Speak up about Web Standards
June 11, 2004 at 2:52 PM
For those of you confused my Burnt Out on Web Standards post the other day. Let me clarify some of the confusion in the most simplest terms I can: we need to stop advocating standard to each other within the community (we already get it) and start figuring out ways to convince those John and Jane Does at ACME corporation and ACME design studio to learn about standards and to work towards a more standard compliant web. Disagree? Well, WASP has given you a chance to voice your opinion in their Web Standards Survey. So if you haven't done so already, go complete it and state your view on the subject.
Why do you need to convince them when 99% of the web is not standards-compliant and 99% of people surfing the web use a non-standards compliant browser to view non-standards compliant sites ? I read all these "design" sites (Mezzoblue, Simplebits, StopDesign, etc., the list is endless) every day with FeedDemon (which has troubles because it uses IE to render), and everyday I see the same thing, a small group of designers with blogs that all look the same and all talk about the same thing. Don't designers design web sites any more ? Where are your web standards compliant web applications or web standards compliant e-commerce sites? Telling John and Jane Doe to get up to speed is difficult when you don't have any examples to show them.
Examples? The Weekly Standards is probably my favorite of all the sites recognizing standards-based design, because it doesn't feature blogs, it features ordinary organizational sites: lawn care, metal recycling, animal rescue, colleges, etc. And very few of the sites have anything like a blog feel to them, either.
Thanks Elaine! And the thing is, it's not like I try to avoid the 'blog-look', it's just that sites that sell things or promote a business have different needs than sites that have paragraph after paragraph of straight text! What about that annoying 'e-commerce' look, Ian, do you have a problem with that as well? Be a little more positive, man. No ones forcing you to visit design sites everyday, that's the choice you make. If you have a problem with it, then stop.
Elaine, thanks for the link (nice site Adam), I was getting tired of looking at CSS Vault for examples. John and Jane Doe need to be shown examples like these instead of blog after blog of back and forth discussion if they are going to be convinced to change.
I understand the frustration of feeling that one is only "preaching to the choir" and not really encouraging the change in the web-design industry that the standards-based design "movement" desires. I do not however think that such internal-discussion and debate is pointless. I have been doing web work for just over ten years now and being a macintosh user have always been concerned with cross platform compatibilty and have even used the word "standards" without fully knowing what I was talking about. It's only within the past eight months or so that, through preparing for and working on a redesign, I have really come to understand the meaning of designing according to standards. When this became important to me and was a path I was ready to go down, I found a very large community actively talking about the very things I was thinking about. While I have not participated in the discussion on these sites as actively as I perhaps should have, I have taken a lot away. Primarily an excitement for what is possible with proper design techniques, and encouragement that this is not just one of those things that people write books about but nobody does in practice. So, I guess if there is a growing frustration that nobody is being changed by these sites, It is perhaps the fault of folks like myself that have taken so much from the postings and articles on them and have not contributed much ourselves. If the real proof of impact are the sites themselves, then I think that the designs showcased by sites such as the aforementioned "Weekly Standards" prove that things are slowly moving that direction and I do not think that this would be happening if it was not something that was being religiously talked about throughout the web.