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Web Accessibility Principles

Opening new windows


From:

Web Accessibility Principles

with Zoe Gillenwater

Video: Opening new windows

>> Web designers can designate whether they want a link to open in the same browser window that the user is currently in or whether they want the link to open in a new window. Setting links to open in new windows is common for linked pages that are not part of the current site. The idea is that by leaving your own site open before sending users off to another site you will make it easier for them to get back to your site when they've finished at the other one. The problem with this is that the main way that people get back to sites they were previously on, the browsers back button, does not work in the new window.
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  1. 2m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      57s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. What does accessibility mean?
      5m 51s
    2. How does accessibility help your users?
      3m 30s
    3. Experiencing a website via a screen reader
      5m 46s
    4. How does accessibility help you and your clients?
      3m 9s
    5. Overview of Section 508 standards
      5m 51s
    6. Overview of WCAG standards
      6m 4s
    7. Understanding consistency and semantic markup
      3m 4s
  3. 54m 31s
    1. Understanding screen readers and accessibility tools
      6m 12s
    2. Getting accessible browsers
      5m 41s
    3. Customizing Firefox for accessibility testing
      5m 53s
    4. Using custom accessibility toolbars
      5m 28s
    5. Using Fangs and the Color Contrast Analyzer
      5m 30s
    6. Accessibility tools to bookmark
      5m 53s
    7. Using automated accessibility checking tools
      4m 57s
    8. Setting up the JAWS screen reader on Windows
      6m 42s
    9. Using the VoiceOver screen reader on Mac OS X
      5m 52s
    10. Setting Dreamweaver accessibility preferences
      2m 23s
  4. 26m 12s
    1. Avoiding tables for layout
      3m 30s
    2. Using CSS for layout
      2m 40s
    3. Creating a fixed-width layout
      5m 51s
    4. Creating an elastic layout
      3m 51s
    5. Creating a liquid layout
      3m 4s
    6. Customizing a liquid layout
      7m 16s
  5. 1h 6m
    1. Specifying the language
      3m 43s
    2. Setting page titles
      2m 16s
    3. Setting headings and paragraphs
      9m 55s
    4. Styling headings
      9m 56s
    5. Hiding section headings from sighted users
      6m 41s
    6. Styling text for readability
      6m 41s
    7. Ensuring proper color contrast
      6m 36s
    8. Creating text emphasis
      4m 29s
    9. Indicating quotations
      4m 29s
    10. Creating basic lists
      4m 16s
    11. Styling lists
      7m 15s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Using lists for navigation
      6m 45s
    2. Creating a horizontal navigation bar
      13m 25s
    3. Creating a vertical navigation bar
      11m 44s
    4. Adding skip navigation links
      12m 0s
    5. Hiding skip navigation links
      6m 17s
    6. Proper link text and title attributes
      6m 11s
    7. Opening new windows
      4m 28s
    8. Accessibility limitations of fly-out menus
      6m 30s
    9. Creating an accessible fly-out menu
      8m 38s
  7. 27m 55s
    1. Proper ALT text for navigation images
      4m 57s
    2. Proper ALT text for decorative images
      5m 19s
    3. Adding ALT text to an existing site
      6m 9s
    4. Adding ALT text to image maps
      5m 58s
    5. Describing complex graphics
      5m 32s
  8. 34m 1s
    1. Using tables for data
      3m 0s
    2. Creating header cells
      4m 5s
    3. Adding table captions and summaries
      9m 9s
    4. Styling tables
      5m 19s
    5. Applying header cells to complex tables
      6m 52s
    6. Adding id and headers attributes
      5m 36s
  9. 42m 7s
    1. Understanding form accessibility issues
      3m 7s
    2. Labeling form fields
      6m 9s
    3. Adding fieldsets and legends
      4m 42s
    4. Moving forms out of tables
      3m 44s
    5. Cleaning up a form's appearance
      4m 53s
    6. Aligning labels and fields using CSS
      9m 39s
    7. Indicating required fields
      6m 15s
    8. Dealing with CAPTCHA
      3m 38s
  10. 7m 29s
    1. The Text-Only technique
      3m 21s
    2. The Access Keys technique
      2m 35s
    3. The Tab Index technique
      1m 33s
  11. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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Web Accessibility Principles
6h 10m Appropriate for all Oct 16, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Accessibility on the web has been an issue for over a decade, and it remains a crucial--but often overlooked--element of web design. Instructor Zoe Gillenwater explains the concept of accessibility as it applies to the web, and describes how it affects the audience. She also covers how to set up accessibility testing, and how to apply accessibility principles to new and existing sites using standards-compliant markup and CSS. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Topics include:
  • Understanding Flex programming languages
Subjects:
Web User Experience Accessibility
Author:
Zoe Gillenwater

