the web for the blind, or the clueless

I spent some time today with three novice computer users. Two were fairly bright people who were challenged but ultimately victorious in their struggles with the mouse and with Windows. One had a lot of trouble scanning a web page to look for whatever the “action item” was that she had to click on. So, finding the “send” button on her email, finding the “attach file” button after browsing for a file, or finding the “log off” button were very frustrating and took minutes for her each time.

This corroborates what we know about novice users, or users with cognitive impairments: they read every word on a web page and have a hard time getting the hang of cues that are communicated with colors or other subtle indicators. For them, web-based email like Yahoo [with its enormous ads and complicated interface] is more of a punishment than a pleasure. No wonder people still use AOL. This is just really a roundabout way of passing on a few links about accessibility: