Tag: linkedin

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 😉
(continue reading…)

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