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  1. #26
    SitePoint Evangelist JordashTalon's Avatar
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    I look at standards as a way of helping me try to get things working in as much things as possible Firefox and Internet Explorer being the two big ones, (I don't really care to support IE 6 anymore). It really depends on your target demographic (what browser are they going to be using, about 7% of my users are still on IE 6 and my message to them is, Upgrade Already please! If I wanted to support a Cell Phone or palm i'd probably right a wap.domain.com version of my site, alot of Phones can display Websites pretty good anyway.

  2. #27
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanReese View Post
    I put hard work into every site I make because eventually it will come back.
    Just consider a 2000 page web site that has been given to you because they want to move the sidebar from the left of the pages to the right. If the pages are coded correctly according to the standards then it should be a minor CSS change taking seconds to do and minutes to test. If the pages don't follow the current standards and used tables for the page layout then you have several weeks of work ahead of you to make the same change. Following the standards and doing things the right way makes manintaining the pages much easier (as well as all theother benefits previously mentiioned).
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  3. #28
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    Although you - web designers take pride in your work, it is from your clients perspective - the people who own websites that you should imagine yourself to be when talking about web standards. For them, it is all ABOUT return on investment. They are not paying you to create something that you can take pride in. They want something that meets their end. The former is a consolation if you get it.

    If following standards makes you a *needlessly* expensive (money and time wise) designer for a marginal benefit - one or two sales not lost - then sticking to standards isn't worth the trouble.

    While usability is very important, standards are not THAT important that you should stall a project by a couple of days because your mark up isnt standards complaint. There is no guarantee that standards complaint code will deploy uniformly in all browsers.

    &#37; of people using non-standard following browsers such as some found in mobile devices is indeed very very small unlike the figure stated above being - 70%. Even then, we can't design a website like running a political party. If you do then you may as well remove javascript, images, even transparent png images and heck, even CSS as some people still use old browsers.

  4. #29
    SitePoint Addict Poiesis01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajaSekharan View Post
    Although you - web designers take pride in your work, it is from your clients perspective - the people who own websites that you should imagine yourself to be when talking about web standards. For them, it is all ABOUT return on investment. They are not paying you to create something that you can take pride in. They want something that meets their end. The former is a consolation if you get it.
    Perhaps, but if it's not worth putting in your portfolio, it's not worth doing, in my opinion at least. Your designs also serves as an advertisement for your work; a shoddy get-it-done job may not look good to prospective clients.
    Quote Originally Posted by RajaSekharan View Post
    If following standards makes you a *needlessly* expensive (money and time wise) designer for a marginal benefit - one or two sales not lost - then sticking to standards isn't worth the trouble.
    Designing to standards does not increase costs, it reduces them as it's easier to maintain a site that is designed properly.
    Quote Originally Posted by RajaSekharan View Post
    While usability is very important, standards are not THAT important that you should stall a project by a couple of days because your mark up isnt standards complaint. There is no guarantee that standards complaint code will deploy uniformly in all browsers.
    Usability and standards usually go together; modifying a website to
    display correctly in all browsers doesn't take days to accomplish.
    Quote Originally Posted by RajaSekharan View Post
    &#37; of people using non-standard following browsers such as some found in mobile devices is indeed very very small unlike the figure stated above being - 70%. Even then, we can't design a website like running a political party. If you do then you may as well remove javascript, images, even transparent png images and heck, even CSS as some people still use old browsers.
    That's where detecting device class comes in handy

  5. #30
    SitePoint Addict Fre420's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajaSekharan View Post
    Although you - web designers take pride in your work, it is from your clients perspective - the people who own websites that you should imagine yourself to be when talking about web standards. For them, it is all ABOUT return on investment. They are not paying you to create something that you can take pride in. They want something that meets their end. The former is a consolation if you get it.

    If following standards makes you a *needlessly* expensive (money and time wise) designer for a marginal benefit - one or two sales not lost - then sticking to standards isn't worth the trouble.

    While usability is very important, standards are not THAT important that you should stall a project by a couple of days because your mark up isnt standards complaint. There is no guarantee that standards complaint code will deploy uniformly in all browsers.

    % of people using non-standard following browsers such as some found in mobile devices is indeed very very small unlike the figure stated above being - 70%. Even then, we can't design a website like running a political party. If you do then you may as well remove javascript, images, even transparent png images and heck, even CSS as some people still use old browsers.
    You pointed out the keyword how to communicate standards to your clients.
    Return on Investment

    But you seem to forget the start point of it, being INVESTMENT.

    an investment is not a one time cost. You invest in something, for example a building. When you need bigger space, you should be able to expand your building, not just tearing it down & built a new one.

