Updates from May, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Squawk 4:43 pm on 22/05/2009 Permalink | Reply  

    “Designed-in Accessibility” with Tom Jewett 

    @Laura Carlson – opps twitter language here.

    Just received Lauras’ Web Design Update Volume 7, Issue 47, May 22, 2009.  As you may know were are based on a Greek Island so don’t get to the USA or UK that often so we tend to miss out on conferences etc – Hey why don’t you all come 2 Kefalonia for one – great facilities, climate beaches etc etc…. and where we are free broadband (yes I said free)

    Opps got carried away, anyhow there is an on-line web event on Thursday (28th) about creating accessible web sites.  Take a look at this web page Webinar by Tom Jewett it states:

    • Who Should Attend? Anyone who creates a web pages or web sites.
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • ATI Contact: Jean Wells, jwells@calstate.edu

    The agenda looks interesting and as in life we will all learn something.

    I shall be there why don’t you get there.

    Go on take the first steps to accessibility.

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  • Squawk 4:29 pm on 17/05/2009 Permalink | Reply  

    My oh my, really? – yes 

    Browsing the wonderful www today as usual I take time out to look at other blogs and associated web sites.  Today I came across a web design company (in the US run by “native English language speakers”  with an interesting portfolio (they seem to have a large – and I mean a large – number of Clients), well done.  They also have a blog; again well done.

    But how come they have clients when:

    • So few links on their web site actually work?
    • The site and blog are written in an English that reads more like Spanglish or Greeklish – Gobbledegook is easier to understand.
    • They pay no attention to accessibility
    • They pay no attention to userbility

    As far as their published prices (that link works!) – you buy online and pay upfront with no consultation etc.

    The link text to get to their portfolio is “our portfolio look our last best design portfolio”

    Well –  they don’t appear to actually have any clients! all the designs in the portfolio and their related URLs lead to page errors.  A bit more research and you find that all the designs are from the stock web design portfolios.

    When you choose a web designer (and we are not one – we code web sites that’s what we do and there is a big difference!) please make sure they have a verifiable portfolio and that they consult with you first.  There are some great designers out there with good portfolios, good practice, great skills and who actually want to work with you to create a tangabile benefit to your company.

    The site I refer to has a Package 2 initially it sounds good you get:

    • Up to 20 web Pages with images.
    • Custom Design (3 Layouts) to suit your business.
    • Shopping Cart.
    • Three level of categorization of the product through admin Panel
    • Payment Gateway Integration. Either from a bank or Pay Pal or similar vendor.
    • Content Management system for client to add, edit or delete the data
    • Content Management system for client to add, edit or delete the Products.
    • Bulk Up loader to upload multiple products with images on the website.
    • Inventory system to know your sales, stock and delivery.
    • Contact us form
    • Flash Animation.
    • Product search feature within the website.
    • Administrative functions like order tracking, replacing products etc.
    • Domain Name Registration and Hosting (Optional)
    • SEO Compatible.
    • Website submission to Search engines.

    at a cost of $3,250.00

    But don’t foget you pay upfront!

    $3,250.00 is a very large amount of money to ‘pay up front’ for a standard stock template design that you can pay $50- $150 for from many sites.

    Please, if you are looking for a web site design find a good designer or look at sites like 99designs.com a design competition site where you set up a competition for “real” designers to design your site – hey even people like Travelodge have used it (OK that was for a new logo for Canada).  You get the design in a PSD format for people like us to code.  Think about this a design competition (minimum prize $250 per page layout) plus coding – hey you could have “Package 2” for less than $2000 – that’s a minimum saving of $1250 and you get to have a unique design to your specifications and one that will be a benefit for your company.

    We work with a number of design companies and in conjunction with them now offer 24/7 support, try get that from a company that only sells templates (at sky high prices).

