Accessibility is My Passion

Discussion in 'Headline News' started by Antoine Wright, May 11, 2006.

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  1. Antoine Wright

    Antoine Wright Neighborhood Mobilist Super Moderator

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    Imagine going online and being unable to view a web site because the Flash animation cannot be skipped, there are tons of pop-up ads, and to top it all off, there is only one paragraph of content on the page and you have to scroll all the way down to find it. In general, I am the kind of designer and developer who see web pages like that and then wants to go in and fix them.

    This passion for making sure that content and presentation extends to me and PDAs too. Even though I like my Treo 650, the buttons are not distinguishable from each other so it is hard to type without looking at the keyboard. I do like that the screen is easy to dim, or outright turn off, but I do not like that the colors all have a blue tint. If there was a way that I could adjust to color of the screen, like a good ol' CRT monitor or cathode tube TV, that would be great, too.

    What am I getting at is the subject of accessibility within the world of mobility and the Internet. For me, it is not enough that I have a PDA; I have to have one that gives as few compromises to a full laptop or desktop as possible.

    Probably even more so than the OS, I think it's the applications within the device that extend its functionality.

    Like Blazer, the web browser; it has an excellent ability to "optimize" a page so that it's easier to view; however, trying to navigate that optimized page (no zoom, quick pan, or skip to navigation/content features) really hinders the speed that it can move.

    It's not alone; I wonder why speech recognition is not built into Windows Mobile. Sure, there is Voice Command, but you are asking one program to assume that another is coded to be accessible by voice. Unfortunately, that is not something enforced within WM developer standards, and therefore developers do not always make it happen.

    I know, I am shouting at the top of my lungs during a quiet argument. Still, I'm determined that the Web and mobile technology should be usable by those who would benefit most from having open access to the world's opportunities: people in developing countries. A smartphone is much cheaper than a PC.

    It is a shame that more online products and services do not share my passion for accessibility. Maybe if they did, our world, connected and developing countries alike, would benefit.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 20, 2015
  2. Scott R

    Scott R Mobile Deity

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    The front page summary and the content of this article don't match up. I was expecting a rant about how we need more mobile-friendly versions of web sites, because requiring a proxy server or mobile device to reformat it produces poor results. To which I was going to reply, "I agree. How about starting with Brighthand.com?"
     
  3. Ed Hardy

    Ed Hardy TabletPCReview Editor Staff Member

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    Step 1: Got to the Brighthand home page and click on the orange "Mobile" link near the top of the page.
    Step 2: Bookmark the resulting mobile-friendly page on your handheld or smartphone.
    Easy enough?
     
  4. Magellan

    Magellan Moderator of Ill repute Super Moderator

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    How difficult (in general) is it for a website admin to make a PDA friendly version of their site as well as the full blown Desktop version (like Brighthand)?
     
  5. Brian

    Brian Mobile Deity

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    Depends on the site. We offer a mobile version of our most recent content which is easy, but aplications or other specialized software is much more difficult.
     
  6. Antoine Wright

    Antoine Wright Neighborhood Mobilist Super Moderator

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    In general, it can be a bear if the site was not designed in mind with being used on mobile devices. Granted, the more content tha any page has on its front page, the less likely one will want to scroll to get to it. That's when some (simple) accessiblity practices come into play.

    If a site is built from the ground up to be mobile accessible, taking it from a desktop view to a mobile view is not much more than a script that switches to the correct view. This can be done via javascript, css, or a combination of both for best results. Other ways of doing this is actually having your site create on the fly a mobile version with specific features left out (what brighthand.com/mobile/default.aspx does. While this is good also, one can also miss on some devices if the page is too rich with info.

    'nother note:
    I have two main accessiblity gripes, content and devices. In both cases getting things usable by all seems to be an afterthought more than a pre-thought. Tis a shame IMO, the web and its technologies could do a lot more if thought from that way.
     
  7. Scott R

    Scott R Mobile Deity

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    Thanks for the correction, Ed. I could be missing it, but I'll be darned if that "Mobile" link shows up when accessing the regular home page with Xiino. Anyways, nice start there. Now you just need to add a mobile-friendly version of the forums (a more difficult task).
     
  8. Antoine Wright

    Antoine Wright Neighborhood Mobilist Super Moderator

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  9. Scott R

    Scott R Mobile Deity

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    Ah...good stuff. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Any way for you guys to easily link your mobile-friendly home page to the mobile-friendly view of your forums?
     
  10. djr

    djr Dutch Palm User Group

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    I'm an avid user of RSS feeds on my Treo 650 (with Quick News), but I just don't understand why I always need to open the full page instead of a mobile-friendly page when I want to read the full article instead of the excerpt (which is also the case with the Brighthand RSS feed). If webmasters would offer two rss feeds (one for mobile browsers, one for desktop rss readers) or implement better browser sniffing (or use proper css stylesheets) then mobile browsing would take off much quicker than now.
     
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