January 2007

Monthly Archive

SEO – not on your handheld

Posted by Kieren Pitts on 15 Jan 2007 | Tagged as: SEO, Usability

I’m often surprised by the poor quality code that appears on the Web in the name of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Where does this nonsense originate from?

Recently I came across an example of something that, despite thinking about for some time, I can’t understand why anyone would think was a good idea. Continue Reading »

They’re my Web standards and I’m going home

Posted by Kieren Pitts on 08 Jan 2007 | Tagged as: Accessibility

Last month I read with interest an article on the BBC Web site stating “‘Most websites’ failing disabled“. The article referred to work commissioned by the United Nations to assess the accessibility of leading Web sites in five different sectors across 20 countries.

The results make depressing, but not unexpected, reading. However, the BBC article also included this quote:

Building dull, technically compliant websites is easy but building commercially successful sites that are also accessible is not

I think the quote can be misinterpreted as a “Web standards == dull Web site” argument. Most developers and designers (should) know that this argument simply doesn’t hold water and is an opinion disseminated by designers stuck in the dark ages of the 1990s.

However, if you read the full quote you realise that it is actually a request for developers and designers to share experiences and resources. Personally I’ve always found Web designers and developers to be a fairly altruistic bunch and many practitioners share their knowledge and resources freely and openly. Continue Reading »

Web Site blinging

Posted by Kieren Pitts on 04 Jan 2007 | Tagged as: Accessibility, Usability

Every year seemingly sane people decide that the best way to celebrate Christmas is to cover their houses in a multitude of Christmas lights, animatronic Santa’s and 8ft inflatable snowmen. See: http://www.houseblinger.com

A much more worrying trend is that of “Web site blinging”. This year saw many online retailers record record sales and yet, at a time when retailers should be making it as easy as possible to make a purchase, many make life difficult for consumers by blinging their Web sites.

When I talk about Web site blinging I don’t mean a subtle change of logo as you might see on Google, a Christmas message or even a few Christmas-related images replacing other images on your site. No, I’m principally concerned with the likes of JavaScript snowstorms that cover the homepage of a site or the fantastically annoying rendition of “Jingle Bells” that is looped to play incessantly for the entire time a user is visiting your site. Continue Reading »