Playing with marbles or losing them
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Playing With Marbles (Or Losing Them) :. Configuration and Customisation With the Horizon Information Portal Previously Loved and Known as iPac. Susan Johns-Smith. Pittsburg State University Axe Library Pittsburg, Kansas USA. It’s about as easy as stacking marbles!

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Playing with marbles or losing them

Playing With Marbles (Or Losing Them) :

Configuration and Customisation With the Horizon Information Portal

Previously Loved and Known as iPac

Susan johns smith

Susan Johns-Smith

Pittsburg State University

Axe Library

Pittsburg, Kansas USA

Playing with marbles or losing them

It’s about as easy as

stacking marbles!

--Lindon Samford

Playing with marbles

Playing With Marbles

  • Standard Customisation and Configuration

  • Customisation for Universal Accessibility

Standard customisation dynix

Standard Customisation - Dynix

  • Dynix Documentation

  • Tech Tips – Both Dynix and Horizon

    • Of 18 published, only 4 published in 2003, 3 of which were specifically for the Horizon database

    • Most are outdated and inaccurate

    • Many appear to be primarily eBuzzes of significance rather than a systematic update of documentation

Standard customisation dynix1

Standard Customisation - Dynix

  • Training Guides

  • Webex

    • Used for both iPac formal training and one-on-one sessions

    • Useful for training support personnel who are unfamiliar with the product

  • eBuzzes and eBuzz Archives

  • Good Ideas (being improved??)

  • Resolutions Database

Standard customisation dynix2

Standard Customisation - Dynix

  • Within the Dynix corporate site

    • Watch eBuzzes and announcements

    • Check web site frequently

    • Check product pages, support pages, training pages, documentation pages, and archives – information is scattered everywhere

    • Know when information is dated or superceded

Standard customisation customers

Standard Customisation – Customers

  • The iPac Zone – Seminole County FL

    • Icons

    • Media images

    • Archives

    • JBOSS/Jetty sites

Standard customisation customers1

Standard Customisation – Customers

The iPac Zone

  • XSL Chart - Find out which .xsl file affects which iPac screen.

  • External Search - Create a search form to search iPac from an external site.

  • Font Mapping - Maps which font class formats text on the Search Summary and Full Bib screens.

  • LibraryLookup - Create a Bookmarklet tosearch iPac from any online bookstore.

Standard customisation customers2

Standard Customisation – Customers

  • iPac Listserv – Tampa Bay FL

  • iPac Directory Listing – Pittsburg KS

  • Tutorial Screens - University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

  • Individual E-Mail and Site Examples

Universal accessibility

Universal Accessibility

  • Universal Accessibility

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

What are we looking for

What Are We Looking For?

Universal accessibility1

Universal Accessibility

  • Coding Integrity

  • Magnification

  • Color-Contrast

  • Screen Reading Capabilities

  • Motor Skill Navigation

  • Browser Independence

Coding integrity

Coding Integrity

  • W3C Validator

    • Recommended for HTML 4.0, XHTML 1.0, CSS Level 2, XML 1.0

    • Quality, structure, consistency and reliability of the code

Coding integrity1

Coding Integrity

Coding integrity2

Coding Integrity

  • Bobby

    • Simple to understand language

    • Three levels of accessibility defined

    • Interpretive nature lends itself to criticism – self policing

Coding integrity3

Coding Integrity

“If Bobby is the only test… it is possible to produce a site with accessibility problems… it might be more accurate to say that Bobby can…identify inaccessibility than to verify accessibility…” -- Quinn (2001)



  • Zoomtext

    • Magnification and screen reading

    • Primarily for low-vision users

    • Magnification up to 16X

    • Useful for font, line spacing, and graphic integrity







Color contrast

Color Contrast

  • Vischeck Color Simulator

    • Simulates Deuteranope, Protanope, and Tritanope color vision

    • Most useful to determine effective use of contrast

Color contrast1

Color Contrast

Color contrast psu

Color Contrast - PSU

Color contrast psu1

Color Contrast - PSU

Color contrast hennepin

Color Contrast - Hennepin

Color contrast hennepin1

Color Contrast - Hennepin

Screen reading capabilities motor skill navigation

Screen Reading Capabilities Motor Skill Navigation

  • JAWS for Windows,

    • Braille interface

    • Screen reader with various “modes” and shortcuts

    • Useful for motor skill navigation of links, pull down (combo) and input boxes

Basic search

Basic Search

Subject browse

Subject Browse

Title browse

Title Browse

Full bib record

Full Bib Record

Advanced search

Advanced Search

Browser independence

Browser Independence

  • Browser Testing

    • Amaya

    • Opera

    • Lynx

    • Netscape and Internet Explorer

Playing with marbles or losing them








  • Insist on standards for coding html/xhtml

  • Insist on browser independence

  • Employ accessibility tools vigorously to all pages



  • Avoid use of any italics or thin fonts that disintegrate

  • Watch quality of graphics

  • Watch yellow or pastel fonted words

  • Watch link colors



  • Pay attention to contrast

  • Watch colors matching logos or school colors

  • Watch quality of gifs, jpgs, logos, buttons



  • Test multiple screen readers

  • All are not the same

  • Each can read differently

  • Often have different features, e.g., skip links



  • Many have different shortcuts and functionality

  • Many have different commands to navigate within the reader proper



  • Test readers your users use

  • Do not force the disabled to learn a new reader in order to use your library catalog



  • What’s healthy for the visually impaired is also useful for the palm pilots

  • A good, clean design will withstand any rendering of the product



  • <Tab> through the page

  • <BackTab> through the page

  • Check all pull-down boxes for ability to read and display using <arrows> to ensure all options are visible



  • Check all <submit>, <go>, <send> buttons for ability to activate the desired action, form, or search

  • How do you get from the top to the bottom?

  • How do you get from the bottom to the top?



  • Can you skip over

    re-occurring material?

  • Can you fully access the page without a mouse?



  • Test vigorously in-house before live testing with disabled users

  • Test vigorously with disabled users and be ready to make changes and adjustments, not mere lip service



  • Separate accessibility from usability:



  • Usability: analyzing how long it takes you to find a piece of information – how many clicks, where on the page, etc.



  • Accessibility: knowing that information exists, but trying to get at it with your eyes closed and a stick in your mouth

Playing with marbles or losing them

  • Who speaks, and who is silent while others speak?

  • Whose interests are served when those who can speak, do speak?

    --Michael J. Muller, IBM, The Human-Computer Interaction Handbook, 2003

Playing with marbles or losing them

  • Never, ever, apologize for advocating on behalf of those who cannot speak, who cannot see, who cannot hear, or who cannot use their hands to communicate.

Thank you

Thank you!

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