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P: n/a
Hi - I have recently finished and launched a new website, which I am
trying to make accessible and standards compliant.

I have checked it with various online validators and it seems to come
through OK, but wondered if anyone was interested in checking it out.

http://www.aub-unison.org.uk/

Cheers,
Colin.
Jul 20 '05 #1
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13 Replies


P: n/a
se*****@hotmail.com (Colin Jones) wrote:
Hi - I have recently finished and launched a new website, which I am
trying to make accessible and standards compliant.

I have checked it with various online validators and it seems to come
through OK, but wondered if anyone was interested in checking it out.

http://www.aub-unison.org.uk/


Overall not bad, it adapts well to varied window sizes and font sizes
(except in IE, see below).

Having more than one level one heading on a page is unusual and
usually wrong. And since when was a copyright notice a level one
heading?

Wouldn't it make more sense to have an icon that reads 'RSS' to link
to the RSS feed? Rather than one that reads 'XML'?

All the pages link to themselves which is poor usability.

Every page has the same <title>, again this is poor usability as, for
example, automated site mapping software will produce a meaningless
result.

If you're going to link to PDFs without providing a more accessible
format as well then the very least you should do is provide a link to
where the user can download Acrobat Reader. Also always indicate when
you link to a PDF (or any other non-standard file type), e.g. the link
to the application form on the Join Us page.

Sizing the text in % rather than em would avoid the problem in IE
whereby the text sizing gets out of control when the user has chosen a
size other than Medium. (i.e. text sized at 100% is still legible when
the user has chosen Smallest but text sized at 1em, which should be
the same, is microscopic).

alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""

cheers,
Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
Colin Jones wrote:
Hi - I have recently finished and launched a new website, which I am
trying to make accessible and standards compliant.
After a quick look around, you seem to have succeeded.
wondered if anyone was interested in checking it out.
Happy to do it. You might want to think about asking for critiques in
alt.html.critique, dedicated to such peer reviews, next time. (If you
do it this time, it will be multiposting, and that might earn you some
flames.)

I'd have gone with html 4.01/strict (instead of transitional).
Consider using styles for a:hover (remove the underline, or change the
background color). I think this helps users. The "button" navigation
is really nice. In fact, overall, the visual look is very appealing.
Checked different font sizes, and nothing breaks.

The contact page is well done, I think. Adding an email address is a
nice addition. Gives visitors the choice. There's the whole avoid spam
thing, currently under discussion for the umteenth time in another
thread, so please go there for more.

The accesskey is also hotly debated. It was discussed here a few
months back. I think there a bad idea because they can interfere with
the browser keyboard shortcuts. Living on the other side of the pond,
I am not familiar with UK regs, but I seem to recall that there are
laws requiring them for some sites? Here's the start of the thread:

http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...ews.xtra.co.nz

There are others, too, if you search Google.
http://www.aub-unison.org.uk/


Unfortunate url. If would have been nice if the national organization
had assigned you a subdomain:

aub.unison.org.uk would be an obvious choice, and easier for people to
remember. And a different branch could use a similar structure. For
example, if there's a Leeds branch, leeds.unison.org.uk. For more info
on this, see

http://domains.dan.info/structure/subdomains.html

--
Brian (follow directions in my address to email me)
http://www.tsmchughs.com/

Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> wrote in message news:<f0********************************@4ax.com>. ..

Having more than one level one heading on a page is unusual and
usually wrong. And since when was a copyright notice a level one
heading?
Thanks - I have corrected this and changed the lower level headings to
the next one down, so there is only one h1 heading. Also corrected
the blip of the copyright notice too.

Wouldn't it make more sense to have an icon that reads 'RSS' to link
to the RSS feed? Rather than one that reads 'XML'?
As far as I can tell from reading about RSS etc., 'XML' is the (more)
accepted form, although there is, to a lesser degree, usage of RSS
icons as well.

All the pages link to themselves which is poor usability.

Sorry - I didn't really understand what you meant here.
Every page has the same <title>, again this is poor usability as, for
example, automated site mapping software will produce a meaningless
result.
Thanks again - I have fixed this one too.

