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This Was The Most Popular Content on Cone Trees in 2009

Out of the near 50 posts that were made at Cone Trees in 2009, here is a compilation of what was most popular with you, dear readers. You will also find my list of suggested readings for each section (except for the articles section, where there were only three posts I made in the year).

Top 3 Articles

Most popular

  1. Tips for effective DIY Participant Recruitment for Usability Testing
  2. Increase Conversions in Long Web Forms by Resolving the Accidental Back Button Activation Issue
  3. Guidelines for conducting Effective and Efficient Meetings

Top 3 Blog Posts

Most popular

  1. jQuery Masked Input Plugin- Increase usability, input masks for text fields
  2. A Review of the Balsamiq Mockups wireframing application
  3. Usability spotter #5- HP laptop touch pads with scroll zones- absence of tactile cue

Suggested reading

  1. Usability Spotter #6- The Twitter login page password revelation issue
  2. Web Accessibility- our responsibility as Web Industry Professionals
  3. Usability Spotter #4: A Usability issue- Google Chrome Tab selection through the mouse

Top 3 Downloads

Most popular

  1. Download Axure ‘Clear input field value on focus’ prototype/ widget library
  2. Download Axure Touch Screen Hand Gestures Stencils
  3. 15 Tips for Effective Usability Testing in India

Suggested Downloads

  1. SEO through Accessibility- How designing accessible websites leads to automatic SEO
  2. A free Minutes of Meeting (MOM) template
  3. Cone Trees Wallpaper #2- Regenerate

Top 3 ‘News & Resources’

Most popular

  1. Pranav Mistry’s “Sixth Sense”, game-changing wearable technology- a talk by Patties Maes
  2. Web Accessibility- our responsibility as Web Industry Professionals
  3. Dan Roam on “The Way of the Whiteboard: Persuading with Pictures”

Suggested Viewing

  1. Don Norman on the three ways that good design makes you happy
  2. Kim Goodwin on designing a Unified User Experience- integrating Interaction, Visual & Industrial design
  3. Barry Schwartz talks about “The Paradox of Choice- Why Less is More”

Web Accessibility- our responsibility as Web Industry Professionals

This post is also published at NCDAE, Access Tech News and the The Blind Access Tech Channel.

This is a straight forward message to those working in the web industry to understand that accessibility is our responsibility, and not something that should conveniently be ignored.

Read More »

Flash now accessible to screenreaders in Firefox

With the new version of the Flash Player (Flash Player 9, update 3) released on December 3, 2007, besides support for high-definition video, what’s even more interesting from an accessibility perspective (besides caption support) is the inclusion of MSAA support for Firefox.

Flash movies will finally be accessible to JAWS screen reader users in Firefox. Even though screen reader users will now be able to access Flash content in Firefox, I doubt this will mark a shift of a portion of screen reader users to Firefox since it isn’t as usable with a screen reader as IE is as yet.

Download the latest Flash player

Other slightly unrelated but interesting links :

Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts for JAWS & Firefox/ JAWSAssist hotkey command list (pretty old)

Mozilla’s implementation of MSAA

Google search for the visually impaired

Google search for the visually impaired by Google Labs.

A Universal Accessible Web

The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.

Tim Berners Lee, W3C Director & Inventor, The World Wide Web

Dreamweaver Image Description Alt text input

With Dreamweaver 8, every time you paste an image into the design view, the Image Description window comes up so prompting you to specify alt text. I don’t think this was default behavior in MX where you had to enable this window through accessibility options. I think this is really swell and a good way of reminding the user to fill in alt text.

Notice this thing that seems like a bug where if you don’t enter anything as alt text in the Image Description window and click ‘OK’, the window won’t go? You’ll have to click it again for the window to disappear. While it could be a bug, it could also be there to try harder to get users to enter alt text instead of having them simply hit ‘OK’ quickly to get rid of the window.

Of course, you can click it twice and get rid of it. Doing this still does create alt text however. Empty alt text. When do you specify empty alt text? When the embedded image is for purely decorative purposes or for some reason, you’re still using spacer images. If so be the case, you must specify alt text for each one as alt="". This way, the screen reader will skip over the spacer images without an irritatingly long pause or reading the image file names of all the spacer images and those using screen readers will have a better experience browsing your web page.

A List of Accessible 508 Compliant Content Management Systems / CMS

I’m always on the lookout for accessible open source CMS’s. Here’s a list of some which are 508 compliant.

TYPO3– 508 compliant by using an extension(s) I think? But one big issue before you use it. I almost decided to use it once for a client website whose target audience included mostly novice computer users but then it had this problem with generating simple url’s because of which I backed out.

PostNuke– Any comments on this?

Are there any more CMS’s you know that output accessible code? If so, drop a comment and let me know. I would like to build up this list.

UPDATE: 18 July 2006
Plone– As said on the website, Plone is 508 compliant, works with all browsers, and is in conformance with W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, level Double-A. Plone is also XHTML and CSS compliant.

Accesskeys: Hardly any characters left to use

Geoff did a really nice job of listing out browser specific shortcuts keys that one should take into consideration when assigning accesskeys to elements.

Reserved Keys in IE 5.5/6

  • F – File
  • E – Edit
  • V – View
  • A – Favorites
  • T – Tools
  • D – Address
  • H – Help

Reserved Keys in NS 7

  • F – File
  • E – Edit
  • V – View
  • G – Go
  • B – Bookmarks
  • T – Tools
  • H – Help
  • W – Window

Reserved Keys in Opera 7

  • F – File
  • E – Edit
  • V – View
  • N – Navigate
  • B – Bookmark
  • M – Mail
  • W – Window
  • H – Help

Thus the remaining available accesskey values are (at most):
`, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, -, =, [, ], /, C, I, J, K, L, O, P, Q, R, S, U, X, Y, Z

W3C India

I didn’t know they had an office here in India.. and right where i stay… Noida.

The one thing I like in Noida is Elevate. Now theres the W3C.

Firefox World’s First Browser to Support DHTML Accessibility and Meet US Fedral Government Requirements

Firefox 1.5 delivers easier navigation for everyone, including those who are visually or motor-impaired. Firefox is the first browser to support DHTML accessibility, which, when enabled by Web authors, allows rich Web applications to be read aloud. Users may navigate with keystrokes rather than mouse clicks, reducing the tabbing required to navigate documents such as spreadsheets. Firefox 1.5 (Windows version) is also the first browser to meet US federal government requirements that software be easily accessible to users with physical impairments.

Nice. I read this as a part of Firefox 1.5‘s features while downloading the updated version.