite entertaining.
Hey, if we can design a computer interface for dolphins ---- we should be able to design a computer interface for people who are blind!
Elo touchscreens and touchmonitors
are available for a wide variety of uses, from point of sale to kiosks, medical and industrial equipment, and gaming systems. Advantages of Elo solutions include their reliability, accuracy, clarity, responsiveness, and ease of installation and use.
Links to Design Hints
Can you help us answer the following design questions?
How can we make the navigation links at the top and bottom of each page usable for a person who is totally blind? Can we make them talk and jump?
Part of the answer from Tiger Team 3 - To navigate forward from link to link, use the Tab key. To navigate back from link to link, use the Shift+Tab key. To open a link while navigating, press the Enter key. This navigation method works for Netscape 4.03 or higher, Internet Explorer 4.01 or higher, or Opera 5.12 or higher.
Is it easier for screen readers such as JAWS to read sentences or lists? For example, is the following list or sentence easier to read?
This page lists links to organizations:
- or -
This page lists links to Canadian, American, and British organizations.
Answer from Tiger Team 3 - Use a sentence.
With automated speech, the sentence was more understandable than the list version. The list version was difficult to understand and had no natural rhythm so it almost sounded like it didnít end properly.
How can we use the MS WAV program to play a talking description of the site?
Answer from Tiger Team 2
- Refer to the Sound File Information and Research
that was produced by the Humber College Tiger Team 2 during the Spring of 2002.
How can we use the MS WAV program to play a talking description of the links?
Tiger Team 3 - Usability Research Results
Tiger Team 3 developed a usability checklist to evaluate the accessibility to a web site for a person who is blind. Then, the team used this checklist to evaluate the redesign of the PinBall Design (design.html) page.
Tiger Team 3 in the Humber College Quality course researched and published the Usability Checklist and Evaluation reports. Thanks to Rachel (team leader), Laura, Debbie, Lloyd, and Randall for taking the extra time to help other people to design a web page for people who are blind.