If you're going to link to PDFs without providing a more accessible
format as well then the very least you should do is provide a link to
where the user can download Acrobat Reader. Also always indicate when
you link to a PDF (or any other non-standard file type), e.g. the link
to the application form on the Join Us page.
I had put a 'PDF' icon next to the links, and left the file extension
on - do you think there needs to be something more? I will put a link
to Adobe for the download too.
Sizing the text in % rather than em would avoid the problem in IE
whereby the text sizing gets out of control when the user has chosen a
size other than Medium. (i.e. text sized at 100% is still legible when
the user has chosen Smallest but text sized at 1em, which should be
the same, is microscopic).
Yes - I hadn't noticed that effect before - rather strange - I will
think about that one. :-)
alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""


Are empty alt tags allowed for disability access though - I thought
that a meaningful alt tag was required?

Many thanks for taking the time to review the site Steve - the
comments are very much appreciated.

Best regards,
Colin.
Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
se*****@hotmail.com (Colin Jones) wrote:
Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> wrote in message news:<f0********************************@4ax.com>. ..

All the pages link to themselves which is poor usability.
Sorry - I didn't really understand what you meant here.


On the News page there's a link to the News page. Likewise for all the
other pages.
This can be confusing for, to give one example, users whose browsers
present all the links on the page in an stand alone list. They may
think that there's a link to _another_ News page and then think that
the link is broken because they end up where they began.
If you're going to link to PDFs without providing a more accessible
format as well then the very least you should do is provide a link to
where the user can download Acrobat Reader. Also always indicate when
you link to a PDF (or any other non-standard file type), e.g. the link
to the application form on the Join Us page.


I had put a 'PDF' icon next to the links,


There's no icon next to the link I refer to above.
and left the file extension on
And for some users that (a) might not mean anything and (b) might not
be evident until they have already selected the link.
Sizing the text in % rather than em would avoid the problem in IE
whereby the text sizing gets out of control when the user has chosen a
size other than Medium. (i.e. text sized at 100% is still legible when
the user has chosen Smallest but text sized at 1em, which should be
the same, is microscopic).


Yes - I hadn't noticed that effect before - rather strange - I will
think about that one. :-)


It's a straightforward replacement throughout the stylesheet, e.g.
change 1.2em to 120%. Only change the font-size property, leave
padding, margins, etc. in ems.
alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""


Are empty alt tags allowed for disability access though


Positively encouraged.
- I thought that a meaningful alt tag was required?


That's the whole point, on images that are nothing more than eye candy
there is no 'meaning' and hence no meaningful alt text.

Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
Jul 20 '05 #5

P: n/a
Steve Pugh wrote:
se*****@hotmail.com (Colin Jones) wrote:
<snip />
alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""

cheers,
Steve


Err.... purely decorative images should be set as an element background
via CSS.

--
Vladdy
http://www.klproductions.com
Jul 20 '05 #6

P: n/a
Vladdy wrote:
Steve Pugh wrote:

alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""


Err.... purely decorative images should be set as an element background
via CSS.


.... ideally.

--
Stanimir
Jul 20 '05 #7

P: n/a
Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> wrote in message news:<85********************************@4ax.com>. ..
se*****@hotmail.com (Colin Jones) wrote:
Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> wrote in message news:<f0********************************@4ax.com>. ..

All the pages link to themselves which is poor usability.
Sorry - I didn't really understand what you meant here.


On the News page there's a link to the News page. Likewise for all the
other pages.
This can be confusing for, to give one example, users whose browsers
present all the links on the page in an stand alone list. They may
think that there's a link to _another_ News page and then think that
the link is broken because they end up where they began.


I see what you mean now - I will definitely have a look at this -
tried a quick fix just now but didn't work due to the way the buttons
are implemented, so will have to look at this more closely.
If you're going to link to PDFs without providing a more accessible
format as well then the very least you should do is provide a link to
where the user can download Acrobat Reader. Also always indicate when
you link to a PDF (or any other non-standard file type), e.g. the link
to the application form on the Join Us page.


I had put a 'PDF' icon next to the links,


There's no icon next to the link I refer to above.


Ah yes - was looking at the wrong page! Added PDF icon/text.
It's a straightforward replacement throughout the stylesheet, e.g.
change 1.2em to 120%. Only change the font-size property, leave
padding, margins, etc. in ems.


