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  1. #1
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    Why Accessible Web Design is important for Business

    I just found this article which I think sums it up pretty well.

    http://www.scotconnect.com/show.php?contentid=81

    However, as a business student, I'm finding that business people seem to keep usability issues at arm's length. It's not for them, it's for the designers/developers to deal with. I'm working on this as a thesis topic although I haven't yet completed my research proposal. If anyone has any comments or observations, I'd be very grateful.

    At this stage I'm looking at whether business people have an awareness of the importance of usability issues, and whether the importance of website usability is taught to business students at university level.

    (I mentioned this issue briefly in my introductory post, and had a couple of excellent replies, but thought it was more on-topic to continue here.)

  2. #2
    High fives all round! bradley317's Avatar
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    Generally, I think it should be left to the webbies. As far as I'm concerned accessible web design should be part of the service - I just think the quality of the website, and therefore the quality of design / development service, improves if accessible, or a least standards based, design principles are included from the beginning.

    It's a pretty big area really, so how can buisness folks be expected to know about it? I suppose it might help for them to know a little bit about the principle, so that they can be sure it's included in design briefs etc, but I don't see how learning about the detail will help them in the long run.
    Hello, hello, what's all this shouting?
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    Many thanks for the response, it's an interesting point of view and one which may well be prevalent. I still think that business people need some kind of grasp of usability issues - not necessarily the technical details such as where to put the navigation bar, logo, etc. There are many underlying theories such as those relating to optimal user experience and customer behaviour which I think should be covered in a business degree and which one can't necessarily expect the techies to know about.

    As a business student who knows a little bit (and I mean a little bit - no sarcasm intended) about web design, I think there is a need to bridge the gap between business people and designers. I'll be doing my thesis on this. Hope I can prove my point!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member speedbird01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stravaig
    I think there is a need to bridge the gap between business people and designers. I'll be doing my thesis on this. Hope I can prove my point!
    Business people need to take on readability, full stop. They are usually the content providers and need to differentiate between advertising-speak and true information.

    They also need to look at the way they construct their content visually making it well structured in terms of headings, lists and typograhic styling.

    Their use of language in terms of word density and sentence length can be checked in a mechanical kind of way with some long standing tools such as the
    Fog Index

    If you do a test of the content of tabloids and broadsheets by using these tools you can see that the tabloids are aimed at a much lower reading age. This makes them easy to read and is a major factor in their circulation success.
    Other tools for reabability are the SMOG Index and the Closure tests. All of these techniques can be used for improving web site content, but that is not the responsibility of the designer; it is for the content providers to take responsibilty for their own work.

    Good luck with your thesis and I hope that you can make a difference in future years.


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