D. Keith Robinson recently wrote an excellent post on the cost savings from designing using current web standards (XHTML, CSS, etc.). This fits in with my recent discussion on The Business Case for Usability and how we can explain to clients and bosses why they should design using standards and test for usability. In my mind these are tied closely to one another.
However, an interesting question is how we can best explain and justify designing with standards and usability. Should we focus on the benefits for the designer in saved time making design changes and easier maintenance? Or should we focus on the benefits to users of increased usability and accessibility? Both of these are real effects of good design, but they sound very different to a manager or client. Or do we diffuse the message and explain that there are many reasons, risking glazed over eyes and numbed brains in those listening to our pitch?
I’m glad that Keith was able to pull up solid numbers on how the use of standards saved clients money during the design of the site. Now, does anyone have any numbers for site maintenance, redesign, or usage before and after a redesign that moved to a standards based design or followed usability testing? I’ll try to put some together from work I am doing but I’d certainly like to see what others have done as well.