Just a brief note to say thanks to the other panelists at the WCAG 2.0 presentation that I was on at this year’s @media conference. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience trying to make a subject as dry as WCAG documentation something that would be informative and in places entertaining - and even more so in that tricky post-lunch slot!
I have to say that overall the feedback I received was good. If it were just friends coming up and saying that, I’d take it with a pinch of salt, but some complete strangers came up to say this later in the day which obviously meant more to me. However, the panel was not without its faults, which I’d like to address here too:
- Were we prepared? Yes, we had tried our best to prepare and had spoken about the plan-of-attack on Skype and I’d put together a running order and some suggested tasks for us to cover. However, one member was fairly incommunicado in the immediate run-up to the conference which made it a little tricky to co-ordinate.
- Had we read the guidelines? All of the panel had read the core documentation, one was on the working group and all of us had read some (but not necessarily all) of the associated documents. We admitted this on stage, and this has bothered some people attending (well, I know one person who was bothered by this). For what it’s worth, though, I think it proves the point that the guidelines are not working - if we, the supposed ‘experts’, find it a trial to read in its entirety, then we are all doomed!
- Problems with the slides? There was a problem with one of the slides where it kept on advancing to the next slide. This happened after taking one of the slides that was prepared by one panelist in Open Office and pasting back into PowerPoint. I noticed there were issues with those slides and changed them (literally copying to a text file and copying back to a new slide) but one snuck through. Apologies for that - it caught us off guard, but wasn’t a show-stopper!
- Making assumptions? It’s difficult to know exactly what level of knowledge people were/are at. Did we assume too much level of knowledge of WCAG? Or too little? Reading comments on some blogs it could be either! It’s the usual "you can’t please everyone" problem.
I hope that the people attending found some useful stuff there (and I really wish that we’d had a moment to address the new Quick Checklist publicly on the day, rather than waving a print-out up front) and that the feeling was more positive than negative, but for those who found it as dry as the topic we were discussing please accept my apologies. I’ll do a bit of juggling half-way through or something (it’ll be a damn site easier than memorising WCAG 2.0, hah!).