Why so naked?

by on Apr.08, 2009, under Web Standards

Well, in support of improving web standards, every year there is a “CSS Naked Day” and today is that day. This has been going on for the past 3 years and the numbers are ever increasing. look for your self :)

  • 2006 saw 763 sites stripped off
  • 2007 saw 1689 sites stripped off
  • 2008 saw 2189 sites stripped off

Want to join in? Head over to the Annual CSS Naked Day website and show your support :)

Just out of interest too, removing stylesheets allows you to see how accesibly your website is too :)

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Web accessibilty and the current situation

by on Nov.20, 2008, under Web

A collegue approached me the other day to discuss accessibility with regards the sitebuilder software I develop at work. We carried out some tests on one of the sites that had been created usning the software and it turns out that it is a lot more accessible than I thought it was. With a couple of tweaks here and there I can get all the sites that the system produces to pass the WCAG 1.0 AA level of accessibility.

This got me thinking about the current state of standards on the internet. I even posted a question a on Linkedin which revealed some interesting answers. It seems that most professionals do actually abide by some form of standard beit accessibility related or validation related. The conclusion I have drawn from the answers on Linkedin and my own personal experience is that if you conform to one of the main standards out there (WGAC or one of the many HTML validators out there) then chances are you will meet the majority of criteria from one of the others and with a small amount of tweaking you can create a site which is both valid and accessible to around 95% of users who frequent the internet.

I was also reminded of the Disability and Discrimation Act (DDA) which in the UK states that websites need to be accessible by all who wish to view them. The problem with this law is that it is vague with regards how far you need to go in order to comply with it. The other problem with this law is that there is nobody policing it, if there was then maybe the standard on the internet would be a little higher.

A couple of questions to think about are:

  1. Are your current systems accessibly?
  2. If so, how far did you go (i.e. WCAG 1.0 AAA)?
  3. If not, why not?
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What makes a great design?

by on Oct.29, 2008, under Personal, Web

99% of the people who browse the internet will take one look at the design of a site and within a couple of seconds they have decided whether to stick around or find somewhere else. This post will attempt to cover some of the more important aspects of website design along with a few of the standards which I believe should be adhered to.
The reason for this is not to rant but come to some conclusion with regards website design. I have recently spent quite a bit of time with the designers where I work and have decided to look into the aspects which go into creating an awesome and usable website design.
My background has always been development but following these discussions I believe that there are a lot of factors to take into consideration before a design can be produced. A few of these are:

  • Type of website & Target audience
  • Consistency (i.e. look and feel)
  • Font types & Colour schemes
  • Graphics both quantity and impression
  • Browser compatibility and resolution

The above list shows a few considerations which I believe to be the most important when designing a website but as I am a developer if someone wants to correct me then feel free. However allow me to justify my decision before you do đŸ˜‰
(continue reading…)

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Website Updates

by on Oct.07, 2008, under Personal, Web

Just in case anyone is wondering I have now moved the blog over to the main section of my site.

The main reason for this is that the old site was very dated and the new site is now under development and will be here shortly (well once it’s finished).

All the old guides, tutorials etc are still available upon request and they will all be included when the new site arrives. In the meantime you want to add to the guides etc then let me know.

In the meantime, feel free to take a look around and post any comments you feel fit and check back for more updates.

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BT Buys Customer Street

by on Jul.09, 2008, under Personal, Web

It was announced today that BT, one of the largest media groups in the world, has bought the Customer Street and UFindUs sections of the Iomart Group for the tidy sum of £20mil. This now means I work for BT :)

One of the contributing reasons to this is the presence that UFindUs has built up on the internet, this purchase by BT now means that both companies have a very good chance of rapidly becoming the biggest and best online directory systems on the internet.

David Benjamin, chief executive of BT Directories said

Ufindus will play an important role in the continued development of BT Directories’ online portfolio.

Through Ufindus’ considerable expertise and experience in online classified advertising, we access further local classified product offerings, significant search traffic and new customers for this fast-growing part of our business

For more information visit The growth of Customer Street

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Time to get naked again

by on Apr.04, 2008, under Web

Well its that time of the year again … time to strip of the styles and show the world how well your site performs when it comes to meeting web standards. The stripping will take place on the 9th April 2008.

Dont worry if you don’t think your site does meet the majority of the web standards, its more about joining in and seeing what your site looks like naked .

So head over to signup and show your support for Web Standards on the internet :)


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Online Directories – Customer Street

by on Jan.10, 2008, under Web

Well as some of you may have read I recently started working for a company based in Lancaster, Customer Street who deal with online directories and portals. Since starting there my main responsibility has been carrying out upgrades to the online directories in order to improve both functionality and usability. These can be found at:

Feel free to leave comments about what you think about them.

According to a few online ranking systems, UFindUs is the second largest online directory behind and is constantly on the rise.

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