Core Skills Activity #4: JavaScript

Mark Newhouse

Seven Habits of Highly Successful Web Sites?

I decided to visit Franklin Covey. I started with JavaScript turned on (Mac IE5), and the first thing I noticed was a pop-up "ad" encouraging me to register with the web site, and get entered into a drawing to win a Porsche Boxter. I immediately closed the pop-up.

I then began to explore the site, and saw that it used DHTML Menus to expose additional choices within subsections, such as shopping, about us, and solutions. Clicking on one of the subsections opens a new page, with the DHTML menu expanded underneath. The rest of the navigation banner remained the same.

Sans JavaScript

At this point I turned JavaScript off and started over. No pop-up (later I nosed around and discovered that a cookie was set so that you only get the pop-up once - nice touch). The DHTML menus did not work, but the Shopping submenu was expanded underneath the menu navigation bar. On my machine, however, the submenu choices were not clickable. Clicking any sub section link on the menu bar worked, and the subsequent expanded sub-menus also worked, except for the shopping links. On further exploration I found a second, text-based navigation menu on the left side of the page that worked. Points for providing alternative means of accessing the content.

The only other thing I noticed was that there is an apparently random background image that is set via JavaScript, as it only shows up when scripting is enabled. Since it adds nothing to the site content-wise, I don't think it is a big problem.

To summarize, I think that, in my limited exploration of the site, there appear to be no drastic accessibility problems associated with scripting (other than the pop-up that only works with scripting on, and then only happens once if you let it set a cookie). All the content is available via other links, and the browsing experience is very similar whether scripting is on or off.


Checking the site in a text only browser reveals that there are much more significant accessibility issues, including but not limited to a lack of ALT text for many images, and all those menu links are gone. Looking at the source I see that the menu nav bar is an image map and ALT text has been specified, so a screen reader should pick up on them.

This site could use a lot of work...