[thelist] Macromedia.com redesigned

Peekstok, Anna Anna.Peekstok at METROKC.GOV
Wed Mar 5 17:20:00 CST 2003

[ Picked text/plain from multipart/alternative ]
John, I've had a professional interest in web site accessibility for a
number of years, and my understanding is that the way to achieve it is not
to design separate versions for a specific application or situation (i.e.,
screen readers), but to design for universal access. Separate versions for
people in different situations tends to ghettoize those users in a
second-class environment where information may not be updated as often, or
may not be available at all. It also raises the issue that you brought up:
which groups will be catered to, and which won't?

As a business (and one whose products I use and admire, by the way),
Macromedia doesn't have the legal mandate to be accessible that a government
or educational site does. But are your marketing folks really ok with the
idea of giving users who try to visit your site a frustrating and negative
experience, just because they aren't using the equipment and software you
think they should be using?

Say I work for a graphic design agency deciding whether to go with
Illustrator or FreeHand. It turns out we have to order our software through
Alice in the purchasing department, who happens to be blind. She goes to
your site and tries to get some basic information...

Or maybe I'm on a trip, but phoning my boss and urging him to buy Contribute
instead of Brand X. I want to load up on information to give him, but when I
try to hit your site from my Mom's WebTV, I get diddly...

As others have said, it makes sense to demonstrate the wonders of your own
software on your site. But it seems like folly to make *all* the information
on the site inaccessible to so many people in order to demonstrate one

Anna Peekstok

On Wednesday, March 05, 2003, jdowdell at macromedia.com wrote:

> Galeon is a GNOME web browser. It's not a text-to-speech reader.
> If you're trying to change the subject to "I can't see that site in an
> unexpected browser" then that's possible... that particular
> site is now
> tuned to the needs of the people who use the tools sold there.

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