Renegade Redesign

There was an interesting article in Wired News yesterday:

Changing the Face of Web Surfing. Though I like the title “renegade redesign” better.

Nutshell: Web designers (like me) who care about the fact that everyone should be able to see a Web site, are creating accessible versions of web sites they use that aren’t currently accessible (or even visible in every browser), and hosting the copied version. They are praised by the general audience of the Web sites, for creating a site that provides exactly the same info, but is much easier to use. And they are getting sued, or fired by the owners of the original Web site. /nutshell

“If you want a job done properly, do it yourself,” the saying goes. Web users frustrated by poorly designed sites are increasingly applying that logic to the Net.

Many who are fed up with high-profile design mess-ups are taking it upon themselves to publicly correct conspicuous corporate faux pas, right under embarrassed proprietors’ noses.

David Jones republishes articles from Wales’ National Assembly website on his own Assembly Online site because the official designers “clearly don’t know what they’re doing.”

“They’re singularly clueless; the HTML and CSS are invalid,” he said. “I was exasperated, so I thought I’d do it myself to show them how it might be done. My employer — an Assembly-funded body looking to secure next year’s funding — cited it as a disciplinary offense. I don’t work for that company anymore.”

Though common standards for building Web pages are developed and governed by the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, few can force designers to make a site that’s easy to use. The result can often be code that clutters pages and confuses users.

“Not all businesses have yet understood the advantage in ensuring their websites are accessible to people with disabilities, who constitute a significant percentage of the marketplace,” she said.

“In time, inaccessible websites will likely go the way of buildings with stairs but no ramps at the entrance.”

I actually did something similar for ISU Extension‘s homepage, though, instead of getting fired, or sued, they used it :)






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *