Re: [WSG] Certified Usable

2006-03-20 Thread Absalom Media
Craig Errey wrote:
 Certified Usable is backed by our Professional Indemnity insurance and as 
 such is a specifically name service on our policy.  For an industry that is 
 generally risk averse, they have audited what and how we're doing it and are 
 comfortable to include it, with no effect on our premium.

So is it a way for the corporate bean counters to feel secure with the
product, in that light ?

 Regarding the statement that essentially goes: '90% success, within x minutes 
 +/- 10%', we must use ranges like this because we cannot guarantee 100% 
 usability.  Because we use strong statistical methods in the process, we must 
 use confidence intervals and make our statements framed with such statistical 
 rigour and various caveats.  This is what gives our insurer confidence that 
 we are not doing things that cannot be done, and that would expose them to 
 risk.
 The process is being run by Psychologists (Registered in NSW) who have an 
 extensive understanding of testing design, rigour and statistical analysis to 
 ensure the process is run correctly and defensibly.  In fact, the ethics that 
 psychologists must abide by regarding testing procedures means that we are 
 fully accountable for what we do by the NSW State Government (specifically 
 Department of Health).  There is no pseudo-science here, and no illusion of 
 competency.  These staff have at least a Masters degree in Psychology and 5 - 
 10 years experience in usability.

Usability ? As in human cognitive development or HCI or both ?

Which ?

 Regarding what we're defining as usable, it is entirely task driven.  It is 
 strictly not designed for simple sites or marketing sites, but can be used 
 for them. Rather it is geared at complex transaction sites and rich 
 applications like internet banking, online travel booking, ERP and CRM 
 systems.  In these sites, success rates and time taken (the two primary 
 measures) are easily measured.

So if the task is quick and achieves a success, even if the work flow
doesn't make intuitive sense, it's Certified Usable ?

(This is related to the perils of some CMS solutions I've had the
pleasure of working with. What may be usable to a software engineer may
not be usable elsewhere. Go read Jeffrey Veen at length on this..)

 Regarding setting the standard and testing for it, because the process is 
 task driven, and relies on user testing, the evidence for task success or 
 failure, or time taken is observable and can be independently verified.  It's 
 a bit like Standards Australia providing consulting on ISO 9000 and then 
 auditing you for compliance.  Although they did not necessarily set the 
 original standard, there is independent proof of whether a company complies 
 or not and it is not their opinion, even though they may have set up the ISO 
 process in the organisation.  Pass or fail is independently verifiable and 
 another testing group would come to the same conclusion.

Task driven solutions sometimes do not make intuitive sense, no matter
how fast they are. Which gets into the whole field of self-fulfilling
prophecy in that the product works efficiently because it does.

 In the case of Certified Usable, we set a tough benchmark, usually at a 
 minimum 90% success.  We do not use an easy target, such as 50% success rate. 
  There would be no point as real world performance would not match the claim 
 of Certified Usable.

Yet from what it looks like at first glance, CU is simply a way for the
corporate bean counters to feel secure about a product so that
they/you have a potential inside run against the multitude of CMS
solutions out there.

 There is no conflict of interest because the measurement of achieving the set 
 standard is transparent.  It is not our opinion because it is based on 
 observable behaviour - someone's success is usually binary, and the time take 
 is finite.  As psychologists, we are good at observing and documenting 
 behaviour and doing it in a way that is accurate and repeatable.

So where's the associated peer reviewed psychological studies of such
things ?

Transparency should mean that others who likewise have studied human
cognitive behaviour within the workplace can test whether your tools
actually do the job. (And yes, I'd be one of them : that is my only
caveat within this discussion, acknowledging the potential for conflict
of interest)

What may be usable to a deaf user may not be usable to a blind user or
vice versa, to paraphrase of the team leaders I've been working with in
terms of accessible CMS solutions in the last few years.

lawrence

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[WSG] WSG Resources broken

2006-03-20 Thread Absalom Media
Russ,

I was getting continued CFML errors when trying to access the Resources
subpages of the WSG today (main Resources page fine, any subpage spat
errors). Any gremlins in the system you haven't exorcised yet ?

