RE: Web site design - accessibility update

From: Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) <"Popkin,>
Date: Mon May 24 2004 - 17:48:08 CDT

I don't mind the work you're doing at all -- I just want to make sure that
we get the new site pushed out the door ASAP, so that the site is easier to
update and maintain, and we can provide capabilities like subscribing to
email updates, participating in bulletin boards, etc. -- all of that is
_done_ so it's just a matter of polishing and a round of content updating to
get it swapped into use. GIven that it's that close, I'd like to keep people
focused on getting the new site finished, and not invest too much time in
the old site.

As far as accessibility goes, we could make the site's default theme be text
based, but then it'd look primitive to everyone else. I think we'd be better
off keeping the graphics that we added a few months back, but making sure
that we put in the right tags to keep the links accessible to the reading
impaired. If you could make a static copy of the new home page and add the
attributes, etc., that would make it properly accessible, I'll be happy to
update the site templates. The buttons all have alt tags -- what else should
we do to the site to make it more accessible?

The amount of stuff on the page is driven by the amount of functionality
presented by the site. We can turn more off, if we don't want that
functionality.

I like the idea of eliminating some of the graphics in the design -- they
look nice, but a few elements like the graphics mission statement
(http://gyaku.pair.com/vote/drupal/images/splash_blu_blurb.gif) and nav
buttons make the site much harder to author. I think that we could author
the site as a mix of graphics and text that would be almost as nice looking,
and easier to maintain.

Moving those pages under the 'about us' page is fine for me. Alan, you
spec'd out the original site structure -- do you agree with this change?

OK, feedback on your 'accessible' site:
- My main comment is that it's visually quite primitive. That's fine if this
is a parallel site linked to for users that want it, but I think that it
shouldn't replace the more visually appealing design. Aren't there
techniques to retain the nicer look but be properly accessible?

- LP

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-voting-project@afterburner.sonic.net
[mailto:owner-voting-project@afterburner.sonic.net]On Behalf Of Cory
Hamma
Sent: Monday, May 24, 2004 5:02 PM
To: voting-project@lists.sonic.net
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Web site design - accessibility update

Do you know what is cool? This is cool:

http://www.openvotingconsortium.org/accessible/

I have put in the changes for the navigation bar suggested by Doug Jones.
I converted the files to .shtml so we could just put the navigation bar
in ovc-header.htm and changed ... a whole bunch of stuff.

Please excuse the missing images. I stuck the files into the accessible
directory just for the purpose of displaying them to the people on the
list, then they will be replacing the existing web site. I hope to do
this soon, so files don't get changed in the meantime. When this
happens, any missing image links will be fixed.

Some things to take note:

1. I ditched the mouse-over highlight on the links. I want this to look
as normal as possible to the common folk, and it might have been
confusing to not have an underlined link.
2. It *should* look pretty good to older browsers.
3. The move of Contact Info, Board, Bylaws and History to the About Us
link was really necessary, as I mentioned in an earlier email. It
wasn't information that someone would necessarily look for on the home
page anyways.

The reason why I updated the existing site is for two reasons. One is
that there is a LOT of work to be done to the drupal site in order to
get it half as blind-user-navigation-friendly as this site. I am
excited about the drupal site because it allows much more freedom to
change content, but at the same time this can't come with an overdose of
extra text and links. I think the same also applies to the novice web
user -- too much information makes the site seem intimidating. The
text-only interface to the site unfortunately must be accessed AFTER
creating an account or changing a setting, which can make first-time
blind visitors frustrated. I know when I tried to do it with my eyes
closed using a screen reader I couldn't even do it. So, much more work
is needed for the drupal site to work really well.

Please send me some feedback on the modified site!

Thanks,
Cory

Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) wrote:

> This is very cool, Cory.
>
> You should be aware that we have a new site implementation (at
> http://gyaku.pair.com/vote/drupal) that we've just got to 'polish' a
> bit to get ready to cut over to. It addresses accessibility in a
> number of ways:
>
> - no frames.
> - the rollovers are done with CSS, so they won't cause the issues that
> the old JavaScript does.
> - a template driven UI, so people who want a plain text web site can
> do so easily (simply by changing 'themes')
>
> So I'd be very interesting in seeing your reaction to the new site,
> and in focusing work on getting the new site accessible, etc., rather
> than spending too much time on the old site. I think we're pretty
> close to being able to cut over to the new site, and if we do the work
> once, on the new site, it's better than doing it twice (on the old
> site and the new site).
>
> - LP
>

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Received on Mon May 31 23:18:02 2004

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