Have changed these as recommended as well now - definitely works
better in IE.
alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""


Are empty alt tags allowed for disability access though


Positively encouraged.
- I thought that a meaningful alt tag was required?


That's the whole point, on images that are nothing more than eye candy
there is no 'meaning' and hence no meaningful alt text.


I see - I will have a think about this one too - maybe do something
with putting them as CSS backgrounds as posted by Vladdy and Stanimir?

Thanks again for all your help.
Colin.
Jul 20 '05 #8

P: n/a
Brian <us*****@julietremblay.com.invalid-remove-this-part> wrote in message news:<%SxPb.115213$I06.799095@attbi_s01>...
Colin Jones wrote:
Hi - I have recently finished and launched a new website, which I am
trying to make accessible and standards compliant.
After a quick look around, you seem to have succeeded.
wondered if anyone was interested in checking it out.


Happy to do it. You might want to think about asking for critiques in
alt.html.critique, dedicated to such peer reviews, next time. (If you
do it this time, it will be multiposting, and that might earn you some
flames.)


Thanks for this - I had tried to find the most appropriate group, but
for some reason hadn't managed to find alt.html.critique! Will bear
that in mind for future.
I'd have gone with html 4.01/strict (instead of transitional).
Hmm - yes - I will have a go at converting the site to 'strict'.
Consider using styles for a:hover (remove the underline, or change the
background color). I think this helps users.
Will consider this.
The contact page is well done, I think. Adding an email address is a
nice addition. Gives visitors the choice. There's the whole avoid spam
thing, currently under discussion for the umteenth time in another
thread, so please go there for more.
Yeah - it was was basically the spam issue that prevented us from
putting up email addresses for contacts, but we should maybe have a
single email address as well - I will discuss this and see what other
people think.
The accesskey is also hotly debated. It was discussed here a few
months back. I think there a bad idea because they can interfere with
the browser keyboard shortcuts. Living on the other side of the pond,
I am not familiar with UK regs, but I seem to recall that there are
laws requiring them for some sites? Here's the start of the thread:
http://groups.google.com/groups?selm...ews.xtra.co.nz


Thanks - that's an interesting thread! I did try to select accesskeys
that would not interfere with menus - but I imagine this may be
different under different languages! I'm not sure what to do about
this as it is one of the Priority 3 checkpoints for compliance with
W3C Web Content Accessibility - so for the time being I think I will
leave them in - with some further investigation needed.
http://www.aub-unison.org.uk/


Unfortunate url. If would have been nice if the national organization
had assigned you a subdomain:

aub.unison.org.uk would be an obvious choice, and easier for people to
remember. And a different branch could use a similar structure. For
example, if there's a Leeds branch, leeds.unison.org.uk. For more info
on this, see

http://domains.dan.info/structure/subdomains.html


That would be nice, but I'm not sure how feasible it is in the short
term - large organisations are never the easiest to get such things
changed. At the moment all the branches operate independantly - if we
want to set up our own website it's up to us to create, manage and
sort out domain names/hosting etc.

Many thanks for taking the time to send your comments. Much
appreciated.

Colin.
Jul 20 '05 #9

P: n/a
Vladdy <vl**@klproductions.com> wrote:
Steve Pugh wrote:

alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""


Err.... purely decorative images should be set as an element background
via CSS.


There's a good argument for that being the case. In the case of, for
example, a decorative border that appears on many pages then it's a
very good argument.

However, when the image in question appears just once on the site and
has been chosen because it ties in with the specific content of a page
then the argument is weaker.

If there are multiple images used then finding elements already in the
page to apply them as backgrounds can be tricky. Adding extra elements
leads to div soup.

Likewise, if the text is to flow around the image then the image must
be the background of an appropriately sized floated element and
replacing <img src="foo" alt=""> with <div id="foo"></div> is really
no improvement at all.

Steve

--
"My theories appal you, my heresies outrage you,
I never answer letters and you don't like my tie." - The Doctor

Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> <http://steve.pugh.net/>
Jul 20 '05 #10

P: n/a
On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 11:14:12 +0000, Steve Pugh <st***@pugh.net> wrote:
Wouldn't it make more sense to have an icon that reads 'RSS' to link
to the RSS feed? Rather than one that reads 'XML'?


