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  1. #1
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Seven tricks that Web users donít know

    Based on her experience from usability studies, Carolyn Snyder describes seven Web site features, which typical non-technical users aren't familiar with. http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork...zone=usability

    Do you have some other ideas which we can add to the above?

  2. #2
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Good article, especially points #5 thru 7.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Agreed 100%. Maybe slightly off topic but haven't I read somewhere not to use justified text? Main reasons being it's harder to read, not just for normal people but people with dyslexia? Just wondering if someone can give me good links to back up my case.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daz
    Agreed 100%. Maybe slightly off topic but haven't I read somewhere not to use justified text? Main reasons being it's harder to read, not just for normal people but people with dyslexia? Just wondering if someone can give me good links to back up my case.
    Off Topic:

    I find that justified text doesn't really help my layout anyway and sometimes makes it look worse than plain left-alignment. In a print stylesheet, then I can see many uses for it (since that's how most newspapers and magazines do their printing), but on-screen I never saw the appeal of it.

  5. #5
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daz
    Agreed 100%. Maybe slightly off topic but haven't I read somewhere not to use justified text? Main reasons being it's harder to read, not just for normal people but people with dyslexia? Just wondering if someone can give me good links to back up my case.
    Keep to left aligned, un-justified text:
    http://www.techdis.ac.uk/seven/papers/dyslexia3.html

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Thanks guys, once I read that article I realised then where I got the information from. I ask because I'm doing a site in work and the customer has requested for all of the text to be justified and I want to give him a precise reason as to why not.

  7. #7
    Matt Williams revsorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daz
    Agreed 100%. Maybe slightly off topic but haven't I read somewhere not to use justified text? Main reasons being it's harder to read, not just for normal people but people with dyslexia? Just wondering if someone can give me good links to back up my case.
    I think in the minefield of political correctness you shouldn't categorise people as either normal or dyslexic

    I did a presentation on accessibility the other day and found myself talking about the way that the process of website design shouldn't be crippled by accessibility
    work: revs | ecru
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  8. #8
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revs_org
    I think in the minefield of political correctness you shouldn't categorise people as either normal or dyslexic [img]images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    I did a presentation on accessibility the other day and found myself talking about the way that the process of website design shouldn't be crippled by accessibility [img]images/smilies/blush.gif[/img]
    Even if this is offtopic, I would like to bring to you consideration these resources:

    Terms suggested to describe persons with a disability: http://wats.ca/resources/wordswithdignity/35

    Once you are, have a look what the usability specialist Jakob Nielsen says:
    Treating Users with Disabilities as People: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20011111.html

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Crazybanana's Avatar
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    Intresting article Webnauts
    Who's to doom when the judge himself is dragged before the bar


  10. #10
    Forensic SEO Consultant Webnauts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazybanana
    Intresting article Webnauts
    Thanks CrazyBanana!

  11. #11
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I am dyslexic though text justification makes no difference to how well I can read things. Though some dyslexic users will have difficulty will fully-justified text.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xhtmlcoder
    I am dyslexic though text justification makes no difference to how well I can read things. Though some dyslexic users will have difficulty will fully-justified text.
    How severe is your dyslexia though? Is it mild, or pretty difficult to read anything?

  13. #13
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    Mild, I have a normal reading age; my reading capability isn't affected and at the last count my intelligence was within the top 1% of the population.

    You cannot define dyslexia as "one syndrome", it's a collection a bit like Liquorice Allsorts thus it's rather hard to generalise other than certain traits will tend to be event.

    Obviously my reading skills aren't affected, with many dyslexics they are - some even find their own handwriting hard to read.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Would you rather I said you were dyslexic or have a learning disability/difficulty? In the instance I used it above I was only being specific as the broader term covers people with other impairments.

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    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xhtmlcoder
    Mild, I have a normal reading age; my reading capability isn't affected and at the last count my intelligence was within the top 1% of the population.

    You cannot define dyslexia as "one syndrome", it's a collection a bit like Liquorice Allsorts thus it's rather hard to generalise other than certain traits will tend to be event.

    Obviously my reading skills aren't affected, with many dyslexics they are - some even find their own handwriting hard to read.
    An old friend of mine has a pretty bad case of dyslexia. He takes a pretty long time to read books. He can understand it all eventually, but has to trawl through it slowly. I can only imagine what a super-long web page would do to him.

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    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
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    I couldn't care less whether you said I had "dyslexia" was "dyslexic" or had a "Specific Learning Difficulty", though I would say that I was classified as dyslexic if asked at a job interview.

    I wouldn't even mind if you told me a good "dyslexic joke" most of them are fairly funny .

    Though it could offend some other dyslexics if you posted them here since it wouldn't be politically correct in this thread.

    It wasn't until I was around 18 years of age that it was detected and that was down to being in the right place at the right time...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webnauts
    Even if this is offtopic, I would like to bring to you consideration these resources:

    Terms suggested to describe persons with a disability: http://wats.ca/resources/wordswithdignity/35

    Once you are, have a look what the usability specialist Jakob Nielsen says:
    Treating Users with Disabilities as People: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20011111.html
    At the risk of being labeled with a word that reduces my dignity, I must admit, I have a bit of a problem with the often over the top emphasis on politically correct terminology. I mean, if I refer to someone as 'disabled' rather than 'person with a disability', I do not see how I am taking away their dignity (reference: first link supplied by Webnauts). According to my dictionary, disablity is defined as 'The condition of being disabled', so the two terms are inextricably connected, one being a noun (disability) and the other an adjective (disabled). The same goes for 'mentally ill' vs 'having a mental illness' - again noun and adjective.