    If you don’t like the idea of a competition i.e. 99designs then in the US we are working with Razolution who currently have offices in Albany (NY) and Atlanta shortly to open an office in Las Vagas (so they have good geograpical coverage).  In South Afirca we suggest Gypsy Cooper – actually Lyne – and her husband who can be contacted here lynecooper@gmail.com. Both have great portfolios, are very nice people to work with and will give you something you really want.

     
  • Squawk 12:47 pm on 17/05/2009 Permalink | Reply  

    HTML5 – rel=accessibility – yes please 

    I came accross an interesting blog from Bruce Lawson which he wrote 20 April 2009 concerning the new link relations in HTML5. For those not sure what I mean, link relations are a way to explain why you’re pointing to another page.

    Common link relations include (for importing CSS rules) and (for Atom feed autodiscovery).
    e.g. telling the browser to look at a stylesheet containing the CSS rules it should apply to a document.

    Bruce is suggesting rel=accessibility pointing assistive technologies to discover and offer shortcuts to accessibility information, such as a WCAG 2 conformance claim, or a form to request content in alternate formats.

    A standardised way of indicating related accessibility information is fantastic.

    This idea is so worth supporting so why not do one of the following:

    • send feedback: whatwg@whatwg.org
    • Join the WHATWG HTML5 Forums and leave feedback

    • Lobby a committee member (Sorry to members in advance) – you will find many on Twitter
    • Encourage as many people who you know to promote:

    HTML5 – rel=accessibility – yes please

    Despite a heated debate on Bruces site the one thing that I feel is that anything that helps with webs ite accessibility helps. OK, in Bruces blog there are a number of comments – good & bad – but to me the point is if we can create a standard way of identifying a sites accessibility – great.

    It could work for the good if the Googles of the world could include such a statement in their alogorthims and present search results in such a way that a web sites accessibility had a weighting then we may be getting somewhere

     
  • Squawk 9:29 am on 17/05/2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Google vs Twitter 

    There is a lot of talk about how Twitter and Google are “in competition” – from my standpoint they aren’t (yet!) The big difference is that Google serves you up answers (data) based upon any search request (query) from it’s database and the information that contains. If your web site has not been indexed recently then the information Google can serve up is out of date.

    Whereas Twitter can give you real answers from real people in real time. With Twitter you have 140 characters to ask your question which plenty of people can easily understand. If not then they may @you you to get more information – in real time.

    Twitters can provide thoughts and recommendations.

    Until Twitter Search goes fully ‘live’ it enables us to gather information online: via conversation, rather than via data dump. Twitter is compelling because it is opening up tremendous new possibilities to enable useful information flow that simply wasn’t possible before.

    This is great for accessibility. It goes back many years, before the web, can’t find it? ask someone. Afterall which would your prefer, an automated responce or a “personal reccommendation”

     
  • Squawk 8:58 am on 17/05/2009 Permalink | Reply  

    HTML 5 differences from HTML 4 

    Have just spent time re-reading the W3C page HTML 5 differences from HTML 4 and I feel quietly positive about their implimentation – when it comes. BUT.. I do have a few reservervations.

    Whithout a shaddow of doubt HTML5 will help make the web much easier for people, there are many new elements (the html tags like < p > which are used to define a page) and there are some which are being “taken away”. The new elements are aimed at reflecting the way the web is developing and the way the web is used.

    For example there is a new element in HTML5 – footer – which represents a footer for a section and can contain information about the author, copyright information, et cetera. This type of new element will make identifying sections on a page much easier.

    Whilst HTML5 is backwards compatable (of course) many HTML4 elements are being discontinued because they are better handled in stylesheets – again another good thing, but – and this is a big but – there are too many unvalidatable style sheets out there already and until Microsoft create a version of IE that actually renders a stylesheet in line with specifications without hacks it may lead to more unvalidatable stylesheets and badly rendered sites.

    Overall I applaud the transfer of “design” elements to CSS and the inclusion of elements introduced for better structure.

    Bring it on.

     
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