Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

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Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
jennlortie
»
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:14 pm
Hi everyone,

Two documents were attached in an email to each of you. Please provide your feedback here for which of the two Word documents is more accessible and why?

Thank you for your input and for everything you have been doing for NNELS!
Jenn
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
ryano
»
Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:57 pm
I have looked at both document.

It is really depend on who audience is. I like the one with graphic more clearly, but my question is it access for braille user?

First document with paragraph I felt it is more access because it can change font easy and can be access for braille. I am not braille user. I think first one with paragraph is more access.
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
Karoline
»
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:55 pm
I personally prefer the headings. I find tables a little more complicated to read and the headings make it so easy to follow.
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
Daniella.LP
»
Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:08 pm
The document divided by headings is way better than the one presenting the information in a table, in my opinion. I always prefer headings to tables, I find that headings make navigation and reading with a screen reader much easier; in contrast, tables are not always intuitive, and so they can be more challenging to read.

In the document with the headings, it is easy to know that the information below each of the headings refers to a particular project. In contrast, in the document with the tables, I have to move around/press more keystrokes to know what category (in this case what project name) I am looking at. Also, a paragraph shown in a table is usually presented in shorter lines; this may make it more challenging to copy text from a table and paste it in a document later: selecting the text (within a table cell, or a column or row) to copy is not as simple as when the text is in the body of the document, in my experience; moreover, unless we choose to specifically paste the text originally contained within a table without format, Word may copy the format, in this case part of the table and create one table where we do not want it. Even in the case of documents that include tables presenting information at various levels, I find it better to use different level headings to separate categories; I avoid using tables unless I want to underscore a particular relationship or convey something more visually.
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
ka.li
»
Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:46 pm
I prefer the document with tables because it allows for flexibility of getting the information you need efficiently in many different ways. However, some users may find tables hard to work with so the document with headings may be easier to access.
With braille, I would recommend letting the screen reader handle how it should display the table with braille displays.
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
steve.murgaski
»
Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:49 am
I prefer the headings also. Tables are usable, but it's less intuitive for screen reader users.

Personally I would use more subheadings. The project name can be at heading level 2, description at 3, money allocated at 3; then next project name at 2.
So like:
<h2>The Lighthouse</h2>
<h3>Description</h3>
Description of the lighthouse.
<h3>Budget</h3>
$x
...
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
jennlortie
»
Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:06 pm
Thank you all SO much for your feedback!

It all makes a lot of sense. Am I correct in my thinking that as long as it's easy to skip to relevant information (as in Steve's suggestion), it is better to separate information by headings rather than tables whenever possible? So in this example, it would be good to create a heading for the Budget as well?

Sometimes we come across information that would be extremely challenging to present just using headings, but I think for this document it makes sense to do it in this way!

Thank you again!
Jenn
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
steve.murgaski
»
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:00 pm
Hello Jenn. Tables seem worthwhile to me when the cells only have a few words in each one, or numbers/dates. I never love them with a screen reader, but they’re worth navigating to be able to compare things quickly. They’re also pretty easy to skip. So if there are a bunch of numbers that add detail to the text but aren’t essential reading, having them in a table is nice.

For things like those longish text descriptions of organizations, in this document, the table seems to me like more trouble than it’s worth.
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Re: Comparison of Two Documents - Which is better?

Post by
rmarion
»
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:25 am
Hello. As others have said, in the case of this document, having paragraphs and headings is more functional and usable. I agree with Steve, that if there is something like a budget with numbers and text line items, a table may be more useful for reviewing the budget. If the section with a budget is not too complicated, simply having the line items with the numbers beside them separated by tabs would work fine for a small budget.

I first looked at the documents using my iPad and found something quite strange. The headings were not marked in the preview document when opening an email attachment. I tried opening the document with MS word on my iPad and the same thing happened. The only way I was able to view the headings was using a PC version of MS word.
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