I have been struggling with how to convey to people with intellectual disabilities the abstract concepts of easy- and standard Web site versions. At the time of this writing, the experimental Clear Helper Web site has text links of “Easy” and “Standard” to switch between versions.
How do I make these choices more concrete for people? I have two ideas. Each involves a set of buttons that visually represent the two versions. Perhaps the text links could be replaced by their respective buttons. Alternatively, they could bring users to a page that contains the buttons and explains the other accessibility features of the Web site.
Displayed below is my first attempt at wireframe buttons. The “Standard” button shows rectangular outlines of its version’s sections: header, primary-content column, sidebar and footer. The “Easy” button shows an outline for its version’s only section, that of primary content.
Because the wireframe buttons may themselves be too abstract, a better way of representing the two versions might be to use screen-shot buttons for them. Displayed below are scaled-down screen shots of the standard- and the easy versions of the Clear Helper home page as it is now. Each is accompanied by an explanatory caption.
It is likely that I will create sample Web sites using each of these methods, and will ask people which they find the easiest to understand.
This is a follow-up to these previous blog posts: