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Quick Start Guides/Writing Tips Combined

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The Issue

In Tips on Writing for Web Accessibility, what tips should be included, excluded, and grouped together?

Options include:

  1. One tip - see Draft of one tip
    • all points covered in one Tip titled "Keep content clear and concise"
      (or could be "Make text readable and understandable" or something else)
  2. Two tips - see Draft of two tips
    • Avoid or explain complex words and phrases
      Includes: use simple words and phrases, and ensure abbreviations are explained
    • Keep content clear and concise
      Includes short, clear, front-loaded sentences; lists; and illustrations
  3. Some separate and some not included - see Draft of separate tips
    (Note that there are several strong perspectives against this option so we probably will not go for it.)
    • "Keep content clear and concise" - separate tip
    • "Avoid using overly complex words and phrases" - separate tip
    • "Expand acronyms on first use" - separate tip
    • [not included] Use list formatting as appropriate
    • [not included] Provide images to reinforce information presented in text


Please read through (or at least skim) these perspectives — realizing that some people may have changed their opinion since then. :)

You might also want to skim the Requirements Analysis.

Fresh Perspectives

After you've read the Background, please put your new or reconsidered thoughts here. (put your comments at the top of the list below)

  • summary — comment {name}
  • one — One tip is sufficient at this level. The two separate tips seem similar enough that expanding them to two or more does not add additional value. {Melody}
  • one tip — Mostly because it obfuscates the areas I disagree with and have commented elsewhere about on Github. {Jon}
  • converted to one tip camp — Like Sharron, I now favor one tip and the presentation is clean and straightforward. {Andrew}
  • one tip — i favor one tip. it's clear enough from the example that we can get it all in one tip as well as bring the total tips down to a number that to me feels more manageable for a novice. {James}
  • one tip — I am also in favor of keeping it as concise,clear and in a tone that will be understandable by as wide of an audience, as possible. It is always a delicate balance to target information like this between the developer,designer,and novice (someone new to accessibility) After I saw the mock up..I GOT it. So, I think the one tip method is the route to take. I am in favor to keep it clear and concise and have it in one tip. {George}
  • one tip — While in theory I like having both, “Keep content clear and concise” and “Avoid or explain complex words and phrases” in the document outline for skimmability, I think the bulleted list in the “one tip” mockup works really well for this. While they are not exactly redundant, they might appear to readers as being so at the first glance. I am in favor to keep it clear and concise and have it in one tip. {Eric}
  • converted to one tip camp — I was not convinced until I saw it mocked up. The one tip approach truly does strengthen the message where I expected it to be diluted. Like Shadi, I could accept two tips, but believe the one tip approach is cleaner and less of a departure from presentation of other task Tips. {Sharron}
  • preferably one, maybe two — I really like the one-tip approach, which is short and concise. I can also imagine a two-tip approach to separate the "structural" and "content" aspects of writing - for example, breaking up a sentence into a list is more structural and easy to do for most people, while using shorter and less complex phrases requires further editorial skills that not everyone might have. I strongly discourage using the initial multi-tip approach, which I think weakens the overall message! {shadi}
  • one tip — I really like the one-tip approach. It's quick to understand. Presentation is good. Tips are concise. Example is good. I think the two-tip approach is an over-kill. I am not in favour of the multi-tip approach because I feel the message is lost. {Vicki}
  • group related points in one tip. — Conceptually, I categorize some of the points as applying to the task of writing prose, and some as separate tasks, and a couple that cross over. I think it is important to group those points that apply to writing prose into one tip. I think grouping the writing-prose-points together in one tip helps understand all of the different tips overall, and helps apply them specifically. {Shawn}
    1. Writing prose:
      • Keep content clear and concise
      • Avoid overly complex words and phrases
      • Expand acronyms on first use
      • Use list formatting as appropriate
      • Provide images to reinforce information presented in text [defining potential images is part of the task of writing prose, although designing them is outside of actually writing]
    2. Prose and other:
      • [headings] Use headings to convey meaning and structure
      • [links] Make link text meaningful
    3. Specific non-prose things:
      • [titles] Provide informative, unique page titles
      • [forms] Provide clear instructions
      • [multimedia] Provide transcripts and captions for multimedia
      • [image alts] Provide text alternatives for images
  • prefer one tip — I agree with many of the comments above. Also, as stated in previous discussions, I like the example for one tip because it shows a much bigger impact of the result when each part of the tip is implemented. You don't see that as much when the tips are broken up. {Brent}