Requirements for Personalization Semantics

W3C Editor's Draft

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Requirements for Personalization Semantics

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This document is governed by the 1 March 2019 W3C Process Document.

1. Introduction

2. Use Cases

2.1 Simplification

A user changes their personalization settings to simplify the web content that displays based on the importance of various features. In the sample user experience available at, the user can select a "More options button or "Less options" button to simplify the web content by hiding or displaying elements that are or of low importance.

2.2 Adding Context

A web content author creates a button with a role="send" then, without any additional work by the author the web content automatically:

2.3 General Context

A female user with a cognitive disability may need to select "Less options", while shopping on a website to eliminate options that are not relevant to a her shopping needs. In this case it may be appropriate to demote these options to display below the scroll or placed under a "More option" button.

2.4 Interoperable Symbols

Mapping an AAC users' symbols to the same concepts enables the user agent to load the appropriate symbols enabling the user to understand and access content on the web and in other applications. In addition, AAC users, and those working with AAC users will be able to load AAC user symbols into these applications enabling access to content that has been created by different providers.

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

2.5 Non-Numerical Comprehension

A suggested user experience would be: Numerical concepts could be rendered by the user agent slightly different so that the user knows a number free explanation is available. The user can then focus on the content and a tooltip or other disclosure mechanism would give the number free value.

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

2.6 Alternate Language Complexity

For example, you may wish to provide a simplified summary of legal document, but still have a longer version for other users.

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

2.7 Non-literal Text and Images

Non-literal content could be rendered by the user agent with an indication that signifies to the user that this content should not be taken literally and that a literal explanation is available. The user can then place focus on the content and a tooltip or other disclosure mechanism would give the literal value.

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

2.8 More Help

>Some users may need additional information or specifically additional help information.

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

2.9 Explain and Feedback

Some users need additional feedback about events on the web page.

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

2.10 Indication of Sequence in Breadcrumbs

A hyperlinked, sequential breadcrumb list displays in the header, allowing the user agent to build a sequential indicator that displays a link to each page in the order it was visited by the user.

Editor's note

I believe an important feature is that this mechanism can cross defined tasks and give a more holistic version of the user flow. Typically in a defined sequence of tasks an author will have provided the nessessary afforardance, location in the path, navigation through the path, etc., in the UI by design.

2.11 Reminders and Messages

Users can disable push notifications and messages on applications such as Skype and Facebook across different devices, however, they may forget to re-enable these notifications and messages. A user's contacts can be organized by importance or by groups. For example, the CEO of the company a user works for and a user's child care giver could both be set to critical. A user's contacts may also be grouped. Family members may be in one group, important colleagues may be in a second group, and friends in a third group.

Privacy Implications:This feature could in theory be implemented pre-authentication. Depending on the implementation, this would expose a users contats to the client in clear text.

Existing Technologies: Would Web push notification with customization by the user satisfy the requirement here as opposed to introducing new semantics?


Example User Experience: Question for the group. How would data be shared, if at all, between applications containing, for example, contacts and the proposed mechanism

Editor's note

This isn't worded in use case language, so needs to be reformulated.

3. Requirements

3.1 Personalization Features

Editor's note

See feature issues for considerations on requirements for specific features of personalization semantics.

3.1.1 Importance identification

Requirement: There must be a mechanism to identify and differentiate the features included in web content based on its importance (e.g. critical, high, medium, low). The definition of a feature's importance should be defined from the user's perspective as:

  • Critical — used by the majority of users 90% of the time or more.
  • High — used at least 60% of the time or more.
  • Medium — used by 20% of users, 20% of the time.
  • Low — used less then 20%.

Fulfills use cases: Simplification

Relevant properties: simplification

3.1.2 Familiar Terms and Symbols

Terms and symbols used in web content must be familiar to the user because what is familiar to one user may be unrecognizable or strange to someone else requiring the user to learn new symbols. Therefore, the user agent or script should understand the context of links, buttons, and other page elements so that symbols and text displayed in a way each user understands. This can include:

  • Familiar Symbols and graphics that they are familiar with
  • Tooltips
  • Language translation
  • Keyboard shortcuts

In order to display the appropriate content the supported syntax and terms must be standardized using attributes to associate symbols, terms, translations and explanations that are presented in a way that is understandable by various user scenarios.

