Universal Design for Web Applications

Web Applications that Reach Everyone. By Wendy Chisholm and Matt May.


Open source menus and code

On page 101 of the book we say, “So we wrote an open source menu script of our own, which you can download from [this site].”

Let me just say that as the book went to press we were still working out some kinks to the system. What we came up with was far less robust and usable than what the folks at Yahoo! and Dojo have been working on. Therefore, we defer to those libraries.

In January 2009, Wendy summarized the results of testing eight menuing systems across a variety of variables in a Menu Testing Matrix. The conclusion favors the YUI menu component and Dojo/Dijit menu system in terms of licensing (Free BSD-based licensing), access technology support, ARIA integration, and usability (especially in terms of keyboard navigation and replication of system menu behaviors).

Therefore, don’t look here for the code. Look at Yahoo! UI Library: Menu and dijit.Menu.

Published by wendy, on May 11th, 2009 at 6:10 am. Filled under: Uncategorized Tags: , No Comments

20 Questions

In Chapter 11 “The Process” we go through 20 questions that you can ask when evaluating a Web site.  These questions reflect most of the Level 1 Success Criteria in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 and a portion of the Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0.

  1. Are text alternatives present and sufficiently equivalent to the graphic content? Audio-only content? Video-only content?
  2. Is multimedia captioned? Does multimedia have audio descriptions or a fulltext transcript?
  3. Are controls (including links) appropriately identified or labeled?
  4. Are groups of controls appropriately identified?
  5. Can a meaningful keyboard navigation order be derived from the document or application structure?
  6. Can the document or application be operated when color, shape, size, location, or sound cannot be perceived?
  7. Can audio that plays automatically be stopped, paused, or silenced?
  8. Can all functionality be operated via the keyboard alone?
  9. Is a skip navigation link present or are blocks of content identified such that they can be skipped?
  10. Does each page in the site/application have a unique title that describes its topic or purpose?
  11. Is the human language identified for each page of the site/application?
  12. Is the application’s behavior predictable in response to user input?
  13. Is it clear what information the user should provide? If the user makes an error, is the error clearly identified and suggestions provided for how to fix it?
  14. Have markup and programmatic syntax errors been fixed? Do XML-based languages validate? Do programmatic languages execute without error? Does it
    pass the MobileOK checker?
  15. Does the site or application use accessibility features or APIs (such as ARIA, UIA, and MSAA) such that user agents including assistive technologies are
    notified of changes to all user interface components?
  16. If a page requires a timed response, can someone turn off, adjust, or extend the time limit? (See exceptions.)
  17. If a site/application has moving, blinking, or scrolling information, is there a way for a person to pause, stop, or hide the content? (See exceptions.)
  18. If a site/application auto-updates, is there a way for a person to control the frequency of updates? (See exceptions.)
  19. Does the page avoid anything that flashes more than three times per second? (See general flash and red flash thresholds.)
  20. Has the site/application been tested with a variety of browsers, mobile devices, and assistive technologies? Have you watched real people use the site or application? Is it possible to accomplish a complete process (e.g., search for a product, add it to a shopping cart, and check out)?
Published by wendy, on January 7th, 2009 at 7:51 pm. Filled under: UncategorizedNo Comments

Slides from Web 2.0 Expo

Thank you to all who attended our presentation at Web 2.0 Expo last Wednesday in New York City.  Slides are available (as pdf).

Published by wendy, on September 20th, 2008 at 5:41 pm. Filled under: UncategorizedNo Comments