RE: [WSG] The 5th pillar - was Fixed Width Design

2003-12-11 Thread Mark Stanton

Hey Taco

Is this something for Standards or out of scope?

Russ has this idea that there are 4 pillars of web standards:
- validity
- semantics
- separation of presentation  content
- accessibility

To my mind that last one generally refers to people with disabilities 
people using dodgy hardware  software
(http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Aaccessibility).

For a long time I have thought that there is a 5th element that is missing
from this list. This 5th element is addressed in good design but its not
really discussed very often in terms of web standards. I think the reason
for this is its kind of hard to put your finger on and there is no buzz word
that sums it up.

I guess what I am talking about is accessibility for you  me. Little things
that make sites easier to use for even expert users. I guess you could call
it usability but even that word has a number connotations
(http://www.google.com/search?q=define%3Ausability).

Part of the reason I love the CUE site
(http://www.qld.gov.au/web/cue/overview/) is its deals with this issue in
more detail than I have seen in any one place. It calls it consistent user
experience. But even this tag sells the idea short.

Anyway what I am talking about includes all the little things that give a
site real polish, things like:
- guessable/memorable URLs,
- site structure (logical connection of content),
- use of hyperlinks in the text,
- googlability or search engine friendliness
- tabbing between elements
- font  colour use (beyond just % based fonts)
- using http status properly*
- lots of other stuff

Maybe you could just say that its about playing nicely in the Internet space
(see http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/WD-webarch-20031209/). Or maybe its about
going the extra lengths for your users.

Yes! I really think this is a vital part of web standards. I just wish I
could find a name for it.


* For example this page has moved, please update you bookmarks, you will be
redirected in 5 seconds is insane. HTTP 301 is the thing to use in this
case:

10.3.2 301 Moved Permanently

The requested resource has been assigned a new permanent URI and any
future references to this resource SHOULD use one of the returned URIs.
Clients with link editing capabilities ought to automatically re-link
references to the Request-URI to one or more of the new references
returned by the server, where possible. This response is cacheable
unless indicated otherwise.

Seamless end user experience + proxies  spiders and other clients
understand what is happening.

Cheers

Mark


--
Mark Stanton
Technical Director
Gruden Pty Ltd
Tel: 9956 6388
Mob: 0410 458 201
Fax: 9956 8433
http://www.gruden.com

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RE: [WSG] The 5th pillar - was Fixed Width Design

2003-12-11 Thread Taco Fleur

Hey Mark,

I'm glad to see you could put to words what I could not.
I totally agree with you, I like how you brought the status codes in the picture, it 
has been something I started working on at some stage, but like most personal projects 
I'd let it get dusty. 

---
Yes! I really think this is a vital part of web standards. I just wish I
could find a name for it.
---

Why not memorability ;-))
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RE: [WSG] The 5th pillar - was Fixed Width Design

2003-12-11 Thread Ben Boyle


Anyway what I am talking about includes all the little things that give a
site real polish, things like:
  - guessable/memorable URLs,
- site structure (logical connection of content),
- use of hyperlinks in the text,
- googlability or search engine friendliness
- tabbing between elements
- font  colour use (beyond just % based fonts)
- using http status properly*
- lots of other stuff


I think Information Architecture is a term that could cover a lot of those
topics.

Standards play a part in this domain (particularly if you get into metadata,
classification systems, thesauri, etc). Things like RDF, perhaps RSS, Dublin
Core.

Still, I feel that IA is largely part of the design process, rather than an
aspect of  web standards - more a part of web design practices. Still,
highly relevant! :)

Incidentally if you're looking for a good classification system to use on
the web (or with computers in general), dewey decimal works really well.
It's number based so fast for computers to process, and the way it works
allows you to do narrow/widen searching really easily by
decreasing/increasing the number range searched.

cheers
Ben

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