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(Introduction)
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==Introduction==
 
==Introduction==
  
...
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... The role of customisation of web content to enable an individual to comfortably read that content is a critical component for web accessibility. However, customisation is an aspect of accessibility that is complex, given different perspectives on the respective responsibilities of:
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* user agent developers
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* web content authors
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* web users with customisation needs
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[i.e. some text that acknowledges different views on where responsibility for customisation lies in an (ideal | pragmatic | real-world) definition of inclusive design]
  
 
... focuses specifically on text customization requirements and functionality, that is, providing users the ability to change (or personalize) various aspects of text display to improve readability for their particular needs.
 
... focuses specifically on text customization requirements and functionality, that is, providing users the ability to change (or personalize) various aspects of text display to improve readability for their particular needs.

Revision as of 14:36, 21 November 2012

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Research Report on Text Customization for Readability

[front matter as defined by W3C]

Abstract

...

Status of the document

[mostly W3C boilerplate] @@ invitation for public review & comments -- specific questions for consideration

Introduction

... The role of customisation of web content to enable an individual to comfortably read that content is a critical component for web accessibility. However, customisation is an aspect of accessibility that is complex, given different perspectives on the respective responsibilities of:

  • user agent developers
  • web content authors
  • web users with customisation needs

[i.e. some text that acknowledges different views on where responsibility for customisation lies in an (ideal | pragmatic | real-world) definition of inclusive design]

... focuses specifically on text customization requirements and functionality, that is, providing users the ability to change (or personalize) various aspects of text display to improve readability for their particular needs.

... The goal is to encourage user agent developers, standards developers, policy makers, web designers, and others to provide specific functionality in mainstream web products by helping them better understand and implement text customization.

Background

Many people need to be able to customize text in order to read effectively. Aspects of text formatting that users need to customize include: text size, text color and background color, font face, leading/line spacing, linearization/reflow, kerning, letter spacing, word spacing, line length, text style, justification, and more — including changes to all text and changes at the element level (e.g., headings different from body text).

However, there are few resources that provide clear guidance on text customization. Additionally, most of this customization has not been well integrated in mainstream <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG20/#def-user-agent" shape="rect"> user agents</a> (web browsers, etc.), nor is it sufficiently included in some accessibility standards and support material (such as the <a href="http://www.access-board.gov/sec508/standards.htm" shape="rect">Section 508 standards</a>).

One reason for lack of sufficient text customization functionality may be a lack of awareness of and research on users' needs. This symposium aims to address that gap.

User Group

This symposium focuses on a specific group of people with print disabilities: those who can see and can read, but have difficulty reading text in common designs and thus need to specify different text characteristics in order to read effectively. It includes:

  • people with low vision, including people with declining eyesight due to aging,
  • people with dyslexia and related disabilities,
  • people with other difficulties reading,
  • anyone in difficult situations that impact reading, such as high stress situations, low light conditions, reading on a moving mobile phone, reading a non-native language, and readers with low literacy.

The primary focus is on people who use mainstream technologies and do not regularly use assistive technologies (AT), such as screen magnification. Some people do not use AT because the functionality does not meet their needs, poor usability, complexity, cost, availability, or other factors. For example, some people do not use screen magnification because while they need to increase text size to read, they do not want to increase images or other screen elements; and some need text to wrap to avoid horizontal scrolling — functionality that most screen magnification software does not provide. Research with AT users can inform how to meet the needs of this user group.

Scope

This symposium focused specifically on text customization requirements and functionality, that is, providing users the ability to change (or personalize) various aspects of text formatting to improve readability for their particular needs.

Users: The primary focus is on people with disabilities. (See the <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2012/text-customization/Overview.html#who">User Group section</a> of the main page.) However, relevant studies in related areas — such as older web users, people with low literacy, and situational issues (e.g., reading in low light) — are in scope if the information is also applicable to people with disabilities.

Tools: Research on assistive technologies and specialized tools for allowing users to customize text is in scope, to inform potential inclusion of text customization functionality in mainstream products.

Technologies: The primary technology focus is on web browsers, media players, and plug-ins such as PDF Reader, Flash, Silverlight, QuickTime. Papers related to other technologies, such as eBook readers, are in scope if the information also is applicable to web technologies.

Out of Scope

The following were out of scope of this topic: what is the optimum font and format for text (see <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Text_Customization#The_Need_for_Text_Customisation">The Need for Text Customisation</a>), legibility (see <a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/wiki/Text_Customization#Readability_Beyond_Legibility"> Readability Beyond Legibility</a>), the impact of things like moving ads on a web page distracting from reading, and reading level.

Understanding text customization needs and requirements

  • What aspects of text customization improve readability? How do they help?
  • Which aspects of text customization are necessary requirements for people to be able to read effectively, and which are optional suggestions to improve readability?
  • What are the gaps in knowledge of users' needs for text customization?

...

Integrating text customization functionality and requirements

  • How well do existing text customization functionality and interfaces support users' needs?
    • What text customization functionality is provided in current products?
    • How do users interact with text customization features? Which do they use, which do they not use, and why?
  • How effectively do <a href="http://www.w3.org/TR/UAAG20/#def-user-agent">user agents</a> (web browsers, etc.) and web content share the responsibility for text customization?

...

Moving forward

  • How might we increase awareness of the need for text customization, and the benefits?
  • What text customization functionality should be included in products in order to meet users' needs?
  • How can we improve discoverability and usability of text customization features in products?
  • How should text customization requirements be better addressed in accessibility guidelines, web standards, and other best practice guides?
  • What areas of research show promise to inform and evolve text customization for readability?

...

Conclusions

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References

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Symposium Proceedings

proceedings with BiBTex example format

Acknowledgements

Participants of the W3C WAI Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) involved in the development of this document include: @@.

RDWG would also like to thank the Chairs and Scientific Committee members as well as the paper authors of RD Symposium on Text Customization for Readability.

This document was developed with support from the WAI-ACT Project.


Internal Notes

Related info: