Design sites and web standards

Over a year ago, Joe Clark checked how well Design sites do Web standards. They generally don’t, which doesn’t come as a huge surprise. After having some problems when posting comments at design site Speak Up, Joe checked the current status of web standards usage on design sites. More on that in Design sites do Web standards II.

Joe links to a couple of articles at Speak Up. One of them, Designing for Google has a very… interesting discussion in the comments. Judging from some of those comments and bits and pieces I have seen in other design-oriented forums, there is clearly a wide-spread misunderstanding among purely visual designers that accessibility is just about blind people. Good accessibility practices make browsing the web easier for everybody.

And, after looking around at some of the design portals in Joe’s list of tested sites, I wonder what makes the designers of many of those sites use such incredibly small text and stuff their content in little scrolling boxes. What is the point of that? I just don’t get it.

Posted on November 13, 2005 in Accessibility, Quicklinks, Web Standards


  1. I wonder what makes the designers of many of those sites use such incredibly small text and stuff their content in little scrolling boxes. What is the point of that?

    This is something that has puzzled me to for a long time. I hate boxes that confine the text and forces me to scroll constantly, it’s almost as disturbing as Flash-sites that resizes my browser window without asking. And where are these kind of annoyances most common? On web sites that supposedly is all about promoting good design. What’s up with that?

  2. Because they are commercial designers - not interaction designers.

  3. I think its just the young trendy fashion thing to do. Fear of not being in the club? The being cool factor. I’m not sure about any practicality to it unless perhaps they’re saying they don’t expect to be saying much there… which kind of makes sense in a warped way.

    I recently rebuilt one of those sites as a challenge - - to the original design of Jason’s as a kind of challenge. It used to be the same elements but tables, iframe, and such… so it still has the same design flaws of course but at least now its valid code without a table layout as a wordpress theme. Grey on grey text isn’t good admittedly but it was really just to show a designer that I could put his work back together again better… It would validate as Strict rather than Transitional if not for the demand to still use target for popups…

    And no it was only about putting the original design back up as is so its what it is in the rest of those aspects.

    I’m not young and hip and cool though Roger so I’m flawed when I get shown a blank white page with a list of links nested in three levels of tables - and its just a list of links - and they all say wow cool.. Ha ha. I obviously don’t really get it either lol.

  4. Roger, I can understand to a certain degree designers focusing on “art” at the expense of standards. What raises my ire is when the W3C doesn’t focus on its own standards.

    Here’s what I’m ranting about: at the bottom or every W3C page, there are links to three Consortium members: ( MIT, ERCIM, Keio ) Follow the links and validate — MIT’s CSAIL and Keio Home pages fail HTML4 validation. Perhaps we should convince the W3C the importance of standards. :-)

  5. I actually have no answer to that question. And I’m wondering myself.

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