    If someone has a disability, that has no bearing on their value as a person, regardless of what terminology is used. Treating users with disabilities as people is no more or less important than treating people who don't have disabilities as people.

    Now before someone goes off at me, I am not disputing the importance of equal usability opportunity for those with a disability. My beef is with the trend to label as insensitive or uncaring those who do not use the latest politically correct terminology. It is rarely the terminology that is the problem, but rather the inferrence built up in the mind of the recipient. Let me give an illustration of what I mean....

    In a nearby town, there is a suburb that has low cost housing, is mostly populated by social welfare beneficiaries, and has a high crime rate. Someone once suggested that the name of the suburb had come to be associated with poor/crime ridden/etc, so the name should be changed and then the residents of the area would have more self respect and crime would diminish. The name of the suburb is 'Fordlands' named after the person who originally owned the land it was developed on (Mr Ford).

    My point is, nothing in that name has an inherrant negative connotation. The negativity came about due to the situations, actions and attitudes of those living there and the resultant effect on the broader community. Changing the name will not change those situations, actions and attitudes. In fact, the situations, actions and attitudes will soon result in the new name having the exact same connotation as the previous one.

    I believe the same can be said for the terminology used to describe people with disabilities. You will not change attitudes by changing the words used. Some will always refer to those with disabilities in a negative way and others will not. It is very difficult to change other peoples attitudes. It is much easier to change how we respond to them.

    By getting upset because someone uses a term you consider demeaning, you give that person power over you and your emotions. Take the power back by choosing your own emotions. Know that your importance or value is not determined by anyone elses opinion or a politically correct phrase. Your life will be much happier if you do.

  18. #18
    l ļ 0 ļ l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webnauts
    Based on her experience from usability studies, Carolyn Snyder describes seven Web site features, which typical non-technical users aren't familiar with. http://www-106.ibm.com/developerwork...zone=usability

    Do you have some other ideas which we can add to the above?
    That's an interesting article. I was somewhat suprised that the general internet public doesn't chop up URLs- I guess I've just been so used to doing it the past years.

    It was a nice refresher on the "real world". I guess we geeks need to be reminded of how the "other people" think every now and then.
    .
    Zach Holman
    good-tutorials ó blog ó twitter ó last.fm

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot Troylegra's Avatar
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    while I think this information to be relevant I also think one must keep in mind the demographic they are aiming for when they design...

    I would say the demographic which she used to research were 30+ and use computers a few times a week... is that the typical computer user?

    would anyone happen to have stats on these things?

    interesting topic...
    --

    T

  20. #20
    SitePoint Guru wild boar's Avatar
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    Do you think we'll have web codes in the future? Like building codes..

  21. #21
    SitePoint Evangelist mafunk's Avatar
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    Thanks for the artilce webanauts. That was very useful to me. It's so easy to get entrenched in the web dev worl and forget how others not in the industry experience sites.
    MaFunk

  22. #22
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troylegra
    I would say the demographic which she used to research were 30+ and use computers a few times a week... is that the typical computer user?

    would anyone happen to have stats on these things?
    I do. I have figures for Sweden, 2002. Now, sweden is a stronger nation IT-wise than the US, but I figure these figures aren't very different from the US population in the long run.

    71% of people 30-44 years old have access to Internet at home. The coresponding percentage for people 16-19 is 74%, the only age group which has higher access. The average use is about 21 minutes per day overall, with a spike for people aged 15-44. So, yeah, the demographic used in the research is pretty representative.

    Another fun fact is that people aged 75-84 is on huge (about 45%/year) steady rise and has been since 1998.
    Mattias Johansson
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  23. #23
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Oh, and EXCELLENT article by the way.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    I am partially sighted, I have about 10% or so of normal vision and the biggest problem I get is with websites that stop their text from being scaleable. I just cannot imagine why anyone would do this. A size 1 or 2 font may be OK for most people but why would you want the rest of us to not be able to enlarge it ??? Doesn't make sence to me so I just click off those sites. ( on this point... I have just 'discovered' the Mozilla browser which seems to override some of this.

    As far as political correctness is comcerned.... Am I blind ? partially sighted ? blind as a bat ? visually impared ? .... I really dont care what you call me so long as it isn't late on pay day.

    Graham
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  25. #25
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Hmmm...two posts by people stating they have a disability and both say they are not concerned about the terminology used to describe them.

    I have often wondered if the political correctness brigade is actually made up of people who just want to stir up conflicts by placing unnecessary rules in front of us rather than actually out of concern for the disabled, minorities, etc.

    Backlinker1, I sympathise with you regarding the unscalable fonts. I have perfect vision and even I have trouble with the text on some sites. How do you get on with filling out forms. The text size does not scale in them does it? Or is the default size large enough?


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