Thanks

Lawrence
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Re: [WSG] Converting the heathen: never again

2006-02-27 Thread Absalom Media
Ben Buchanan wrote:
 Hi,
 
 I hereby publicly declare that my days of complaining to website
 authors that I cannot view their site at 800x600, and then opening my
 big mouth about other dubious issues I notice on their site, are now
 over.
 [snip]
 
 I'm astonished at the tone - although not especially surprised by the
 content - of their reply. Even if they thought you were being the
 biggest pain in history, they should remain polite when replying.

I've seen and hear similar tones within the CMS meatspace (and usually
been on the end of very offensive messages from the relevant powers that
be when I raise standards and accessibility). It seems pervasive of
corporate culture in this respect.

Why is it the suits and marketroids think they understand how the web
works when they're in marketing and business management ? ISPs remain no
different than any other web enabled bells-and-whistles deployments.

Quality matters, doesn't it? ;)

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] Converting the heathen: never again

2006-02-27 Thread Absalom Media
Lachlan Hunt wrote:
 What kind of person would rather insult the customer instead of
 admitting they have a problem?

A bank ?

I managed to get the standard filler text for a bank's customer
service department in pointing out some issues on Firefox 1.5. The
problem still isn't fixed either..

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] Target sued over non-accessible site

2006-02-09 Thread Absalom Media
matt andrews wrote:
 On 10/02/06, Lachlan Hunt [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 
Angus at InfoForce Services wrote:

Most people have JAVAScript turned off,

According to what statistics?  I think you'll find most people actually
have it turned on.
 
 
 Indeed.  I can report from some recent testing on the sites I work on
 (which have hundreds of thousands of members, and thousands of
 simultaneous users), that less than 0.1% of users had Javascript
 turned off.  They're dating sites, so they're probably skewed more
 towards the home/casual user than the office user, but still...  I was
 surprised it was so stark.

Amount of Javascript disabled based on various client profiles I've got:

My site: Less than 0.1%
Commercial music site: Less than 0.5%
Commercial / education health care site: Less than 0.7%

References available on request.

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] what cms system

2006-01-26 Thread Absalom Media
Alexorbit wrote:

 hey buddy,  joomla its the first CMS to apply a valid xhtml+css  plus
 Ajax admin functions... try do get it.
 
 http://joomla.org
 
 here you can find a lot of cms  www.opensourcecms.com
 http://www.opensourcecms.com

This is a pretty old thread. Can the admins please shift it to the
WSG-CMS list as it seems to have resurrected itself ?

The WSG-CMS list is a much better place to discuss web standards CMS
architecture than using the main WSG list.

Thanks

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] Screen-Print-Wireless

2006-01-26 Thread Absalom Media
Miika Mäkinen wrote:

 I remember seeing one test on the @media handheld  support and found it:
 
 http://htmldog.com/ptg/archives/55.php
 and a conclusion at http://www.htmldog.com/ptg/archives/56.php
 
 I guess the main issue still is that sizable chunk of mobile browser
 share (Pocket IE) also apply styles that are supposed to be specific to
 the screen media type..
 
 I need to do some stuff for mobile later this year as well, and so far
 I'm planning to send mobiles different pages than desktop browsers. Also
 it's not that easy to make content that works on sooo different
 resolutions AND you should remember that the connection speed of a
 mobile is usually slow e.g. sending lot of content that is hidden using
 stylesheets seems like a waste.
 
 I think that it depends on the type of content you have... articles and
 blogs etc. could probably be sent the same to all browsers, while more
 of an application still will need different versions.

Would resolution dependent CSS switching also work within this model ?
http://www.themaninblue.com/writing/perspective/2006/01/19/

The concept I'm working on using this tech is as follows:
1) For Pocket IE and other PDAs, run a basic 200 pixel wide design under
screen media type, then step up to 640 by 480, 800 by 600 and so on
for normal (IE/Fox/Opera/Safari) browser rendering
2) run a cut down version of the 200 pixel screen model for the
handheld media type.
3) Run a boilerplate print version aimed at correctly printing
everything in order at A4 or Letter.

