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WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 7.3

 
 
yb
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      11-22-2005
Hi,

I'm a bit confused about WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 7.3, at:

http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-TECHS/#tech-avoid-movement

which reads:
"7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid
movement in pages. [Priority 2]"

This is pretty vague. I've used javascript in some places to fade from
one color to another on a timer. Its not absolutely necessary and the
content is accessible without the script, its just a visual effect.

So, does this color fading mean this checkpoint is not satisfied. What
about hovering over a link which opens up a drop down style menu? That
could be considered movement as well.

I first thought it meant choppy movement, or blinking colors, i.e.
something distracting and annoying. However, the descriptions seem
much more strict in the guidelines.

Also, the "Until user agents .." part is also a concern. Exactly how
would a user agent stop movement, there are so many factors. For
example, javascript allows for timer based code, would all of this be
disabled, how could a user agent know what to do?

 
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Dylan Parry
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      11-22-2005
As if the love poetry wasn't enough, yb just had to say:

> "7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid
> movement in pages. [Priority 2]"


I've always interpreted that as meaning avoid things like <blink>,
<marquee> and animations[1]. I suppose it could also be extended to
include things that fly around the page using scripting.

Now the latter two items *can* be disabled by most browsers (ie.
animated GIFs can be turned off, and so can scripting) and some can also
disable blinking/scrolling text.

To be perfectly honest, as long as you stay away from the obvious moving
elements/scripts then I think you are probably adhering to this
checkpoint as closely as you possibly can.

__________
[1] That aren't necessary as content.

--
Dylan Parry
http://electricfreedom.org -- Where the Music Progressively Rocks!

Usenet: The first post is free, but the next will cost you your soul.
 
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Jukka K. Korpela
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      11-22-2005
"yb" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> I'm a bit confused about WCAG 1.0 checkpoint 7.3,


WCAG 1.0 is old, partly confused, partly outdated, and partly just too
theoretical. It's still useful, but when used as a goal in itself, it easily
becomes harmful to accessibility. Anyone who claims conformance to WCAG 1.0
for any nontrivial page is misrepresenting the truth. How could he possibly
know that he has used the _simplest language possible_, for example?

> "7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid
> movement in pages. [Priority 2]"


That's a particular bad case. It leaves the key concept undefined and uses
the nasty "until user agents..." condition.

> So, does this color fading mean this checkpoint is not satisfied.


What does movement mean on screen? It means that pixels change so that the
displayed presentation changes. Color change is thus movement. Whether the
checkpoint really means _any_ movement is and will remain an open question.
(Nobody is working to clarify WCAG 1.0. A brand new WCAG 2.0, with no real
continuity, has been under construction for a few years.)

Use your judgement, and ask people (disabled people, experts on
accessibility, or just anyone) what bothers users on web pages.
If you ask me, fading effects can be nasty, may irritate, and may make
the user wonder what's going on. Especially if there's no other than esthetic
purpose, fading should not be used, for accessibility reasons. It is then
up to you to consider how much accessibility matters in this issue.
Fading is hardly a crucial problem to any substantial amount of users.

> What
> about hovering over a link which opens up a drop down style menu? That
> could be considered movement as well.


Certainly it's movement. The real problem with it is the drop down style menu
itself. Most implementations of such features are really hostile to
accessibility. Technicalities aside, it is better to offer a well-designed
set of alternatives at a glance, visible without any particular selection,
and visible as normal link texts.

> I first thought it meant choppy movement, or blinking colors, i.e.
> something distracting and annoying.


They are surely among the worst cases, and there are specific notes on such
phenomena in WCAG 1.0. Checkpoint 7.3 is more general.

> Also, the "Until user agents .." part is also a concern. Exactly how
> would a user agent stop movement, there are so many factors.


That's one of the problems with the condition. Another problem, especially
when using WCAG 1.0 as criteria, is who decides when the time has come to say
that sufficiently many user agents do what the condition talks about.
Besides, many of "until user agents..." points should be regarded as
permanent.

Useless movement should be generally avoided - for the exact reason why it is
so popular among some groups of deeziners: it catches attention. Consider the
difficulty of concentrating on something when there's something blinking or
suddenly moving or just changing in sight. Then try to imagine how much
more difficult it would be if you had severe problems in concentrating on
anything in the first place and if your mind worked substantially slower.

--
Yucca, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/
Pages about Web authoring: http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/www.html


 
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Alan J. Flavell
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      11-22-2005

On Tue, 22 Nov 2005, Jukka K. Korpela wrote:

> > "7.3 Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid
> > movement in pages. [Priority 2]"

>
> That's a particular bad case. It leaves the key concept undefined and uses
> the nasty "until user agents..." condition.


I was thinking of that when I had occasion to visit this URL of
a UK disability organisation: http://www.radar.org.uk/

They must consider that the "until user agents..." condition is now
fulfilled, as far as animated gifs are concerned.

> Useless movement should be generally avoided - for the exact reason why it is
> so popular among some groups of deeziners: it catches attention.


Quite!

> Consider the difficulty of concentrating on something when there's
> something blinking or suddenly moving or just changing in sight.


I usually scroll them outside the browser window if they're getting on
my nerves! But yes, for some people they represent a more serious
hazard.

 
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