    This is where standards come into place.
    Yes it takes more time to develop a CSS site then a table-layout site.
    But it takes a lot less time to change that site with CSS then with tables.

    An investment requires a business plan, & should be evaluated to check if it meets it's goals.
    A website too. If you want a website, then you want it for something (getting new clients for example). To be able to see if your website is successful, you need to set certain goals for that website. For example I want to spent 10 000$ for a website & expect 3 000 new clients directly because of the website, after 2 years.
    You need to check your goals constantly, to see if you're going to meet these goals.
    Do we get 1500 new clients after 1 year ? If not ... what's going wrong ?
    Find the places where it goes wrong, & change it.

    It's the changing part where standards, like CSS, semantic HTML, & DOM + listener based javascript come into place.
    It's when you think about building the website further, expanding & improving it, where standards come to their right.

    It's when you take your job seriously, & your clients money & goals too, that you shouldn't be questioning standards, because they are what makes the return of your investment, over time.
    If you still make websites with a "I get money & produce something" attitude ... then stick to tables & don't keep up with standards, because it's true it will be more cost effective, because the client won't care. And the biggest reason is that you can't give value to your own product. You just produce something without thinking, because the client asks something without knowing what it is all about.

    But if you talk about investments, you want to meet goals, you want to spread your message as far as possible, optimize your website as fast as possible, etc ...
    Standards will make you do that faster & more cost effective.
    If you sell a website like an investment, & explains exactly what a website investment means, you should not have any troubles selling the extra work to sell a standards based website.

    Saying that you don't need to bother about smartphones etc ... is bad investment thinking. The smartphone industry is growing expontentially, in 2 years 20% of your public might browse the website with a smartphone.

  6. #31
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RajaSekharan View Post
    If following standards makes you a *needlessly* expensive (money and time wise) designer for a marginal benefit - one or two sales not lost - then sticking to standards isn't worth the trouble.
    But it is the reverse that it true. NOT foloowing the standards automatically makes you hundreds of times more expensive long term than following them. Even if it costs slightly more at the start to follow the standards (say $101 for every $100 it would have otherwise cost up front) that is soon recooped the first time changes are required ($1 instead of $99) and even more savings are made for each subsequent change. At the end of five years after redesigning the site five times it will have cost $106 following the standards and $595 mot following the standards. That doesn't take into account your getting the pages to work on more than one web browser either - following the standards might mean you need to apply fixes for one or two non-standard browsers (eg. IE6 and IE7) which might double the costs. Not following the standards means you need to test in every single web browser you expect people to use (let's say there are 7 that have a significant following to be worth testing) So instead of $212 by following the standards it costs $4165 to do the same thing ignoring the standards.

    Of course the client may not realise this and may choose the option that is cheaper up front not realising that they are buying junk that will cost a small fortune to maintain.
    Stephen J Chapman

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  7. #32
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    RajaSekharan The problem with clients wanting something "just done" without pride going into producing the end website is that you are saying they are not hiring you to use your skills to produce something which looks, acts and functions professionally. Remember: the client is paying the professional to do the job correctly (and they are a professional for a good reason), and as such, it would be crazy to ignore the person who is only trying to do what is in your best interests; it’s like hiring an expert in marketing and then ignoring their advice entirely.

    As for web standards, clearly anyone who understands them will know that they reduce the amount of code required, speed up the ability to maintain a website and cost less money to both produce and keep working in the long run. You act like standards would only benefit one or two people. What you are ignoring is that standards directly affect accessibility, which directly in turn affects usability and in turn, SEO rankings. Unfortunately based on what you have said I can only conclude you really do not understand the general principles of web design, claiming that “you may as well disable” is simply a rather obvious mistake to make. A website which is coded with standards (which by definition uses unobtrusive coding) will work for any web browser, and for browsers which support more advanced technologies it will offer that additional layered functionality.

  8. #33
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    I don't see how standards take any more time. CSS layouts are not hard. If you learned CSS correctly and know it like the back of your hand, whipping up a layout from scratch is very easy. I really don't see a reason as to not follow standards because it doesn't matter either way. Both take the same time and effort commitment, so you might as well do it the right way. Plus, it will work mostly right in all the major browsers (except IE 6 and older browsers), and if you just need to support IE 6, just a few changes here and there and it works.

