image replacement that just works?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by janey, Feb 3, 2007.

  1. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #1
    I'm working on a site where the primary audience will be visually disabled/blind, but it needs to be visually appealing at the same time (for the smaller percentage of sighted people who are family, friends, volunteers, etc.).

    Thanks to the beauty of (goddammit MSIE) almost-cross-browser-compatible CSS, most of the site is accessible and more-visually-appealing-than-plaintext, but I'd like to use some image replacement technique that works with msie5+ on windows, firefox 1.x and up, and safari, bonus points if it's accessible (truly text-only when the user wants it, screenreader-friendly, you get the idea.). If it works in east-asian languages (particularly korean), that would rock.

    There seems to be a LOT of different methods floating around, and I'd like to know if you've used any one of them somewhere :) I've looked around at a few (like sIFR, phark, gilder/levin), but they all have their (ever so slight) issues.

    In fact, if it seems very unlikely to work the way I want, anything server/client-side or whatever will work, but the host limits me to php, perl, and asp (not .net).

    Pretty much any pointer will be much appreciated. :D
     
  2. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    I've been trying to do the exact same thing as you. We were experimenting with loads of CSS and other mentioned techniques, but eventually realized screen-readers like JAWS are so versatile that we didn't need to worry as much as we thought. As long as you have a good site design with the fewest amount of tables as possible, and are sure to include alternate and longdescriptions for all media your set.

    The best way to go about it is to design the site (simple, but simple can be elegant) and then actually listen to it in a screenreader. You can edit the audible experience from there. Its important to connect with the target audience this way, because and endless amount of design won't help it reads the page out of order.

    One more thing, I know how terrible I was with this. Links like "click here" and "emial" are beyond useless. To select a link with a screenreader, you usually tab through them. When there are ten links that say "more" its difficult to tell which is the right one. A better link would be like "read more about Little-Jimmy the Mac mini".

    You probably have heard all of this before, my apologies if that is the case. Good luck with your project.
     
  3. janey thread starter macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #3
    Thanks for your reply, almost forgot about this thread :eek:

    Yeah, I've tried in screenreaders and it's doable, except Jaws only runs for a very, very short amount of time before needing a restart to reuse the trial again...don't have access to a machine with a full copy of jaws, can't really vnc into one either and the other screenreaders i have almost no experience with - except voiceover on osx, but nobody's planning on using voiceover.

    There's no tables except for a scant few pages for a good reason, and there's a bit of server-side stuff to omit certain things or links to skip, as well as some other stuff I've gotten input about (least popular seems to be access keys..).

    I'm still having a bitch of a time to figure out which technique I should use, because when one works with the majority of possible combinations of browsers/OS/screenreaders, it breaks for another, and so on :(
     

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