Archive for the ‘Accessibility’ Category

Why Your Web Site Needs Information Architecture (PDF, 516K)

Friday, July 6th, 2007

A Dynamic Diagrams White Paper

A must read for all Web designers.

Indepth and highly informative study, touching on such vital topics as:

  • Why information architecture makes sense for big Web sites
  • How information architecture can help your Web site
  • Information architecture on the global scale
  • Information architecture and visual explanation

http://www.dynamicdiagrams.com/all_pdfs/dD_information_architecture.pdf

A CSS styled table

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

by Veerle

Further to my article about the creation of a CSS calendar the thought crossed my mind to show you an example on how you can style a table using CSS. The data of tables can be boring so all the more reason that we need to attract attention to it and make it as pleasant to read as possible. Presentation and design with some basic accessibility rules in mind is the way to go.

http://veerle.duoh.com/index.php/blog/comments/a_css_styled_table/

Bring on the tables

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Something that often seems to confuse people that are new to CSS-based layouts is the use of tables. I’ve seen plenty of cases where people interpret “avoid using tables for layout” as “don’t use tables at all”. It’s important to remember that tables are still perfectly fine to use – if used correctly.

Yes, do your best to avoid using tables for layout, but for tabular data, tables are what you should use. I’d like to talk about how tables should be used when marking up tabular data. There’s a lot more to tables in HTML and XHTML than just rows and cells. Much more. Especially if you want to make them accessible.

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Alt text is an alternative, not a tooltip

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

It seems like there is a bit of confusion among many web developers and browser vendors surrounding the use of the alt attribute to provide alternative text for images and other non-textual elements.

In alt as a tooltip, Anne van Kesteren points to a document on the Channel9 Wiki site that contains feedback about Internet Explorer Programming Bugs. The alt attribute (yes, It’s alt attribute, not alt tag) and how it is displayed by Internet Explorer is discussed in the “Browser Behavior” section. Several people point out that Internet Explorer is wrong in displaying alternative text as a tooltip while also displaying the image.

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Efficient CSS with shorthand properties

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

One of the reasons for using CSS to layout websites is to reduce the amount of HTML sent to site visitors. To avoid just moving the bloat from HTML to CSS, you should try to keep the size of your CSS files down as well, and I thought I’d explain my favourite CSS efficiency trick: shorthand properties. Most people know about and use some shorthand, but many don’t make full use of these space saving properties.

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Using the title Attribute

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Author: Gez Lemon:

The title attribute is intended to provide supplementary information about an element; for example, it might be used to provide extra information about the target of a link. Although the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) requires access to all content, current user agents provide very poor access to title text information, and what access they do provide is typically inaccessible for people with disabilities.

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Firefox 2.0 and Access Keys

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Author: Gez Lemon: 

Update: Numeric access keys now work in Firefox 2.0.0.1, which is available through auto-update.

Firefox 2.0 uses Shift+Alt as the keystroke combination to invoke access keys. On the surface, this appears to be a great idea, as it avoids clashing with the shortcut keys used for the browser. Unfortunately, the new behaviour has been poorly implemented and breaks all websites that have implemented access keys using numeric values, as access keys specified with numeric values cannot be accessed in Firefox 2.0.

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Choosing an Accessible CMS

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Author: Joshue O Connor  Senior Accessibility Consultant CFIT 

How do you go about choosing an accessible content management system (CMS)? What are the main criteria for success? And how to ensure ease of use for authors including screen reader users?

The Centre for Inclusive Technology  (CFIT), which is based in the headquarters of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland  (NCBI), looked at several popular CMSs in order to assess which would be most suitable.

Our approach was to look at how these CMSs work out of the box and no complex heuristics were applied in order to simulate how many other users would approach the adoption of a CMS in the real world. The assessment method was an intuitive approach with some basic core tasks such as adding content and administration.

Expert Screen Reader Evaluation by Paul Traynor  CFIT.

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Accessible “read more” links

Thursday, April 19th, 2007

Thanks to www.456bereastreet.com

Russ Weakley’s Simple, accessible “more” links explains how you can use CSS to make “read more” links more accessible to screen reader users. Florian Grell has extended the technique to display the hidden information when the user is hovering over the link – check out Simple, accessible “more” links – v2 for more information on that.

These techniques are useful for linking to full articles from a list of headings and article excerpts when your client or someone on your team insists on having “Read more” links instead of linking the heading. This way the links will actually provide some information on where they lead.

Print stylesheet – the definitive guide

Monday, April 2nd, 2007

A print stylesheet formats a web page so when printed, it automatically prints in a user-friendly format. Print stylesheets have been around for a number of years and have been written about a lot. Yet so few websites implement them, meaning we’re left with web pages that frustratingly don’t properly print on to paper.

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