    As for accessibility, don't you have a heart for those people who aren't as lucky? But if you don't have a heart, as some have mentioned, you can get sued for it depending on where you website is located. Accessibility goes hand in hand with standards though, because if you stick with standards (which isn't hard to begin with), you've got a lot of accessibility down. The people who write the standards already think of all these things.

  9. #34
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    Why are web standards and usability so important?

    Let's start with the easy one - usability. If you don't make your site easy to use, you won't get much trade. Sure, you might get a lot of visitors, but if those people have difficulty in finding their way around the website and in carrying out whatever transaction or finding whatever information they came to the website for ... a lot of them will give up before completing, and even those that do persevere are unlikely to come back a second time.

    That's all that usability is - making the website as easy as possible for people to use. It covers a wide range of aspects, including navigation and affordance; page layout; size, position and appearance of text and widgets; transaction and process path; meta-information, and more. The easier your website is to use, the more sales you will get (all other things being equal).

    The harder one to sell is standards.

    First, a bit of history. The problem is that we have a generation of web authors who started writing in the Bad Old Days when standards weren't properly supported, who learned bad ways of writing code because it was the only way to get the dodgy browsers of the time to display the fancy designs they wanted. Because they know the complicated, convoluted Bad Old Ways, and they haven't bothered to learn Standards, they assume Standards are somehow difficult. That just isn't true. Those of us who learned standards from the start find it quite impossible to get a layout to work convincingly with old-fashioned code, where it is dead easy with standards.

    OK, now the tricky question ... why?

    All current browsers support standards, more or less. All new browsers support standards even better. There is a definite and undeniable trend towards standards-compliance in every new version of every browser. What that means is that a standards-based site is pretty much guaranteed to work in any new browser released, whereas table/hack based sites often won't.

    Standards help to ensure that your site is accessible, which means that the small but significant (and growing) proportion of people using assistive technology (eg screen readers, magnifiers etc), or who navigate by keyboard rather than mouse, or who are using mobile phones and gadgets, can use your website. Websites written the bad old ways will often be more difficult to use, if not outright impossible, for people browsing other than sat at a PC or laptop with eyes, fingers and a mouse. Sure, those people are a minority, but minorities matter. (a) It is morally, and in many cases legally, wrong to discriminate against people with disabilities. Just as shops and other physical buildings are having to adapt to allow wheelchairs, minicom loops and so on (often at great expense), so website owners have a responsibility to make the minor adjustments necessary for "disabled" access. (b) People with physical disabilities often rely on the web more than able-bodied or sighted people - for many of them, it's the only way to be easily independent, so they often carry out more business and purchases online than their non-disabled counterparts. (c) When a site is recognised as being highly accessible, word of mouth gets around and you can very quickly have the lion's share of all disabled users, where able-bodied users may be spread much more thinly over many more sites. And that means lots of custom.

    And let's not forget the biggest blind user of them all - Google. While those clever people at Mountain View have got pretty good over the years at figuring out what a website is about, it's much easier for them if your website is written with correct standards, because then their machines can get a much better idea what your website does and how it all fits together. Is that important? You bet! The more Google knows about your website, the more likely it is to rank you near/at the top for relevant search terms, and the more likely it is to offer deep links to relevant pages, so that users don't just get dumped at your home page, or the wrong deep link, and have to figure out your site for themselves ... which most of them won't bother to do. They are much more likely to go back to Google and try a different link.

    Standards will make it much easier for you and your company in the long-run. A table based layout may need to be completely re-written when the content structure changes or if you want to change the look of the site, but standards based pages will need a relatively minor tweak to the template and CSS and you're away. If someone else needs to work on a page that you've written, they've got a much better chance of figuring out what you've done if you've used correct markup rather than bodged it together.

    All this sounds a bit one-sided, so perhaps we need some balance. Why don't some people use web standards?

    As I said, it is usually because they learned web authoring in the days before web standards were well-supported, and they haven't bothered to keep up-to-date. Or they have learned from people in that situation. Some particular designs, which were used because they were easy to hack together, don't translate so easily into a standards-based design, and people who are wedded to that design often stick with the old ways rather than learn something new and improve their site.

