The Uptake of Web 2.0 Technologies, and its Impact on Visually Disabled Users

Our analysis shows that for the most popular 500 sites, JavaScript is used in 93%, Flash in 27% and about one-third (30%) use XMLHttpRequest, a technology used to generate dynamic updates. Uptake of XMLHttpRequest is approximately 2.3% per year across a random selection of 500 sites and is probably higher in the most popular sites. So, when examining dynamic updates from the perspective of visually disabled users, evidence suggests that, at best, most users can currently reach updated content, but they must do so manually, and are rarely given any automated indication that any update has occurred. With technologies enabling dynamic updating of content currently deployed in about 30% of the most popular sites, and increasing annually, action is urgently required if visually disabled users are to be able to use the Web.

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Is Accessibility Conformance an Elusive Property?

Well we undertook a study of validity and reliability of WCAG 2.0 and found that an 80% target for agreement is not attainable, when audits are conducted without communication between evaluators. Even with experienced evaluators the error rate is relatively high; and further, untrained accessibility auditors -be they developers or quality testers from other domains- do much worse than this. Read the full published text via ACM Author-izer Open Access on the publications page.

User Interaction Revived at WWW2012 – #www2012

For the last two / three years I’ve been increasingly vocal – and annoyed – at the lack of human factors and user interface work at WWW. I’m glad to say that in 2012 things seem to have changed – lets hope for continued change into 2013 and beyond.

Designing the Star User Interface [#UX]

The Star system (circa 1980, and as described in Byte) gave rise to five principles, which in my opinion, are so important and timeless that their formulation and practical application as part of the Xerox Star user interface was without doubt revolutionary.
It is my opinion that these five principles are so important and timeless that their formulation and practical application as part of the Xerox Star user interface was without doubt revolutionary.