The icon should read "RSS" rather than "XML"

RSS is a versioning minefield. Accepted practice with v0.9* and v1.0
was that 1.0 (in RDF) used an "RSS" icon and 0.9 used an "XML" icon -
admittedly somewhat unclear, but it distinguished it from the RDF 1.0
feeds.

This one's a 1.0 feed. "RSS" or even "RDF" would be better.,

The feed is broken anyway. There appears to be an XHTML header
prefixed to it, and there are two XML PI's.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en-GB">
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1"?>
<?xml-stylesheet href="http://www.aub-unison.org.uk/rssfeed.css"
type="text/css"?>
If you reject the CF cookies, then the RSS feed just seems to fail
completely. As most aggregators are unlikely to support cookies, then
this isn't helpful.

On the subject of cookies, I hate the things. There is no reason why
you need to offer me persistent cookies on a simple homepage.
Shopping basket, yes - I can see the need, but not for this.

The cookies are also dated for 2037, which is ridiculously long (yes,
I know why it's that date). There is no need for them to have that
lifetime.
--
#1A1A1A is the new black
Jul 20 '05 #11

P: n/a
In message <5e**************************@posting.google.com >, Colin
Jones <se*****@hotmail.com> writes
Hi - I have recently finished and launched a new website, which I am
trying to make accessible and standards compliant.

I have checked it with various online validators and it seems to come
through OK, but wondered if anyone was interested in checking it out.

http://www.aub-unison.org.uk/

Cheers,
Colin.


Two obvious things have already been mentioned:

(a) There needs to be a better 'alternative text' assigned to some of
the images -- including ALT="" in some cases.

Example: On the 'Join Us' page, the placement of a graphic with the text
'Hand Writing' means that a screen-reader etc. will speak the following
sentence:

"..... Being a UNISON member gives you a huge range of benefits,
including: [Hand Writing.] ..............."

-- which doesn't make too much sense ;-)

(2) Menu items where the entry for the current page is left active.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
You might also want to consider the following points:

(i) By splitting the words in the menu in order to underline the second
character, a typical screen-reader will speak each fragment separately,
so that -- for example -- 'home' is pronounced:
aitch-oh-may
I'd suggest you don't do this. If you want to do this for stylistic
reasons, use graphics with suitable alternative text, or an image map
with suitable alternative text.

(ii) A typical speech reader will not (in most cases) realise that
successive lines of text without any punctuation are not to be run
together. You should review the list on 'Join Us' and the address on
'Contacts' (and elsewhere) and insert suitable punctuation.

Suggestion: read the text aloud, only pausing where you can see
punctuation.

regards.
--
Jake
Jul 20 '05 #12

P: n/a
On Wed, 21 Jan 2004 23:03:33 GMT, Vladdy <vl**@klproductions.com> wrote:
Steve Pugh wrote:
se*****@hotmail.com (Colin Jones) wrote:
<snip />
alt="Hand Writing" and alt="meerkats.jpg" are poor. Purely decorative
images should have alt=""
Err.... purely decorative images should be set as an element background
via CSS.


Why? Certainly content images should always be foreground images. But
decorative images may be done as foreground or background according to
what is most natural in a given situation. If a decorative image is
intended to take up its own space, i.e. not be overlaid by anything nor
adjust to the size of something else (tiling or stretching), then it
seems most natural to make it a foreground image with ALT="".

--
Stephen Poley

http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/
Jul 20 '05 #13

P: n/a
jake <ja**@gododdin.demon.co.uk> wrote in message news:<uD**************@gododdin.demon.co.uk>...

(i) By splitting the words in the menu in order to underline the second
character, a typical screen-reader will speak each fragment separately,
so that -- for example -- 'home' is pronounced:
aitch-oh-may
I'd suggest you don't do this. If you want to do this for stylistic
reasons, use graphics with suitable alternative text, or an image map
with suitable alternative text.
Thanks Jake - this is not something I had appreciated - I will have a
think about this too.

(ii) A typical speech reader will not (in most cases) realise that
successive lines of text without any punctuation are not to be run
together. You should review the list on 'Join Us' and the address on
'Contacts' (and elsewhere) and insert suitable punctuation.

Suggestion: read the text aloud, only pausing where you can see
punctuation.


Will do this as well.

Cheers,
Colin.
Jul 20 '05 #14

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