    And, that perennial favourite of web designers, IE6. The browser we all love to hate can make a complete hash of complicated standards-based designs. Its faults are well-documented, and experienced coders usually know where the pitfalls are, what to avoid, and how to fix it if those pitfalls are unavoidable. But for novice coders embarking on a difficult project, it can be a daunting task to learn all this.

    And that's about it.

    We're not saying that every last page on your website must validate, and that a single error will mean the end of the world. But just as you write in English and pay attention to correct spelling and grammar, so that people can easily understand and interpret what you are writing, so you code in correct and semantic (x)HTML to allow computers to correctly understand and interpret what you are coding.

  10. #35
    Mouse catcher silver trophy Stevie D's Avatar
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    That is a big problem. There are a lot of cowboys out there who make great claims that are totally unsubstantiated and unjustified by the drivel they produce. And until the web design industry gets any sort of official certification, that isn't going to change - because most people just don't know what web standards are. And I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing - I don't know anything about central heating, but I know that I need to go to a gas fitter who is Corgi-registered to have any work done. And even then, it is sometimes difficult to know a cowboy from a good guy.

    Web designers doesn't have any official stamp of approval, and the majority of people don't know good from bad, so it is very difficult to do anything about the designers who say one thing and do another.
    Last edited by r937; Apr 16, 2009 at 06:31. Reason: removed quote from deleted post

  11. #36
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    ^ what we call a "Lemon market". When buying a used car, the dealer will tell you anything. You the consumer have no real way of knowing how good that car really is. You can only go by looks and how it feels initially, unless you're a mechanic.

  12. #37
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    Maybe this has already been said and I've missed, but there is something I've always wondered.

    Why should someone be able to sue me for visiting my an inaccessible website?
    If you can't use it because of whatever disability you have, buy whatever I'm selling from somewhere else.

    Obviously it's to my benefit to make the website as accessible as possible, as the more people who able to access my website the more potential sales I'll make, but I don't think people should be punished for not accommodating for a very small minority of the population.

    Sounds harsh, but it's just something I've been wondering.

    If anyone can enlighten me perhaps I can understand this more fully.

    At the moment I can only imagine that other than increasing sales, it's just a nice thing to do, but not something that you should be sued for.

  13. #38
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevex33 View Post
    Why should someone be able to sue me for visiting my an inaccessible website?
    If you can't use it because of whatever disability you have, buy whatever I'm selling from somewhere else.
    Perhaps because you might be breaking the laws of your country by not making your site accessible to certain groups of people. There has already been at least one major court case where a company had to hand over millions of dollars because some people were unable to make purchases via their web site. Often there are special anti-discrimination laws that people with certain disabilities can use if anyone produces anything that they can't use because of their disability.

    Of course the other reason is that by driving a part of your potential customer base to your competition you have them tell their friends and their friends tell their friends and soon everyone is buying from your competition and no one is buying from you.
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  14. #39
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevex33 View Post
    Why should someone be able to sue me for visiting my an inaccessible website?
    If you can't use it because of whatever disability you have, buy whatever I'm selling from somewhere else.
    What if everyone else is as callous and uncaring? Then there's nowhere else to buy from.

    Do you think it's fair to be excluded from a part of society because of something over which you have no control? People generally don't choose to have a disability, you know. They may already have enough problems in the brick and mortar world, so why should we erect even more, unnecessary, barriers in the brave new electronic world?

    Remember, a web page marked up with semantically correct HTML is accessible. All we designers and developers can do is to make it less accessible by adding stuff that won't work for everyone.

    So there's no extra work in making something accessible. You're doing the extra work to make things inaccessible. What's the point in that?
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Why should someone be able to sue me for visiting my an inaccessible website?
    More along felgall's point: for the same reason someone should be able to sue their local city for not adding invalidedrempels (what are they called, the little rampy things so wheels can go from sidewalk to curb to street and back) at every or most corners. With an exception:

    A personal website is like your house. You can legally state that no blacks, Jews or people with clothing may enter. Your house, your rules, for the most part.

    A commercial website is privately owned but opened to the public, like a restaurant. Private owners who open their property up to the public, or certain sectors of the public, are under extra rules and regulations (things like health and safety come to mind) and you receive an extra burden of "serving the public". In many places, a commercial website is not legally required to do diddly squat for whatever, disabled people or anyone else, but Australia and the UK seem to be leading this idea that it should, and seems to be spreading very slowly.

    A public space, especially when paid for or supported by taxpayers, gets all the rest of the rules, and in many countries there are accessibility laws (like discrimination of any other group of the public) affecting such completely public places. Paid for by the people? it'd better be FOR the people, all of them.

