Response to Fluid demo page

Daphne Ogle daphne at
Mon Nov 19 17:49:07 UTC 2007

Comments below...

On Nov 19, 2007, at 6:58 AM, Joseph Scheuhammer wrote:

> All,
> A few weeks back, I posted a message to the wai-xtech DHTML style  
> guide
> working group asking for their opinions about the fluid demos on
> Specifcially, I asked:
>> In terms of keyboard accessibility, the Reorderer currently defines:
>> 1. the arrow keys for navigating among the orderable items, and
>> 2. control+arrow to move an orderable item to a new location.
>> The latter constitutes a kind of keyboard based drag-and-drop. In
>> terms of this interest group, are these reasonable keystroke
>> definitions given the context?
> I received a number of interesting responses. In particular, one  
> fellow
> had a lot of comments about the visual feedback regarding selection  
> and
> focus in the lightbox. I asked him if he would mind my forwarding his
> email to this group, since his ideas were of a "design" nature. I have
> not heard a response. But, since his ideas are worth discussing, I've
> decided to just quote his suggestions and post them here without
> providing his email.
> So: these aren't my ideas, but someone else's. What do people think?
>> Keyboard Interaction:
>> The use of the ctrl key with the arrow keys is good. We usually also
>> map Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+End to move the items (here the image)
>> horizontally , similar to the effect of standard home and end.
Ctrl+home and Ctrl+End are a great idea.  In fact, I think they were  
included in the original descriptions of behavior (or at least should  
have been :) ).
>> Recognition:
>> I think it is quite helpful to indicate the use of the Ctrl key. But
>> the indication currently is counter-productive because while moving
>> the user needs to know where the object has moved to. Due to the
>> half-tone coloring it is much harder to recognize than using the
>> standard focus coloring . From my opinion the focus should keep the
>> current colo rs (you don ’ t really lose the focus here) but a small
>> icon or other additional indicator shows the effect of m oving, most
>> favorable a similar indicator as the mouse would indicate when moving
>> objects in all directions. (Use Alt+Space, then select “ move ” in
>> Windows. The mouse cursor changes to indicate the effect.)
Took me a minute to understand what this meant but I think I do now  
and totally agree.  Essentially, the visual feedback on the image  
being moved via keyboard is backwards from moving with a mouse.  We  
currently display the moving image opaquely for keyboard but not  
mouse.  Since the keyboard moves the image immediately (rather than  
just showing where it would be moved until it is dropped like with  
the mouse) showing where it moved to is tricky.  It takes a lot of  
focus to "see" the image as it is moving (and others are moving to  
make room for it) and I don't think we can expect users will have  
that kind of focus on a task like this.  I think this person suggests  
we also use the red line indicator to show where the image is moving  
to.  Since the image moves right away I'm not sure how helpful that  
would be.  In my mind the problem is staying with the image as it  
moves.  Perhaps it could use less opacity and a strong outline to  
help differentiate it from the other thumbnails on the page?

> -- 
> ;;;;joseph
> 'A dog, a panic in a pagoda'
>  - "Bob", W. A. Yankovic -
> _______________________________________________
> fluid-work mailing list
> fluid-work at

Daphne Ogle
Senior Interaction Designer
University of California, Berkeley
Educational Technology Services
daphne at
cell (510)847-0308

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