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The Unheard Word

One woman's slightly skewed views

Archive for the 'Web Standards and Accessibility' Category

Fitting design to content, not content to design

Sunday, November 13th, 2005

For those that didn’t catch the heads-up on 456 Berea St, what a magnificent article by Chris at Wait till I come!. Chris notes how difficult it actually was, in the early days of the web, to build and maintain table-based websites that worked across browsers — and how (contrary to what some of the old-school diehards would have us believe) building websites using Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) layouts is not any more difficult, once you accept CSS for what it is.

He makes the very pertinent point that the design should fit around the content, not the content be made to fit into our designs.

Encouraging Web Standards

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

I’m a bit concerned, after some recent comments on some of the email lists to which I subscribe, about the attitude of some web standards advocates towards others.

My journey to a career in web development and design was quite a gradual one. I drifted into it one day when I was bored. I made a horrific attempt (of which I was extraordinarily pleased and proud at the time) at a home page at GeoCities. Thankfully, that site from way back in 1998 is long since dead and buried! I remember well my pain…

Derek Featherstone’s simplyaccessible.org is Simply Accessible

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

I was totally delighted to see the different approach Derek Featherstone has taken when putting his presentation from the Web Essentials 05 conference online.

Rather than just upload his prepared slides, Derek has created a new website, Simply Accessible.

Web Essentials ’05

Saturday, October 8th, 2005

I’ve been back for a week now and couldn’t let the occasion go by without remarking on it. Because it was, truly, a remarkable conference.

Firstly the line-up of international speakers was great.

Educating the Educators

Thursday, September 8th, 2005

An emerging discussion on the Web Standards Group (WSG) email list has brought up some interesting points on the quality of web design and development instruction in tertiary institutions.

I don’t have any statistics to back this up (and would be surprised if any formal study has been conducted) but there is strong anecdotal evidence that the majority of institutes of higher learning don’t teach web standards — and when they do, it’s with a wishy-washy attitude.

There are exceptions of course, and apparently Sydney TAFE has some excellent, standards-conscious teachers. I am sure…

Usability differences between Asia and the U.S.A.

Wednesday, August 24th, 2005

This article from Wired.com says that Asians notice more background detail than folks from the U.S.A. I’d be interested in the implications of this, assuming it’s true…. Perhaps we should be giving more attention to visual communication (in the background as opposed to multimedia content) where possible?

Politically-correct labels

Wednesday, August 10th, 2005

An interesting discussion recently on the Web Standards Group (WSG) email list last week prompted me to write about political-correctness in the area of web accessibility.

There was a some dissent on the list about the correct labels to apply to people with disabilities.

Accesskeys are “handy”

Sunday, July 31st, 2005

I’ve just added accesskeys to the menu items and “skip to” links on my re-vamped business website. (And about time, too, I know!)