jesse_the_k: Perfectly circlular white brain-like fungus growing on oak tree (expectant)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Howdy! Thanks to the useful comments on my previous post, I've revised my proposal and inserted it into the DW suggestion generator. Please leave comments and vote in the poll at the [site community profile] dw_suggestions community.

However, that channel doesn't support HTML tags, so I'm duplicating my post here so I can present my case visually as well as in text. so I can present my case visually as well as in text )
jesse_the_k: Photo of baby wearing huge black glasses  (eyeglasses baby)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Howdy oh wise ones. There have been some juicy 200-comment threads lately, and I've been running up against a usability issue. I've drafted a post for the Suggestion Generator, and I want to run it by clearer minds than mine first.

So: can you understand what I'm talking about? If you're a large-print, audio, or small-screen user, does this match your experience? Does my proposed solution make things any better? Have at it!

=== begin draft suggestion
Title: Style Comments Page with Outline Indicators in Place of Indents

Summary: Improve UX for reading comments where indention implies structural hierarchy

Full Explanation: The structural hierarchy of comments -- who is replying to whom -- is implicit in the amount of white space between the left screen edge and the start of the comment. (How the comment begins varies, depending on the page's style: could be the words in the comment itself, or the user icon, or the optional subject title.)

For some users, inferring indention is difficult: large print, audio, phones, and other smaller-screen devices.

I'm a large print user, so I'll speak from my experience: It's easy to lose the context of long discussion threads, even with "style=light". (By the way, the help docs mention "format=light" not "style=light": which is preferred?)

The screen grab at this link
shows the problem: it's like browsing the web through a soda straw. There are two comments in the middle of a long thread in a Firefox/Mac window with fonts at 20 pt. The earlier comment uses 2/3rd screen width; its reply is indented 1/4 in further. Vertically there's 14 lines of text plus two "header" lines containing user icons, subjects, usernames & dates.

My proposal is to provide a style that makes the outline of comments explicit with printing characters instead of implicit with indents.

I think alternating digits and alpha would suffice; the result would be prepended to the "subject" string, or *be* the subject string if none is present (which would also provide a handy way to reference comments...) An example follows

0. Original Post Subject Line
1. Base-level comment
1a. alpha's response
1a1. beta responds to alpha
1a1a. gamma responds to beta
1a2. epsilon responds to alpha
1b. gamma responds to alpha
2. epsilon responds to OP

Choosing to use it:

I suggest three tick box options where the current choice is "View comment pages from your Reading Page in your own style":
View comments pages from your Reading Page
1. in your own style
2. in lynx/mobile style
3. in lynx/mobile style with comment outline format
(and it would be wonderful to have a hyperlink from "comment outline format" to a sample of it applied.)
=== draft ends
jeshyr: Dreamwidth: Dream wide, dream deep (Dreamwidth - Dream wide Dream Deep)
[personal profile] jeshyr
I know a bunch of readers here use the very plain Lynx site scheme. This poll is for those who use the Lynx site scheme on Dreamwidth (or LiveJournal, etc.) some or all of the time...

We've wondering about defining separate colours for hover or focus.

Mouse users: this would mean that a link would change colour if you put your mouse over it without clicking on the link.

Keyboard users: this would mean that a link would change colour if your keyboard focus got to the link. This would be in addition to the outline which is already present as you move keyboard focus.

Poll #1328 Lynx & Focus/Hover Colour
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 10

Would you prefer the Lynx site scheme to use a separate hover/focus colour?

View Answers

Yes please, it would help with accessibility for me
2 (20.0%)

I prefer them, but they don't affect accessibility
3 (30.0%)

I don't really mind either way.
4 (40.0%)

I'd prefer not, but it doesn't affect accessibility for me
1 (10.0%)

Please don't, I find they make accessibility worse for me
1 (10.0%)

I have a more complicated answer I'll explain in the comments
0 (0.0%)

Please leave comments as well as using the poll. What's good/bad about it for you?

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