Workshop






Workshop

As if you haven't had enough already, here's a refresher course. As always, there are questions, quizzes, and exercises that will help you remember some of the most important points in this lesson.

Q&A

Q

Feedback from visitors to my site varies a lot. Some want my pages to use less multimedia, whereas others want more. Is there an easy way to satisfy both of them?

A

You've already learned that you can provide links to external multimedia files. This is the best approach for visitors who want less multimedia because they won't see it unless they click the link.

You can also simply ask them which version of your site they want to see. I generally recommend building a site that works well for users regardless of their connection speed or browser capabilities, but in some cases it makes sense to create alternative versions of your site. You can start out with an entry page that allows your users to choose between the different versions of the site, or you can start out with the fancier page and provide a link to the text version that shows up regardless of their browser's capabilities.

Q

I use a lot of external files on my website, and they can be downloaded from several different pages. Wouldn't it be more efficient to include a link to the correct readers or viewers on the pages where the external files appear?

A

Although it's much easier for the visitor to download an external file and the appropriate reader or helper application from the same page, it might be more difficult for you to maintain your pages when the URLs for the helper applications change. A good compromise is to include a Download page on your website with links to all the helper applications that the visitor will need. After the visitor downloads the external file, she can then navigate to your Download page to get the helper application she needs to view that file.

Q

If I don't make my site accessible, what percentage of my audience will I lose?

A

Even if you weren't wondering about this yourself, there's a good chance your boss probably wants to know. Unfortunately, there's no hard and fast number. I've seen it reported that 10% of the population has disabilities, but not all of those disabilities affect one's ability to access the Web.

Q

Can I run into legal trouble if I don't bother with making my site accessible?

A

If you're in the United States, the answer to this question is no, unless you're working on a site for the federal government and are bound by Section 508.

Quiz

1.

How do real-world user needs vary?

2.

What are some important things to include on your site to help those who are new to computers or the Internet?

3.

How does the HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Transitional specification help you accommodate the needs of more visitors?

4.

True or false: It's better to have a lot of frames in a frameset because you can keep more information in the browser window at the same time.

5.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Strict to fulfill the needs of your visitors?

6.

True or false: To make a site truly accessible, no images can be used for navigation or links.

7.

How should navigation be placed on a page in order to make it most accessible?

8.

Name three attributes of tags aimed specifically at accessibility.

Quiz Answers

1.

Different users will have different levels of experience. Browser preferences will vary. Some want to see a lot of multimedia, whereas others prefer none at all. Some prefer images and multimedia that are interactive, whereas others prefer simpler pictures that demonstrate a process or technique on how to do something. Other preferences are more specific to the interests of the visitors.

2.

Include pages on your site that help the visitor find the information she's looking for. Also include pages that help them find their way around the site.

3.

HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0 Transitional is designed to be backward compatible with older browsers. It enables you to use tags and attributes that are deprecated in the Strict specification.

4.

False. Too many frames can be confusing for new users, and they may be too small to be useful when they're viewed at lower resolutions.

5.

The disadvantage of using the Strict specifications is that if you adhere to them, some percentage of users won't see your site the way you designed it. The advantage is that you can use a lot of advanced techniques that make your site easier to create and work better with newer browsers.

6.

False; however, you must use the images in an accessible manner.

7.

Navigation should be placed after the main content on a page to make it accessible with users who must navigate the page in a linear fashion.

8.

Some attributes designed to improve accessibility are the title attribute of the <a> tag, the longdesc and alt attributes of the <img> tag, and the summary attribute of the <table> tag.

Exercises

1.

Design a simple navigation system for a website and describe it in a manner that makes sense to you. Then ask others to review it and verify that your explanations are clear to them.

2.

Make a list of the topics that you want to discuss on your website. Go through the list a second time and see whether you can anticipate the types of people who will be interested in those topics. Finally, review the list a third time and list the special needs that you might need to consider for each user group.

3.

Visit WebXACT, the accessibility validator and see how your site rates against the accessibility guidelines.

4.

Make sure that all the <img> tags on your site have alt attributes. It's a good first step toward accessibility.



 Python   SQL   Java   php   Perl 
 game development   web development   internet   *nix   graphics   hardware 
 telecommunications   C++ 
 Flash   Active Directory   Windows