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Saturday, May 19

Bytes · Eye-trackin' - PDF 'illegal' - Car Tipping

  • Seth Godin picks up on an eye-tracking video posted by Etre on YouTube.

    He makes an interesting point about web design:
    I think websurfing is a hunting activity. The eye is looking for anamolies, for things that don't belong ...One of the takeaways is that bad web design might actually be a good thing! Slightly bad design isn't familiar. It's off. It demands attention. (Very bad design demands the 'back' button, of course). One of the reasons that experienced power tool users--like table saws--can still lose a finger is that they don't pay attention... it's too easy to turn the thing on and just use it.

  • Only supplying information in PDF format is illegal, according to the editor of IT law Web site

    Struan Robertson, said.

    "The legal duty is to provide the information in a way that is accessible and usable. Many PDFs are not accessible and the solution is to provide accessible HTML in addition to PDFs, if you wish to use PDFs."

    Robertson added that, although an organisation that has generally "addressed web accessibility" would be unlikely to be sued over its PDFs, a failure to provide an accessible alternative "might trigger a complaint".

    "Many of us will dutifully warn the user that a PDF is going to be opened ... but we stop short of offering an accessible document," he said, indicating that this meant that "many disabled users take 'PDF will open in a new window' to mean 'don't click here'."

    Hugh Huddy of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) said they'd tried to produce an accessible PDF of its annual report, but hit "glitches" with tables and slipping column headers -- factors he said could render such an important document legally invalid.

    "Most PDFs would not stand up to a basic accessibility check," said Huddy, who suggested that PDFs made from a "well-structured Word document" using Acrobat Pro might pass muster. He added that, in most cases, it would be "prudent to publish an alternative format, whether that is in HTML, [rich text format] or plain text, alongside [the PDF version of a document]."

    He told eAccess '07, organised by Headstar earlier this month that he was very concerned, given that so many important documents now come in PDF format. Documents rendered from Quark or other DTP software is a particular problem.

    Huddy recommended RTF or Word.

  • From Google Sightseeing

    Car Tipping

    The urban equivalent of Cow Tipping, the inner-city phenomenon of Car Tipping has begun to spread like wildfire across Germany now that its been spotted on Google Earth

    Also see our post on Extreme Parking for more.

    Via Gearth Blog.