Fulfills use cases: Adding Context

Relevant properties: action, destination, field

3.1.4 Symbol Sets

Create interoperable symbol sets for users with complex communication needs that require the use of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) systems. AAC systems are designed for people who are non-verbal that often use symbols with or without text. AAC end-users tend to only learn one symbol set and cannot easily communicate with other symbol users in a written format. In addition, they may struggle to understand different symbols that are used in different applications. It's important to note that some symbols may be subject to copyright, which means they cannot be shared across applications. However, there are open symbol sets that can be shared and mapped against concepts, generating representative text. This text can also be translated into different languages as well as used to display a different set of symbols.

Fulfills use case: Interoperable Symbols

Relevant properties: @@concept

3.1.5 Number Free

Not everyone can understand numbers. The numberfree attribute is intended as an alternative text for people who can not understand the main content.

Editor's note

This needs to be made higher-level.

Fulfills use case: Non-Numerical Comprehension

Relevant properties: numberfree

3.1.6 Indicate Alternate Language Complexity of Same Content

Authors may want to provide a simplified version of the page or of a section of a page. These alternative versions may not be identical in content but maintain the intent of the original content.

Editor's note

Needs more specific requirement.

Fulfills use case: Alternate Language Complexity

Relevant properties: alternative, easylang

3.1.7 Indicate Non-Literal Content

Some users cannot understand non-literal text and icons such as metaphors, idioms etc. The literal property is intended to identify text or images as non-literal and allows the author to explain non-literal text and images to users.

Editor's note

Needs more specific requirement.

Fulfills use case: Non-literal Text and Images

Relevant properties: literal

3.1.8 Help Information

We propose additional properties so that an author can indicate the existence of this additional information.

Editor's note

Needs more specific requirement.

Fulfills use case: More Help

Relevant properties: moreinfo, extrahelp, helptype

3.1.9 Provide Feedback

We propose additional properties where the author can provide additional information or explain what just happened.

Editor's note

Needs more specific requirement.

Fulfills use case: Explain and Feedback

Relevant properties: feedback, explain

3.1.10 Step Indicator

Users may have differences in both working and short-term memory. For some users the duration of working memory may be shorter than the average which is between 10-15 seconds. For some users the duration of short-term memory may be shorter than the average which is between 15-30 seconds.

Many processes consist of a sequence of separate steps or actions which must be performed by a user to complete a process or workflow. Users must be able to track completed tasks in order to identify their location in a process. In addition, a user must be able to navigate to completed tasks to make modifications or corrections.

The suggested defined values allow an author to transform information associated with steps within a process or represent the entire user path including steps out of the context of a defined process and steps between defined processes into breadcrumbs or linked steps that identify completed tasks, allow the user to make edits to steps that have been completed and identify a user' current location in a user path.

Editor's note

Needs more clear requirement.

Fulfills use case: Indication of Sequence in Breadcrumbs

Relevant properties: @@stepindicator, @@step, @@steplocation, @@stepstatus @@stepnumber

3.1.11 Message Categorization

A mechanism for managing both system level and application level reminders and messages is a useful tool for people with a variety of cognitive disabilities including, memory impairment and users who are sensitive to distractions. We require a group of defined values that give users control over the amount of reminders and messages that are presented along with a mechanism for managing, prioritizing, managing and grouping reminders and messages.

The defined values should allow an alternative solution for users to manage reminders and messages by forming a cross-application and cross-device matrix that manages all reminders and messages. These values are based on a matrix for reminders and messages at the operating system, browser or cloud level.

Editor's note

Needs more clear requirement.

Fulfills use case: Reminders and Messages

Relevant properties: message messageimportance, messagefrom, messagegroup, messagetime

3.2 Vocabulary Structure

Editor's note

See vocabulary structure issues for considerations on requirements for vocabulary structure.

3.3 Host Language Integration

A. Acknowledgments

This section is non-normative.

The following people contributed to the development of this document.

A.1 Participants active in the Personalization TF at the time of publication

A.2 Other Personalization TF contributors, commenters, and previously active participants

A.3 Enabling funders

This publication has been funded in part with U.S. Federal funds from the Health and Human Services, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) under contract number HHSP23301500054C. The content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.