Would this method also work ? Sure, it looks like a lot of work and
possible duplication, but then you could also extend to the tv and
tty media types inside this model..

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] Dean Edwards IE7... just PNG support?

2005-12-27 Thread Absalom Media
Joshua Street wrote:
 Hi all,
 
 Just wondering if anyone's had any luck with using JUST the PNG
 component of Dean Edwards' IE7 JavaScript? The full thing seems like
 overkill, because that's the only feature I really need.
 Alternatively, how does one go about getting alpha support for CSS
 background images? Not having a great deal of luck with this...
 
 Regards,
 Josh

Josh,

According to the specs for DE-IE7, you can specify a specific module:

!-- compliance patch for microsoft browsers --
!--[if lt IE 7]
script src=/ie7/ie7-core.js type=text/javascript/script
script src=/ie7/ie7-graphics.js type=text/javascript/script
![endif]--

http://dean.edwards.name/IE7/usage/configure.html

Pick and mix as you want. The graphics JS file should just be the PNG fix.

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] CSS Driven?

2005-12-12 Thread Absalom Media
russ - maxdesign wrote:

What is the definition of a CSS driven design ?
 
 You could say that a css-driven site is one that has all or the majority of
 presentation removed from the markup and placed in CSS files.

So where's the dividing line between table based design and CSS driven ?

My searching thus far has turned up Meyer, comments about the Zen
Garden, and a few other proponents across the Net implying or stating
that CSS driven means pretty much all CSS based, not just some.. and I'd
like to know why they are right.

Anyone?

 Having said this, I googled the word driven for a definition and found that
 it also meant mobs goaded by blind hatred
 
 I don't know about anyone else but I often use angry mobs to control my web
 pages - though it is hard to get them to exhibit blind hate.

Love the definition, Russ ;)

 :)
 Russ

Lawrence

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[WSG] CSS Driven?

2005-12-11 Thread Absalom Media
I've seen a lot of diverse opinion on this thus far in my Googlebombing,
so I may as well ask it here..

What is the definition of a CSS driven design ?

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] standards or confusion?

2005-12-05 Thread Absalom Media
Christian Montoya wrote:
 Tables + tag soup = hacking. Your friend really needs to get with it.
 Validation is not the main issue, it's accessibility. Speed is
 important too. If you can convince him to use CSS (if you can't, you
 have a lot to learn too, or he is dumb) then he will want to get
 browsers out of quirks mode, since that is where the real differences
 show. Then he will have to have a doctype, to make sure that browsers
 (mostly) follow the rules.

I've had the unfortunately task of educating vendors (usually some form
of CMS/DMS) in this area, and some are definitely more resistant to this
than others.

Mentioning the speed gains and legal backing now behind accessibility
law only seems to get some vendors ingrained into a defence of their own
workflow models, though.

Apart from that, I second everything Christian said ;)

Lawrence

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[WSG] Validate a PNG?

2005-11-09 Thread Absalom Media
I'm involved in a template competition at the moment and the
requirements state XHTML and CSS compliance as a specific requirement
for submission to the contest.

The twist is that the designs must be submitted as PNG or JPG, and as
far as I know, there isn't a mechanical validation system that validates
a Photoshopped layout to web standards compliance.

Could this be a misunderstanding on the part of the competition hosters
as to the difference between layercake designing and rapid CSS prototyping ?

Thought, comments, flames all welcome ;)

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] Validate a PNG?

2005-11-09 Thread Absalom Media
Nick Gleitzman wrote:

 
 On 9 Nov 2005, at 7:02 PM, Absalom Media wrote:
 
 ...and the
 requirements state XHTML and CSS compliance as a specific requirement
 for submission to the contest.

 The twist is that the designs must be submitted as PNG or JPG...
 
 
 Huh? Sounds to me like the organisers just don't know what they're
 talking about. 

That's why I asked them to clarify. It took a while to get any
meaningful answer.

