Re: Fwd: [Usability] The sticky and slow keys dialogs

Thanks for bringing this up. In my opinion, the notification area is a general source of trouble for accessibility. It seems to fundamentally assume the user can use the mouse and it has abysmal keyboard access in my experience.

I hadn't realized that a transition had been made to move the XKB/AccessX dialogs to the notification area. Given that the notification area is pretty much dependent upon efficient use of the mouse, and some of the keyboard access features provided by AccessX are geared towards people who have difficult with the mouse, this seems like a pretty bad thing.

I'd argue that things should move back to the traditional dialog method.

With respect to the "Hey, what I've really done is already enable this feature and now I'm giving you a chance to disable it" issue, this is kind of a shortcoming in XKB. If I recall, the XKB protocol only sends an event *after* the feature has been enabled or disabled. So, that's why the feature is enabled when the message appears. I suppose a way to handle this shortcoming might be for the system to disable the feature, popup the dialog, and then only re-enable it if the user presses the "activate" button.


Calum Benson wrote:
Forwarding to the accessibility list, they might have some thoughts on the desired behaviour...


Begin forwarded message:

From: Dylan McCall <dylanmccall gmail com>
Date: 15 March 2009 04:39:47 GMT
To: usability gnome org
Subject: [Usability] The sticky and slow keys dialogs


I recently filed a fix in Ubuntu's bug tracker, regarding
gnome-settings-daemon's keyboard accessibility plugin, which handles the
hotkeys to select different accessibility features (eg: Press Shift 5
times). I got it to fall back to its own nice dialog box in the event
that the notification daemon doesn't support actions on notification
bubbles. (For Jaunty's new notify-osd, for example).

This was somewhat interesting, because I suspect few people have used a
keyboard accessibility shortcut without the conventional
notification-daemon for a while.

There is no reason whatsoever to use a libnotify popup with this system
as it is, since it behaves exactly the same as the dialog box. The only
difference is that the dialog box is actually meant to be this way,
whereas the notification bubble being displayed is entirely beyond the
intent of that system. (It's an "Are you sure?" message demanding input,
not a notification). Using a dialog box exclusively reveals some issues:

     * There are no icons for the action buttons. Icons would help give
       these some context. "Deactivate" and "Don't Deactivate" looks a
       bit weird at first glance.
     * Right now the system enables an accessibility feature as soon as
       the user hits its shortcut; the confirmation dialog is really
       just to disable the feature if it is unwanted. (Unless I am
       thoroughly mistaken). What if the user hits Alt after
       accidentally enabling Sticky Keys? I actually did that while
       developing this and got confused. I was then unable to click on
       Disable, since my clicking became Alt Clicking. A user unaware
       of the sticky keys feature would have been doomed.
     * The dialog can easily get lost in the stack of windows. Try
       navigating GNOME with your Alt key stuck and not knowing why.
       Not fun. This dialog needs to be adjusted so that it is always
       on top or at least visible on the window list.

On another thought entirely, I was looking into just stripping actions
from the existing notification bubbles and rethinking the things, which
would make it nice and transparent instead of being a big brick that
flies at the user's workflow. If he wanted to disable or enable the
feature again, he could just follow the directions clearly outlined in
the notification bubble already (eg: Press Shift 5 times). I think that
could even be a decent thing with the normal notification daemon.

At the moment the notification bubbles SHOULD be passive; "click me if
you made a mistake, but otherwise ignore me because I'm just letting you
know..." but they are not; they demand attention and input. The user is
asked to click Activate even though the feature has already been
activated, where the real reason is just to get rid of an obtrusive box.
Getting rid of those buttons would deal with that issue.

I think this stuff could do with some extra pondering :)

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