    The other ideas from Tommy I'm sure you have already considered. It's simply unnecessary frustration trying to do something everyone else can do and because someone did something wrong or different, you can't. It sucks having to constantly ask your family and friends to do stuff for you.
    This is more of a "help old ladies cross the street" thing. You aren't required to help them, and you may just not care. But of course it automagically end up in the Good Thing column.

  16. #41
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Because under international law, preventing people from accessing your services based on disability is considered as discriminatory as a physical store telling wheelchair users they are not allowed to shop there because of the need for a ramp. You seem to have made one big mistake about accessibility, you have the false assumption that it is a very small minority of the population who would be affected by your website not being accessible, however let the below enlighten you.

    Firstly take all the visually impaired users (we are talking not just blind but partially sighted people) and do not forget about people suffering color blindness as you would be surprised how damaging some websites can appear to people with color blindness (which is 1 in 6 members of the population – for example I have seen low contrast websites which are almost impossible to read – and I am red/green color blind which affects millions worldwide), and of course websites with extreme flashing effects can affect people with epilepsy. And of course there are the search engines like Google, which are visually impaired as they can only see and mark what they see in terms of structure, which means no accessibility means damaged SEO ranking.

    Next take into account auditory impaired users, if you have videos on your website or audio, people may be unable to hear them, poor hearing can be anything from deafness to tinnitus... again a very common condition.

    Next we have motor function problems which include people who cannot navigate using mice due to conditions which affect their ability to move... so now you have also eliminated people who suffer arthritis, a high population of the elderly and small children (who do not have strong motor functions), people who recently had a stroke, people who lost limbs and people with medical conditions or circumstances where they cannot effectively move their limbs properly such as people involved in accidents where they require physical therapy like car crash victims.

    And finally now we move into cognitive disabilities, conditions in which people have problems understanding what is on your website such as if you have complicated language on your website or hard to navigate designs. So now you have turned away people with strong dyslexia, Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive memory disorders, possibly mental health problems and those who may have language problems such as unable to read, but can use a screen reader to understand spoken word and of course people who cannot read English (if your site is entirely in English). And of course people with low concentration (for taking in information) such as attention deficit disorder.

    It is sad people see disabled or inhibited users as the minority of the population when taking everything that can damage the ability to browse a website (from minor to major) “those people” you effectively give the one fingered salute to, are in fact the majority.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    This is more of a "help old ladies cross the street" thing. You aren't required to help them, and you may just not care.
    I disagree, Poes. It would be more correct (in my opinion) to say that it's equivalent to abstain from putting up 150 cm high fences along all streets, which would make it very difficult for most old ladies to cross the street. And not only old ladies.

    Of course, if you're an 18-year-old athletic male you might not be unduly worried about jumping over a five-foot fence. The attitude of stevex33's post is similar to such a young man not understanding why those fences would be a problem for anyone, since they aren't for him.

    Actually helping old ladies to cross the street compares to a different level of accessibility. That's along the lines of providing multiple versions of the same content (text, simplified text, close-captioned video, sign language video, etc.).
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Next take into account auditory impaired users, if you have videos on your website or audio, people may be unable to hear them, poor hearing can be anything from deafness to tinnitus... again a very common condition.
    I've been and will likely continue to ignore this group. Unless I start making dynamic, video-y sites. The web is still a mostly visual/textual medium. That some members of the Deaf-with-the-big-D group have trouble with written language isn't something I worry about either. They can take as much time as they need to work their way through the text.

    ...a high population of the elderly and small children (who do not have strong motor functions)...
    What's funny is when those elderly (and not so elderly) with arthritis often have to ask the small children to open the anti-child caps on pill bottles!


    And finally now we move into cognitive disabilities, conditions in which people have problems understanding what is on your website such as if you have complicated language on your website or hard to navigate designs. So now you have turned away people with strong dyslexia, Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive memory disorders, possibly mental health problems and those who may have language problems such as unable to read, but can use a screen reader to understand spoken word and of course people who cannot read English (if your site is entirely in English). And of course people with low concentration (for taking in information) such as attention deficit disorder.
    Doing things like making sure you don't have typos or grammatical mistakes, and reducing the amount of what Nielsen calls "Made-up Words" can end up helping them as much as anyone else. But for websites with technical information (like insurance) you really need to use the terms you are legally required to use, and you need to use the terms of the industry. Having definitions of common terms is a good idea, again, for everyone, and can help any language-impaired-for-whatever-reason. But I'm pretty sure I don't want someone with Alzheimers visiting ANY of my sites except maybe my personal one, because we don't want them getting involved in complex financial transactions without a guardian anyway (same goes for children, those who don't speak Dutch without a translator, etc). Complicated language is something some sites just need to have. And things written in baby-talk feels rather insulting. Unlike listening to someone talk, you can spend as much time as you want figuring out some written text. And on teh interwebs, you have the advantage of being able to look stuff up in the same browser-- I do it whenever I come across a new, weird insurance word.

