Text Customization for Readability Online Symposium 19 Nov 2012
Chat Log

Related information:

<suzette_keith> hi all from suzette

<Michael> Hi all!

<Peter_Krautzberger> Hi everybody.

<ea> Good afternoon from across the pond - I am just joining via the chat and captions as cannot seem to get VOIP etc working in time!

<Michael> Hi Kerstin!

<WhitneyQ> I'm on

<kerstin_probiesch> Hi Michael, hi all!

<olafdruemmer> contrast ratio on monitors has changed (increased) drastically over the last ten years - has this been taken into account?

<olafdruemmer> font smoothing can be disabled in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat...

<clayton_lewis> clarification question for anthony: are these issues connected with text magnification, or viewing of text at default size as well?

<ea> So if I am understanding this could be a visual stress issue that affects many more people that we thought? where there is a fuzzy outline around the letters?

<olafdruemmer> a user has full control over font smoothing in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader (for quite a few years now...) - I just checked Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat Pro XI

<olafdruemmer> effective resolution on mobile screens is much higher than on desktop screens so it's a different story (besides CPU / GPU load); sub-pixel rendering / font smoothing does help some users if the number of pixels available per character is relatively small

<suzette_keith> With Shawn's style sheet customisation - interesting to know how much size, font, line length line spacing etc are inter-relatated?

<Jim_Tobias> has anyone gathered usage information from apps like Readability, to understand how many people use them, what the favorite setups are, etc.?

<ea> Shawn we found exactly what you discovered with our LexDis students - hence the first plugins on the ATbar were all to do with font changing, styles and line spacing but website developers and making it harder and harder for us to change text size alone etc

<ea> we have added Readability to our ATbar and have started to gather stats as best we can for the usage of the bar but hard with plugins.

<Peter_KRautzberger> I'd like to second Jim's question. People from Readability, pocket, instapaper could be great allies in this respect (e.g. Instapaper recently introduced a dyslexia-oriented font).

<ea> Apologies joined in haste hence nickname should be E.A. Draffan!! :>))

<suzette_keith> I used readability to read the symposium papers in comfort!

<WhitneyQ> Readability is wonderful. And a similar features is built into Safari

<Christos_Kourou> Luz, I see that you are gathering information about users' performance based on eye-tracking. Are there any other ways to measure performance on agent level without special equipment? Something that could collect such information from almost anyone's common computer?

<olafdruemmer> but do users know what's best for them?

<ea> Good point - how do novices have an assessment to discover what is best for them unless they have a disability needs assessment such as we have for our grant system for Higher Ed students.

<Christos_Kourou> Olaf, you've read between the lines there... if we can collect performance information from a simple browser... then the program could figure out the best for them.

<ea> Ok so this is GPII sort of evaluation

<clayton_lewis> another need that emerges here is making it as easy as possible to change presentation mode (eg style sheet)

<ea> I think with CSS you could do the automated bits David as you suggest but then getting them to work with all websites is where it breaks down sadly as we have discovered with our style sheets changing plug in

<Jim_Tobias> eye tracking may not require special equipment for long, given that smartphones and tablets have user-facing cameras. in fact, apple has a patent for a technique that measures how close the user is to the screen and re-formats the content accordingly. http://appleinsider.com/articles/12/11/15/apple-invention-may-one-day-replace-pinch-to-zoom

<ea> Yes that is interesting the idea of adjusting small areas of a website rather than all the content

<suzette_keith> interesting - I see older people leaning forward and then introduce them to contl+

<ea> Me too!!

<suzette_keith> Need to know learning - works well!

<suzette_keith> Agreed that style sheet is too tricky for most people and is also too comprehensive. You might just want to change a particular page or a paragraph

<ea> Quite agree Shawn but users sadly have to know that things only seem to work in certain places so you need something like Google Chrome and texthelp toolbar to achieve what can be done elsewhere with a simple plugin to any browser...

<ea> I meant with the Google Docs that seems to have a life of its own!!

<shawn> additional comments: http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-wai-rd-comments/2012Nov/thread.html

<Wayne_> There is a consistent theme across this dialog. People with low vision and dyslexia use ad-hoc assistive technology, and this technology is dependent on the whim of the vendor to support it.