Opening new windows

>> Web designers can designate whether they want a link to open in the same browser window that the user is currently in or whether they want the link to open in a new window. Setting links to open in new windows is common for linked pages that are not part of the current site. The idea is that by leaving your own site open before sending users off to another site you will make it easier for them to get back to your site when they've finished at the other one. The problem with this is that the main way that people get back to sites they were previously on, the browsers back button, does not work in the new window.

Opening new browser windows from links within a webpage is primarily a usability issue, as it affects all users, but it does have accessibility implications as well. New windows can be especially problematic for screen reader users, as the screen reader may not tell them that a new window has been opened. If the user then tries to use the keyboard command to go back to the previous page, he or she will be unable to do so. Unlike sighted users, they can't see they grayed out back button or the new window in their task bar for the additional clues that they're now in a new window.

This is another one of those areas unfortunately where you may have to make a trade off between the business or marketing concerns of the site and accessibility. If you must open links in new windows, try to keep it to a minimum and alert users to it beforehand. If you're following along with the exercise files, open the file index.html in Dreamweaver that's located in the 05_07 folder of the chapter five exercise files. Let's say that all of these links to new stories opened in new windows. One way that we can tell users about this beforehand would be to simply put a sentence stating that at the top of the news article listing.

Place your cursor at the end of the news heading and hit enter or return to start a new line, then type in all stories open in a new window. You could then style that text to make it a little smaller and less obvious, but at least it would still be on the page. Of course, a screen reader user who is using their links list to navigate the page and not reading all of the text would not be able to see this text. If you could include the notice about the new window within the link itself, that's even more helpful.

Scroll down the page in Dreamweaver. Let's say that this link to outdoor water restrictions opens in a new window. We can simply place our cursor at the end of the link and type in parenthesis and type link opens in new window. This way, the notice of the new window is tied directly to the link and will be included in the listing of links accessed by a screen reader. It's possible to hide this text from the view of sited users using the same off left positioning technique from earlier movies.

Highlight over the space before the parenthesis text all the way to its end. Then right click or control click on the selection and select the quick tag editor option. You can then wrap an additional tag around this text. We'll have used the span tag since it's a generic element that we can use whenever there isn't a better semantic element to use. Type in span then hit enter or return. When we now click in the area of the link that contains the notice about the new window, we can see in the tag selector that there is a span around this text.

Click on the span tag in the tag selector then go to the style menu in the properties inspector below, choose off left from the list of classes shown. Now click back in design view. The diagonal lines that you see is Dreamweaver's method of indicating margins. Remember that our off left class assigns a very large negative left margin to the chosen element. Let's see how this looks in a browser. Click on the globe icon in the document tool bar and choose preview in Firefox.

Click yes to save the page. Scroll down the page. You can see that the outdoor water restrictions link no longer has the parenthesis text showing. It's still there to be used by screen reader users. Ideally you'd keep this notice visual so that it could benefit sited users as well, but this is another compromise technique that you could use, so again, try to keep opening new windows to a minimum so that the user can decide whether they want to open a new window, tab or use the same window from before.

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