    It is sad people see disabled or inhibited users as the minority of the population when taking everything that can damage the ability to browse a website (from minor to major) “those people” you effectively give the one fingered salute to, are in fact the majority.
    I kinda wish that were true, because it would help push the point we're making. But if you have a small site, your majority is pretty homogenous. The blind can insure their scooters on our site, but I doubt I've had a single blind visitor. If you're larger or international, you can have such a significant % of visitors with some thing or another, that not only does it matter but you can measure it, and even have a strong influence on profits.

    I have a semi-serious joke I make with my husband, who often plays devil's advocate (he loves to say things like, blind people don't use the internet, they're blind, lawlz) where, whenever we run across a site that's very hard to access (the kind that die nasty deaths in Firefox even), I say something like, why did they forget to put the "No Cripples Allowed" sign on the main page? So we didn't have to waste our time trying to access it.
    I've even thought of making a big sign, with the blue wheelchair parking symbol, a red circle around it, and placing it on screenshots of inaccessible sites, making it look like it's all official and stuff, like those You Need Javascript Enabled to View This Website signs. At least those ones tell you right out that the site's broken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanReese View Post
    felgall, correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't in CSS1 the site designer could override the user settings, but in now, CSS2, the user take presedence? How come if I try and make a table with no borders, it comes with no borders. (off topic I assume).

    Standards should be followed-you can't be forced to do something but you get a little bonus from doing so.

    Off Topic:

    And you get that great feeling that you just coded a great page
    Things changed from one version to the next and some things work differently. And if you look to CSS2.1 there are quite a few things that contradict CSS2

    The second thing is that there are no Standards "per se", although we treat them as such, but recommendations. As a recommendation, the browser can do whatever it feels like (or it is programmed to ) doing

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I disagree, Poes. It would be more correct (in my opinion) to say that it's equivalent to abstain from putting up 150 cm high fences along all streets, which would make it very difficult for most old ladies to cross the street. And not only old ladies.
    I know what you're referring to, but I kinda meant the whole discrimmination thing. If you don't know how to build a web page then making an inaccessible site is easy, but yes if you know what you're doing you almost have to be deliberate, instead of lazy, to make a site inaccessible. But seriously, what's more work? Throwing in a marquee tag, or writing a little javascript to make something scroll, setting it externally (so now you need a loader) and then testing cause MS does load differently from Safari etc? At least that's the only way I can explain the modern existence of marquee tags (on sites built after 2005). And as with that, all other sorts of bad code.

    And the rest, I'd say is simply people being unaware. Web developers talk all the time about this stuff. We're at least aware of it. I wouldn't know about screen readers or any of that stuff if I didn't build websites. There are plenty of business owners who bought a copy of whatever-- dreambeaver or there's some other one visual design studio? that's popular) to build their company website affordably and if you asked them, do you hate the blind? or Do you want to stop those with motor impairments from buying your sharp metal-cutting tools? they'd say, "well no of course not. I didn't know that blah blah blah doesn't work the same way as it does for me on my machine at home".

    Which is different from a lazy or under-educated web developer who says, well (example, Marquee) works in all browsers, no hacks, no testing even needed, why do it the complicated way with external JS and testing and hacks and all that jazz? For (2, whatever) potential customers on this mom-and-pop site? Now, I can understand their point but then I dont think they should be in the profession then.

    But whether you ADD things to your site to make it more accessible: access keys or skip links or larger text (or a text-resizing widget) or a different font or adding a glossary of terms for the minority who are unlikely but possible to visit your site, that can certainly be viewed as helping old ladies across the street. It's a Good Thing, it can only help your business or whatever, it makes your site more complete, but most of those are guidelines someone who calls themselves a professional can choose to do or not.

    *edit I was thinking of these lines:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy
    What if everyone else is as callous and uncaring? Then there's nowhere else to buy from.