 Unless their intention is to vet designs as images, and
 only look at the code of shortlisted entries - ?

No, unfortunately it's not this.

It looks like the organisers are still thinking of design in terms of
the layercake workflow, which seems to go against current trends for
rapid CSS prototyping of design work.

I can submit an image. The workflow for the design mustn't be rapid CSS
prototyping as the workflow I use is somehow considered a rules
violation, even though it ends up with a design prototype as requested.

 Weird.

It only gets weirder the more I look at it. ;)

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] flash and accessabilty

2005-04-09 Thread Absalom Media
Please, scott, I'm being spammed to death with your post in this thread
endlessly repeating in the WSG list.

Can you hold off the barbarian hordes for a while ?

Thanks

Lawrence Meckan
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Re: [WSG] flash and accessabilty

2005-04-09 Thread Absalom Media
Ryan wrote:
 I don't think it's him, because I only sent one copy of my previous message
 and I just received two copies with the rest of the stuff from the list, it
 may be a technical diffidulty with the list.

I'm still only recieving one copy of everyone else's post on the list
apart from scott.

Thanks

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] flash and accessabilty

2005-04-09 Thread Absalom Media
Please, scott, I'm being spammed to death with your post in this thread
endlessly repeating in the WSG list.

Can you hold off the barbarian hordes for a while ?

Thanks

Lawrence Meckan
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Re: [WSG] flash and accessabilty

2005-04-09 Thread Absalom Media
Please, scott, I'm being spammed to death with your post in this thread
endlessly repeating in the WSG list.

Can you hold off the barbarian hordes for a while ?

Thanks

Lawrence Meckan
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Re: [WSG] flash and accessabilty

2005-04-09 Thread Absalom Media
Ryan wrote:
 I don't think it's him, because I only sent one copy of my previous message
 and I just received two copies with the rest of the stuff from the list, it
 may be a technical diffidulty with the list.

I'm still only recieving one copy of everyone else's post on the list
apart from scott.

Thanks

Lawrence

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Re: [WSG] Proper way to embed fonts?

2005-02-11 Thread Absalom Media
Alan Trick wrote:
 Hi,
 I'm working on redesigning a company website to make it more accessable
 and I've done a pretty decent job with makeing everything scale with the
 font sizes, but I have one big problem.  Our company is developing a
 particular font that we want to use for our company name, a font that
 will be used on all our products.  So, either I put the text in an image
 (which is making me cringe already), or I find some way to enable our
 visitors to download the fonts automatically.  I did a little searching
 around and I found that there is a way to do that for certain versions
 of IE, but I was wondering if there was a way that works that I could do
 this that would work on all browsers, or at least NN4, IE=5, FF, Moz,
 Safari,  Opera.  Has the W3C created and standards to allow this to work?

Alan,

Here are my suggestions for cross-browser font embedding:

sIFR
http://www.mikeindustries.com/blog/archive/2004/12/sifr-2.0-release-candidate-3

or:

sIIR
http://axisfive.net/aboutsiir/

I experimented with the MS WEFT tool on some design layouts before
finding I can deliver standards compliant font embedding with sIFR. sIIR
may be better suited for your company font as sIFR depreciates back to
CSS font calls when either Javascript or Flash isn't enabled.

Lawrence Meckan

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Re: [WSG] XHTML complient in-browser Rich Text Editor.

2005-01-06 Thread Absalom Media
Matt wrote:
 Hi Everyone,
 
 I am looking for a lean browser based text editor which creates valid
 XHTML output.
 
 Basically I would use a normal text area, but the site I am developing
 requires the ability to add hyper links, paragraphs, and change the
 text style.
 
 I want something that will automatically run (i.e. I want to avoid
 having the user manually install something)...
 
 I have looked at xstandard (http://www.xstandard.com) and I'm pretty
 impressed, but I found it to be really slow to load as it might be a
 bit too rich on functionality for my needs...

TinyMCE is what I use and recommend:
http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/

It usually outputs valid code.

Lawrence Meckan

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