[LINK] Re: Australian Government Web Accessibility Audit Findings, Canberra, 18 January 2007

Ivan Trundle ivan at itrundle.com
Thu Jan 25 17:01:43 AEDT 2007

On 24/01/2007, at 8:37 AM, Tom Worthington wrote:

> <snip>
>>> Alexi emphasized the need to educate the customers about the  
>>> benefits of using standards ...
>> Yes, the last thing that we need is for designers to design - far  
>> too dangerous. ...
> Sarcasm aside, I am with Alexi on this one. Too much time is wasted  
> making pretty web pages, instead of making sure the content is  
> correct. I am consulted on web designs where there are lots of  
> pretty images and layout, but they forgot to include the name of  
> the organisation, or say what the product was. The problem is that  
> graphic designers think they can design web pages. Instead we need  
> people architecting information. Ideally we should be able to let  
> the graphic designers design graphics without being able to change  
> the actual web design. That way they could do less harm.

And the corollary is true: there are 'information architects' who  
think that they can design web pages, and the results are often as  
bad as over-designed arty sites. I'm not here to defend graphic  
artists, but let's not confuse site structure with web design, or  
site navigation with design.

The role of graphic designers is important, because they have  
training in matters which often escape computer professionals.  
There's a fine balance between form and function, and if it were  
otherwise, the web would be a boring (and underused) place to be.

>> Or to have senior executives having any control ...
> The senior executives should not trouble themselves (meddle in) the  
> details of the web design and should leave it to experts. Of course  
> those experts have to be able to defend the details of their design.

I wasn't suggesting this: your initial comment implied that they  
shouldn't be able to play a part in the development of a website  
except at the initial idea phase.

Yet their expertise is often in areas that the designers/architects/ 
plumbers/computer people have no idea about, or no understanding.

I have no problems with senior executives being involved in any part  
of website creation (and not just design), because I firmly believe  
that their stewardship and ownership are as valid as anyone else in  
the business, and more likely more so.

Websites aren't sacrosanct, and certainly no more than any other  
communication device or marketing tool etc.


Ivan Trundle
http://itrundle.com ivan at itrundle.com
ph: +61 (0)418 244 259 fx: +61 (0)2 6286 8742
skype: callto://ivanovitchk

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