    Do you think it's fair to be excluded from a part of society because of something over which you have no control? People generally don't choose to grow old, you know. They may already have enough problems in the brick and mortar world, so why should we erect even more, unnecessary, barriers in the brave new electronic world?
    Callous and uncaring, sure, but the setting up of a fence is downright intentional : ) Rabbit-proof fence.

  21. #46
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I've been and will likely continue to ignore this group. Unless I start making dynamic, video-y sites. The web is still a mostly visual/textual medium. That some members of the Deaf-with-the-big-D group have trouble with written language isn't something I worry about either. They can take as much time as they need to work their way through the text.
    Sorry but I was explicitally talking about video, and if you try watching a video with the sound off and try to work out what someone says, lets see how much time you need until they "work their way through it" - especially if you cannot lip read.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    What's funny is when those elderly (and not so elderly) with arthritis often have to ask the small children to open the anti-child caps on pill bottles!.
    Well little hands make light work!


    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Doing things like making sure you don't have typos or grammatical mistakes, and reducing the amount of what Nielsen calls "Made-up Words" can end up helping them as much as anyone else. But for websites with technical information (like insurance) you really need to use the terms you are legally required to use, and you need to use the terms of the industry. Having definitions of common terms is a good idea, again, for everyone, and can help any language-impaired-for-whatever-reason. But I'm pretty sure I don't want someone with Alzheimers visiting ANY of my sites except maybe my personal one, because we don't want them getting involved in complex financial transactions without a guardian anyway (same goes for children, those who don't speak Dutch without a translator, etc). Complicated language is something some sites just need to have. And things written in baby-talk feels rather insulting. Unlike listening to someone talk, you can spend as much time as you want figuring out some written text. And on teh interwebs, you have the advantage of being able to look stuff up in the same browser-- I do it whenever I come across a new, weird insurance word.
    I must emphasise disagreement here. While it is important to increase readability by reducing buzzwords and spelling / grammatical mistakes and of course breaking down sentence lengths to assist those who have problems reading, you should not discriminate against people with Alzheimer’s.

    You seem to have the false assumption that all people suffering Alzheimer’s immediately have no ability to understand what they read but this is entirely a false claim, it is only very late stage Alzheimer's sufferers who are likely to be unable to understand language and therefore confusingly not know what they are doing, but the problem with this is at such a late stage, they are highly unlikely to be able to use a computer anymore due to the same loss of understanding / association of words also applying to the computer (I mean look at all the words you have to understand onscreen to use a computer, like remembering usernames and passwords, account details, website addresses etc).

    What I am trying to put across is it is wrong to make a claim that you do not want someone with Alzheimer's visiting your website. The well known author Terry Pratchett currently is suffering early onset Alzheimer's and yet he is fully able to understand language and use a computer, are you telling me that you would do the disservice of telling someone who’s life situation is already pretty poor that you would flash the “come back with a grown-up” card in their face? I think it’s pretty insulting considering the Alzheimer's sufferers who use a computer will be able to read websites, just slower and perhaps need that simple language some dyslexics require.

    While I do agree that often language does need to be complicated (like license terms for example) what you could do is provide a help button for complicated blocks of language and give a shortened abbreviated and more simply explained explanation of what this means. When you fill in what is probably the most hated form in the world (the income tax form) they provide a great amount of documentation explaining in detail what you need to provide in technical terms, but they also provide a booklet which breaks it down into easy to understand segments so we do not require someone with a PhD in accounting just to work out how much we earned. It is unrealistic to expect people to read complicated documents like license information so follow the acronym and KISS.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    I say something like, why did they forget to put the "No Cripples Allowed" sign on the main page? So we didn't have to waste our time trying to access it. I've even thought of making a big sign, with the blue wheelchair parking symbol, a red circle around it, and placing it on screenshots of inaccessible sites, making it look like it's all official and stuff, like those You Need Javascript Enabled to View This Website signs. At least those ones tell you right out that the site's broken.
    You mean those “This page was built for Internet Explorer 5.5” buttons? Yea that makes sense, if you’re going to give the finger to disabled people, you may as well do it with big flashing lights and mocking messages.

