There is a working group called the Web Hypertext Application Technology (WHAT) Working Group that is working on some really interesting extensions to the HTML / XHTML specification for submission to the W3C. Their goal is to extend the Form specification to better support Web applications. JD mentioned this briefly and it’s been mentioned in other blogs recently, but I think it is worth the time for developers to read the actual working documents and provide their input to what could be a major change to the HTML / XHTML specifications. Much of what is being proposed would make the browser capable of rendering HTML forms with input capabilities more like those already found in Flash forms (embedded .swf files). […]

Blogs I Like

I’ve updated the list of Blogs I Like in the sidebar using Collison’s fine tickmark technique to help you pick out which ones you still haven’t visited. I want to acknowledge his ingenuity and encourage you to visit the sites I’ve linked to. These are sites where I’ve consistently found great insights, great design, and an openness and willingness to share ideas and knowledge about good design. One of my goals in creating this weblog and this site is to educate people about web standards, usability, and good design. I am not the only person who is dedicated to these ideas and I think that it is important to get a variety of perspectives on these issues. Visit these sites […]

Working with Clients – Part II

I want to follow up on yesterday’s note by pointing out that my focus was not on criticizing clients for focusing on the look of their sites. The visual design of a web site is very important. My emphasis is on making sure that the great layout and graphics are created to support the great content and site structure that you have in place. Otherwise it is like building a beautiful house with no foundation. Nobody wants to stay there very long. As designers we have the experience and perspective to understand that a web site must contain valuable, meaningful content in the form of text and images that will help visitors meet their objectives in visiting the site. In […]

Working with Clients

One of the advantages of using CSS to lay out and style a web site is that you can begin working on the content and structure of the site before you ever pick a font, background color, or link color. This can be great when you are working with a client who is focused in on the way the site will look early in the design process while you are focused on doing a content inventory and developing the Information Architecture. It’s pretty easy to explain how you build the site starting with the content and then formatting the pages based on the content of the site using CSS to even a non-techie. The benefit is that clients, who aren’t […]

Web Standards ROI

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 […]