moderated Re: [External] : Re: more about another jfw list discussion list

Don Mauck

Another thing that gets over looked is that you are dealing with different disabilities besides just low vision. Cognitive issues being a prime example. That takes some understanding in how to write messages or instructions.


From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 11:04 AM
Subject: [External] : Re: more about another jfw list discussion list


On Tue, May 18, 2021 at 12:46 PM, Orlando Enrique Fiol wrote:

Sightling instructions tend not to specify in which type of control environment the desired item is located. As such, the true action taken by clicks can be ambiguous. In list views, pointing at items doesn't actually select them; it only brings focus to them, whereas clicking actually selects them.

You'll get no argument from me there.  But I never said there are no ambiguities, and that's a lesson I've learned about writing instructions once I got into the screen reader world.  But writing out the control I'm talking about is dirt simple, so I now do.  But I get why those who are writing for a target audience they presume can see, when discussing a graphical user interface, omit words in favor of pictures.   I have scads of old instruction sets I wrote prior to using alt-text routinely for graphics where the graphic itself makes it immediately obvious to the viewer what's being talked about.  I now try to avoid both relying strictly on graphics, including the necessary specifics, and include alt-text for the graphics even if that's just something along the lines of, "Selecting the {insert specific thing here}," as the description.

It is very difficult to get those who don't use screen readers to actually separate the concepts of "gain focus on" and "select" and "activate" because a single click on something gains you focus on it and selects it at a minimum.  And in the case of doing so on a link, it does all three at one time.  You most often get a sense of whether activation is involved as an atomic element of that click based on what the following instruction states.  If it's something like, "Now, in the dialog that appears . . .," you can pretty much assume that a point and click instruction is an instance where all three actions were rolled into one single click.  

Another of my "things" is emphasizing that you (any you) must read through an instruction set completely before even setting out with the first one, and not just in computing.  My own partner drives me insane because he doesn't do this routinely, and I can't count the number of times, when cooking, there's a big oops because an ingredient not mentioned in the ingredient list (it happens) isn't in the house or he skips something because he never read it through first and was in a rush.  There are too many potential pitfalls in any complex instruction set, even those in step-by-step format, for it to be a good idea to start and hope you make it through unscathed without ever having read them first.

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide

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