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    SitePoint Wizard Stomme poes's Avatar
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    You seem to have the false assumption that all people suffering Alzheimer’s immediately have no ability to understand what they read but this is entirely a false claim, it is only very late stage Alzheimer's sufferers who are likely to be unable to understand language and therefore confusingly not know what they are doing, but the problem with this is at such a late stage, they are highly unlikely to be able to use a computer anymore due to the same loss of understanding / association of words also applying to the computer (I mean look at all the words you have to understand onscreen to use a computer, like remembering usernames and passwords, account details, website addresses etc).
    If they are not late-stage and can read and follow instructions, then they do not need anything extra or special to fill out our forms then, do they? If someone has trouble working a website due to their Alzheimers, do you think it's safe for them to buy a policy? Because even the easiest ones aren't that easy. And, what do you want me to do about it if their Alzheimers IS so bad they cannot work a website? Sorry but there's a pretty clear limit there what the web dev is responsible for and what they are not.

    You mean those “This page was built for Internet Explorer 5.5” buttons? Yea that makes sense, if you’re going to give the finger to disabled people, you may as well do it with big flashing lights and mocking messages.
    Exactly-- at least it's honest. There's a local company who are "SEO experts" and looking at any if their client's pages or their own, you can see they absolutely require a big flashing sign saying "Google Go Away" because it seems they've done absolutely everything possible to make it hard for Google to index their page (except they did finally lose the frames, clap clap).

    So yeah, I should add those to my pile of photoshop delights. I can imagine if a group of activists had pasted printouts of the target website screenshot with the big "no blind people" sign on it, in support of the guy who was suing them.

  23. #48
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    If they are not late-stage and can read and follow instructions, then they do not need anything extra or special to fill out our forms then, do they? If someone has trouble working a website due to their Alzheimers, do you think it's safe for them to buy a policy? Because even the easiest ones aren't that easy. And, what do you want me to do about it if their Alzheimers IS so bad they cannot work a website? Sorry but there's a pretty clear limit there what the web dev is responsible for and what they are not.
    Again you have it completely wrong, you are making out that Alzheimer's is either early stage or late stage, Alzheimer’s is a slow progressing disease which attacks the brain piece by piece over a long period of time. While late stage sufferers are usually those who are unable to function on their own behalf, it usually takes a few years to work up to that and during that time, they may find it much harder to comprehend certain pieces of information without added explanation - they may for example be able to understand someone telling them something, but be unable to comprehend certain words due to their brains loss of language structure in written context. Think someone who suffers from dyslexia, it is not a case that they either can read or they cannot, there is a wide spectrum of complexity to which affects their ability to understand information. Also: Sometimes those weasel words insurance companies love to use really can make even the wisest of us feel stupid.

  24. #49
    Resident curmudgeon bronze trophy gary.turner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molona View Post
    <snip>
    The second thing is that there are no Standards "per se", although we treat them as such, but recommendations. As a recommendation, the browser can do whatever it feels like (or it is programmed to ) doing
    Please do not make that specious argument. Standards are agreed upon methods for the facilitation of interoperability. No vendor is required to follow the standards, no matter what they're called. Failure to do so generally causes issues, as that vendor's product fails to play well with the other children.

    Email, which works so well, does not have "standards". Email client and server vendors follow a set of RFCs, Requests for Comments. You are free to ignore the requests, but it is likely your product will not get the mail through to anyone else.

    MSFT are an egregious example of a vendor ignoring requests and recommendations. They decided to ignore generally accepted networking RFCs in favor of their own proprietary methods. Setting up a mixed MSFT-modern OS network was unnecessarily difficult. Likewise, I'm sure you're familiar with the difficulties we all face with pre-IE8 browsers.

    cheers,

    gary
    Anyone can build a usable website. It takes a graphic
    designer to make it slow, confusing, and painful to use.

    Simple minded html & css demos and tutorials

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    Okay, I guess we can debate analogies until the cows come home, but I just want to comment on a couple of things:

    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    But seriously, what's more work? Throwing in a marquee tag, or writing a little javascript to make something scroll, setting it externally (so now you need a loader) and then testing cause MS does load differently from Safari etc?
    That's like asking, 'what's more work, building a fence of wood or one of bricks?'
    I'd claim it's the 'wrong' question.
    The easiest thing is, of course, not to build a fence at all. Resist the temptation to use scrolling text (whether using <marquee> or JavaScript), because it causes accessibility and usability problems for a lot of people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stomme poes View Post
    Callous and uncaring, sure, but the setting up of a fence is downright intentional
    So is using scrolling text. It doesn't happen by itself. You actively have to make an effort to make the page less usable and less accessible.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane


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