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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

Note: This information is from a project in 2005.

WAI Site Analysis Summary

Page Contents

The WAI Site Task Force (WSTF) is redesigning the WAI Web site following a user-centered design process (UCD). This document summarizes the analysis work. Details of the analysis are linked below and listed on the WAI Web Site Redesign Project page, which also links to the Evaluation Summary.


The redesigned WAI Web site:

User/Audience Analysis

User/audience analysis is documented in:

  1. The User Group List includes 32 user groups that are organized as:
    • web developers and content providers
    • tool developers
    • managers and assistants to managers
    • related to contracts
    • disability focused
    • other (including standards developer, government policy maker, educator, journalist, internal public relations, researcher, W3C Team member, WAI WG member, Web accessibility specialist, and more)

    Primary user groups are:
    • People who are new to Web accessibility
    • Web developers

    Most of the users fall into two categories:
    • "Techies"
    • "Fuzzies"
  2. The User Matrix lists the Web experience, HTML knowledge, disability knowledge, Web accessibility knowledge, and frequency of use for each user group.
  3. Three primary Personas are:
    • Martina Prado is a Web developer in a small "shop" who prides herself on excellent visual design. She has recently been heard to exclaim: "I'm just not sure which guidelines to follow. What's the difference between the national standards and the WAI guidelines?"
    • Andy Petroff is a hard-core coder with a software development background. Andy's knowledge of Web accessibility is apparent in his statement: "I have a deadline, and it's not like we have any disabled users anyway. I looked at the server logs, I should know."
    • Chandra Weesaw is an executive assistant at a large university. She started researching Web accessibility in preparation for a new work item to establish a university. policy. She is following up at home to learn more about Web accessibility in hopes she can help her mother who uses the Web a lot (and even helps with the Web site of a non-profit group she volunteers with) and has age-related diminishing abilities.
    Additional personas include Web developer, Web accessibility specialist, manager, student with a disability, educator, legislator, and reporter user groups.

User Analysis Key Implications

User/audience analysis reveals the following aspects that will heavily influence the site design:

  1. Finding: There are a large number of different users with very different characteristics and motivations.
    Implication: Some content should be presented for novice users - especially the highest level documents (including home page and navigation pages) will need to err on the side of novice users. Some advanced, technical documents can focus more on the experienced users. However, because novice users are likely to end up on a more advanced, technical document (from an outside link or search), it would be good to make it easy for them to get to more simple, introductory documents.
  2. Finding: Almost all users have low knowledge of disability and Web accessibility when they first come to the site; for example, users don't know the basic language and concepts of Web accessibility, WAI, W3C guidelines.
    Implication: Important to support novices: for example, have very basic introductory material "up front" as well as linked from other documents.
  3. Finding: Many users do not visit the site regularly; rather, they visit it often at first or when they are working on a particular issue, and then visit it seldom or not at all other times.
    Implication: In making specific design decisions, easy-to-use for first-time and infrequent users is higher priority than efficient-to-use for frequent users (with the possible exception of areas and documents targeted for working group members).

Task/Purpose Analysis

Task/Purpose analysis is documented in:

  1. The Task List includes more than 50 tasks.
  2. The Task-User Matrix table shows how much of the time spent with the WAI site is spent doing specific tasks, by each user group.

Information Architecture Analysis

Information architecture work is still in development. A draft site map is available.