UsableNet, the folks who develop usability and accessibility solutions, have a new version of LIFT, an add-on product for developing accessible and usable Web sites within Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 and Dreamweaver UltraDev 4.
LIFT is designed to let users perform four main functions: site evaluation, problem finding, problem inspection and problem fixing. The concept for UsableNet’s products and online services are simple: take all Web usability rules established by a growing community of research, educational institutions and even individuals, and make them available in the form of a product or service. Usability rules are based on research about how people find, use, access and navigate Web sites.
All LIFT features become available as menu items within Dreamweaver 4 and Dreamweaver UltraDev 4 and can be purchased at the
UsableNet Web site
for US$249 and $349 respectively. According to company spokesperson Melissa Hall, those features include:
The ability to establish custom guidelines by selecting from a range of commonly used pre-defined accessibility and usability standards;
The ability to automate the fixing process with a step-by-step process that guides you through the repair of tables, images, scripts, links and more;
Elimination of the manual evaluation of HTML by testing a single page or your entire Web site (plus, you can prioritize issues and fix most critical problems first);
The capability of viewing your development and design in real-time to avoid the retrofitting process;
Reporting tools that document compliance and simplify the process of understanding accessibility with W3C and Section 508 guidelines (you can build custom reports as needed);
Detailed explanations: you can access in-depth data about usability and accessibility issues including descriptions, explanations, examples and links to further info.
Macromedia and UsableNet reps say the LIFT products enable all users to access Web content and specifically addresses the issues raised by
Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Dreamweaver is Macromedia’s Web page development tool. UltraDev is authoring software that allows developers, programmers and designers to visually create and edit data-driven Web applications on multiple server platforms.