[vasile_topac comment for audio]

<clayton_lewis> does anyone know of efforts to use recognition/machine vision technology to guess logical structure from layout?

<olafdruemmer> Isn't "mobile" forcing 'readability' into the electronic content industry - by making 'responsive web design' an indispensable option?

<olafdruemmer> once the same content works on desktop and mobile, it will also be pretty amenable to (text) customization

<Ant_Lee> Mobile certainly seems to be my best friend. Eg zoomed text quite often reflows at a double tap on a Nexus tablet and there is no sub-pixel rendering.

<olafdruemmer> WCAG3 wish list item: web pages must be highly 'responsive' to screen/form factor + must allow for/enable USS + user agents must make it easy to load/exchange/choose a USS

<Wayne_> Here, here -- Olaf

<WhitneyQ> Agree - take advantage of trends towards responsive design for mobile

<Wayne_> Mobile technology does create a self induced reading disability

<vasile_topac> since the transcoding tool developed by Vicki and John was mentioned, I would like to ask you check the tool I'm working on, for text customization, and provide any feedback you might have; the tool is available at: www.text4all.net/customizer.html

<WhitneyQ> I used to see highly customized Windows desktops - done by people who wanted to humanize the technology to reflect their own personality. It makes me wonder whether one challenge in setting up user stylesheets and preferences is that they get isolated in "accessibility options"

<ea> evaluation of what?

<clayton_lewis> in practice I am seeing enormous resistance to any form of user testing in content workflows

<ea> how's about thinking of it in terms of productivity gains?

<Christos_Kourou> and how about crowdsourcing and sharing user defined style sheets? could this help in finding easier a style for you?

<ea> So agree with that comment about visual design and we are up against it with Arabic web sites where there is so much more Flash etc

<Eileen_Rivera_Ley> I wish IE had a slider to adjust contrast similar to the slider for size.

<olafdruemmer> today's OCR engines do layout and content flow detection all the time - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't at all

<WhitneyQ> I;d love to see sliders and other controls that allow discoverability for all settings. We don't drive cars by setting the angle of 4 tires, but by turning a single wheel

[vasile_topac comment for audio]

<Wayne_> I believe that structure of pages needs to be changed, a linearization that is consistent with a reading order of the page.

<olafdruemmer> A lot can be learnt from regular typography - authors like Tschichold, (Jost) Hochuli, Aicher, Spiekermann can teach a lot. Basic laws of organizing content are somehow universal...

<suzette_keith> Vasile - the biggest problem is with complex layouts eg forms, or multi columns typical of news reports

<shawn> I think text customization functionality is an accessibility requirement, and thus if a user agent does not provide this functionality, it does not sufficiently support accessibility.

<shawn> I think user agents need to provide simple basic customization, as well as more advanced options.

<shawn> While much of the responsibility belongs to the user agent, web content also has a requirement -- as shown with the issues brought up today with user style sheets applied...

<vasile_topac> could it help if we let the user choose whether to serialize the content or to try to preserve the original layout?

<shawn> yes, vasile - let them choose!

<Ant_Lee> I have a query re reflowing of text which I would like to raise.

<shawn> they might have different choices depending on the specific content, layout, etc.

<Wayne_> The issue of tables has not been addressed, but tables are mathematically equivalent to lists. So, this is one transformation that could be applied.

<suzette_keith> just going to add that my ebook makes some personalisation really easy - change font size and line spacing.

<shawn> public-wai-rd-comments@w3.org with subject: [TC4R Symposium]

<sharper> Thanks to Shawn, David, and Shadi for their hard work on this topic and for organising the Symposium.

<clayton_lewis> thanks, all!

<sharper> If anyone would like to join us at the RDWG then please contact either myself of Shadi - details at the RDWG site http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/

<suzette_keith> thank you Shawn and David and all- good to hear from everyone

<Wayne_> bye bye everyone

<kerstin_probiesch> thanks to all. bye bye

<peter> interesting stuff! cheers :-)

<AnnaBelle_Leiserson> Thanks so much. most enlightening.

<Peter_KRautzberger> thanks! learned a lot today.

<ginny> Thanks. Bye.