Archive for “Access Counts”

The following entries were made in the “Access Counts” category.

Passive Accessibility

Posted December 16th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Your visitors may not even notice and that’s sort of the point to it all.

A cornerstone of web usability is passivity. In other words, web interface elements should be found where expected and must work as expected. Accessibility, like usability, should also be passive. As said of usability, web interface elements should be found where expected and must work as expected, but I wish to offer this addendum: to everyone! People have said accessibility is essentially usability for the disabled. It’s an interesting perspective — one I won’t dispute. I know accessibility and usability are so closely joined, discerning one from the other is often difficult due to the sometimes indistinct boundaries. I, for one, happen to think they’re actually codependent in most instances.

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Insights Into Screen Reader Usage

Posted November 20th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Most developers who design sites to be screen reader friendly, aren’t actually screen reader users. I am no exception. Sure I’ve heard recordings of screen readers reading my pages, and I use Opera Voice, and I have a very good idea of what most content will sound like when read by screen readers so I’m not completely blind to the concept, but never have I plunked myself down in front of a computer with screen reader software and played around with it. But I am interested.

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Exploring a Web Site’s Visual Accessibility

Posted November 1st, 2007 by Mike Cherim

If your site isn’t visually accessible, you’re really missing the mark as a quality web developer…

It’s possible to get so caught up in following the rules of web accessibility that one can forget the simplicity of plain old visual accessibility and those it affects. Before I continue further, here’s a warning: this topic reaches deeply into the Camp One “accessibility for all” aspect of web accessibility. Okay, that said, I will make mention that the vast majority of your site’s visitors are of the sighted, mouse-using, up-to-date-browser, JavaScript-enabled, Flash-equipped variety. As a disclaimer I will say this is a hypothesis on my part, but I’ll betcha five bucks it’s true. And, coincidently, it is this very user-group that will benefit most from visual accessibility. That makes it important.

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That Evil Accessibility Word

Posted October 1st, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Forgive me if I sound blue. I have been beaten up a twice in the span of seven days. Not physically, mind you, but my concerns about web accessibility were dismissed and it’s discouraging. The word accessibility, I have learned, simply does not sell very well and may be summarily rejected. Bring up the word and ears close with an audible snap. It’s distressing. You’re probably wondering what I mean by “beaten up” at this point so let me explain by backing up a bit and telling you about two situations.

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Feed ‘em for Life: Text Resize

Posted September 21st, 2007 by Mike Cherim

To the benefit of the entire industry, I ask that you do the same [help spread the word]

I had once written a text-sizing script, but in the article that accompanied it, I stated I didn’t feel it was really something that was necessary or that should be added to a web page because this is already a function of the browser and really doesn’t bring anything new or marvelous to the table. It’s not that it’s harmful, but rather just needless. Unfortunately, ignorance prevails and lots of people who surf the web don’t know even a fraction of what their browser is capable of. So the responsibility of accommodating the needs of site visitors ends up on the shoulders of the conscientious web developer. But that’s not how it should be.

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Tips for Keeping Forms Accessible

Posted September 11th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Web forms are generally accessible if you build them using the proper elements. If you don’t use the proper elements, though, then right out of the starting gate their inherent accessibility is diminished or even lost completely. This article assumes that you have a basic working knowledge of the various form elements and how they are used. This article’s main objective will be to offer some tips for keeping your forms accessible, and in some cases, making them even more accessible than they are by default. So, here are the tips, in no particular order. Oh, and try not to mind my headings… I was feeling creative.

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Adding Embedded Images to a Web Page

Posted August 27th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Embedding content images on a web page is a dirt-simple, basic, and straightforward task, right? Well, yes, it is, but there are some interesting tricks I’ve learned since I’ve been doing this that I think are really helpful to know — and worth sharing. Most of which I have stumbled upon quite by chance, while others came to the front of my brain by way of my interest in making web sites more accessible and usable.

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CSS Layouts: The Fixed. The Fluid. The Elastic.

Posted August 6th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

Which Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) layout is best? All have their quirks and their unique pros and cons. Is one more accessible than the other? More usable? What are the drawbacks and how are they dealt with? Is one easier to create than the other? Is there an evil, inaccessible layout? I suspect some will say yes to this, but I’m not going to. I like them all and feel all are suitable if steps are taken to ensure easy usability and equal accessibility. All are part of a web site’s presentational layer, so most of the accessibility relies on the extractable semantics and proper usage of the underlying mark-up. What follows is my take on the rigid fixed, the adaptable fluid, and the expandable elastic layouts.

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An Offset Content Penalty?

Posted June 14th, 2007 by Mike Cherim

I want to do the right thing regarding accessibility and usability, but I don’t want to be viewed as some unethical search whore in the process.

Google handles search abuse reports on sites by compiling the submitted and discovered data, then adjusting their search algorithms to counter the identified abuse method next time around. This is an effective method of dealing with abuse and violations it seems — the most practical method, anyway. As an example, abuse such as using the style sheet display property “none” to hide a slew of links was reported to or discovered by Google, and now their algorithms can identify this type of index-inducing violation and respond accordingly.

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