Hi,

 

IMHO I would like to add one important factor to this. Money.

 

>From my experience, regardless of how "pretty", "wow", etc., a client wants
their site to be, what they're really saying to you is that they need it to
produce a load of money for them. Keep that foremost in mind when design
decisions are being made. An accessible, standards-based, semantic, and fully
usable website is worth its weight in gold. Ask the client how many users he
wants coming in the virtual front door and making a purchase. They'll
probably say everyone. However, they don't think of the multitudes of
physically challenged/disabled users also looking for their products. Guide
them in this direction. Explain to them how much more money they can make by
establishing an all-user friendly storefront. Boring? Last time I checked,
money wasn't boring.

 

If that doesn't work, then politely wish them a good day and congratulations
on eventually becoming their own best customer.

 

Kind regards,

Frank

 

From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED] On
Behalf Of James Jeffery
Sent: Wednesday, 15 August, 2007 12:27 PM
To: wsg@webstandardsgroup.org
Subject: Re: [WSG] Usability & Accessibility Over Design?

 

Ok i think some people have missed the point a bit, but its probably my
fault.

When i said design, i was referring to the hi-end graphical content. The
sites that are
there to amaze people and go 'how did they do that' which is they way alot of
people 
seem to be heading due to convention.

A client generally knows nothing about anything, he tells you what he wants
and
expects the result. This is what im talking about. The clients see sites with
some
eye candy, and want something 'better' than that. If you give them a site
that looks 
like, say the microformats site (which is a perfect example of the way
websites these
days should be) then there usual reply is ('Its boring, there isnt much to
it').

I understand it is possible to create some amazing sites with usability and
accessibility 
at the front of the line, but the only people that know this are people like
you and me,
again a client knows nothing and 90% of them don't care.They just want what
they
asked for. If you question why his navigation fonts are very small, his reply
is something 
like ("becuase i need to fit them all on the one line so it dont look like
the navigation
is taking focus") and you cant really argue the point, because they dont tend
to listen.

I dont know what clients others have worked with, ive worked with some right
nasty 
ones, they tell the designer onthe other end of the office how they want it,
if you attempt
to pick at it, they tell you there going to go elsewere, no i cant argue, ill
get the sack.

Tis why i said, if there was a law the client would have no choice. 



On 8/15/07, Jixor - Stephen I <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

If it has poor usability its actually bad design, because design isn't just
visual style.

If visual style wins out over usability then its ALWAYS BAD DESIGN.

There is no way around it... Unless this is some highly specialized site like
a quirky flash game or something else that we are not concerned with here.

If you can't work usability into the visual style that you have in mind then
you need to step back and re-think the way you work.

Accessibility shares many aspects with usability because not all
accessibility concerns regard markup and features for highly impaired users.
However generally for most accessibility guidelines following them will
improve usability for your average user too.



James Jeffery wrote: 

Good Evening.

Does Or Should Design Out-Weight Usability and/or Accessibility?

Ive been faced with a number of situations during development on a number of
projects
that has forced me make a choice you have all probably had to make
Usability/Accessibility
over design.

I know Usability and Accessibility are very different subjects, but they are
both just as
important. The users experience should be a good one, its sort of like a shop
keeper or 
store manager, he has to make sure both non-disabled and disabled shoppers
are happy
when shopping, otherwise they wont come back. The shop keeper also would have
to
try to make a disabled persons shopping trip a good one, because after all,
disabled 
shoppers deserve the same access as non-disabled shoppers.

Bringing it back to web development, personally i think that a disabled user
deserves
to browse the internet with the same level of support and access as non
disabled 
users.

And back to the question, should design come before Usability/Accessibility?

Sometimes you can do both, such as Image Replacement, or you can offer
visually
impaired users a version of your site with high contrasting colors. But there
are times 
when designers and developers do things either without thinking about
disabled users
or thinking 'Stuff them, i want my hi-end graphical interface on my site' or 
'Stuff them, i have no time to make it accessible' or even 'Stuff them, the
fonts need 
to me tiny so my design looks good'.
There are many more possibilities for a developer/design to not bother or not
choose
accessibility first.

My take on all this is basically, if you have to make a choice and there is
no 
way around it, think about your users first, not yourself and what you want,
because
you are not the one using the site.

There is often times when things are just not possible, people insist on
hacking around 
it, which often causes more problems and needs more hacks. But if something
cant
be done, leave it out, and wait.
In the past, with CSS1 a lot of things were not possible, which later became
possible
with newer versions. 

Web Standards, Accessibility and Usability needs to be put right at the top
of the
list, way before design. Focus on the users and the people, and it will help
to
create and bring the internet up to a better standard. Im not sure if there
is a law 
in every country regarding Accessibility but there needs to be one.

This is just my take on things, but i would love to know what everyone else
thinks.
I'm in the middle of writing an article for a magazine, some views from both 
ends of the scale would be great. Its an important topic i feel.

Thanks Guys.

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