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RE: W3C icon redesigns

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002 19:42:40 -0400
To: "Joe Clark" <joeclark@joeclark.org>, "WAI-IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENMEJMCIAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>

A guy in Ottawa stands up and applauds loudly!!!

The goal *should* be about creative, visually stimulating designs which
none-the-less are accessible to all users regardless of situation.  And by
that I mean not just to users who are blind, but also users who are using
both cutting edge technology (cell phones and Blackberries) as well as those
less advantaged who must make do with older, less testosterone'd machines
either through financial restrictions or physical location... not everybody
has access to big fat high-speed pipes.  That's the challenge, and as Joe
rightly points out, organizations such as the W3C should lead by example:
prove that it can be done!  The W3C site could use a little sparkle, that's
all... those orange and white "approved" icons with the checkmarks, well
they are so, I don't know, "1998".  Puleeez...

Joe, one thing:  I call myself a web developer, not a designer.  While it
may be mere semantics, it is both a more accurate description of what I do,
and it gets people thinking/realizing that there is more to web site
development than just a pretty design.  Try the moniker on for size, and
encourage others in the field to do the same.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Joe Clark
> Sent: July 3, 2002 5:46 PM
> To: WAI-IG
> Subject: Re: W3C icon redesigns
> >  I don't go to web sites because they are examples of fine art;
> Speak for yourself.
> >I go to them either because I want specific information, or because
> >they are the cheapest way to buy a product.
> Those goals are not at all nullified or contradicted by good
> visual design.
> >Real content to me means useful information. A lack of real content
> >means standard marketing hype, where you can more or less predict
> >what is coming and it is all about repeating back the prospect's
> >wants and not telling you anything substantive about the company or
> >the products.
> Those are not design complaints; you are complaining about marketing,
> lack of substance, or cluelessness about the way the Web works. Or
> usability, really.
> >For a site containing information, I find that use of commercial
> >artists (and the term web designer doesn't generally mean design as
> >a branch of engineering, or information science, but rather as a
> >branch of commercial art) correlates fairly strongly with a lack of
> >substantive content.
> An overbroad declaration. Merely as a counterexample, nearly *any*
> Web designer--
> a term that definitely has its own meaning, and it's what Web
> designers themselves call each other--
> who uses CSS to lay out a site also cares about accessibility, good
> content, and good authoring practices in general. Even designers who
> knowingly use table layouts may still care about all those things.
> They're not all incompetent or uncaring.
> The problem here is that sites like Amazon and eBay, which are,
> respectively, written in crappy HTML or look like crap, have
> colonized people's imaginations. Not-very-interesting people with
> poor visual sophistication may find sites like those satisfy their
> day-to-day needs. Such people don't really surf the Web, so they have
> no idea what else is going on out there, and even if they looked it,
> they either don't care what it looks like or lack the vocabulary even
> to discuss design issues.
> Or, as in the present case, they may have hit a couple of 1999-era
> Razorfish-designed corporate-site monstrosities and that has forever
> tainted their perceptions of "Web design."
> You got your good Web designers and you got your bad ones. W3C needs
> to start working at the level of the good ones, who are themselves
> trying to work at the level of the W3C through standards compliance.
> BTW, Amazon's homepage has been redesigned in valid (X)HTML to prove
> that it can be done:
> <http://www.dashes.com/anil/stuff/Amazon_valid.html>
> <http://www.thereisnocat.com/amazon-xhtml.html>
> I suppose that solves part of the problem, if not the design issue.
> >Heavy "design" almost always indicates that I am going to get dead
> >links and blank pages without scripting on and have a steep learning
> >curve working out how to navigate the site.
> That was certainly true two years ago. In my own surfing (an activity
> more W3C members should engage in), I find such sites are now
> remarkably rare. "Usabilitistas" have essentially won the battle.
> Now, my project is to make beautiful sites as accessible as possible
> and vice-versa. I expect nothing but the best of everything, and so
> should you.
> --
>      Joe Clark | joeclark@joeclark.org
>      Accessibility <http://joeclark.org/access/>
>      Weblogs and articles <http://joeclark.org/weblogs/>
>      <http://joeclark.org/writing/> | <http://fawny.org/>
Received on Wednesday, 3 July 2002 19:42:51 UTC

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