A Web Design Horror Story
August 04, 2004
Many of us understand the need for web standards and its benefits? We do our best to embraced it and help others understand the need for it. The following is a story about what can happen when others are oblivious to standards and why we still need to push it and talk about it.
“Our graphic artists, visual animators, multimedia specialists and web developers use the latest applications and development techniques to deliver web solutions that look phenomenal and function properly, efficiently and fast as lightning over the Internet.”
‘Latest techniques’, ‘fast as lighting’, not so much my friends. Have a look for yourselves at the travesty that occurred.
|Home Page||Page Weight||HTTP Requests|
|Before (standard compliant code) Link has been removed||88.464 KB||20|
|After (Table based code)Link has been removed||239.837 KB||40|
This is a clear example of what happens when you use ‘old school HTML’ vs CSS and XHTML code. This experience reminded me that not all web designers are aware of standards and we still need to talk about using it, its benefits and teach those don’t know it. I wish this company would have contacted me before they re-wrote the code, I would have been happy to explain standards-based code and point them to some good resources about learning it, like Douglas Bowman’s latest article Throwing Tables Out the Window.
Don’t worry, I have talked to the client about it and am hoping that the right action will be taken to switch the site back to our code. It was by no means the clients’ fault and they have been great client to work with. In the end, the people that this really effects are the visitors to the site. It is said, “faster speed = Lower bailout rates = higher conversion rates = higher profits.” This is just one reason behind standards based design, but essentially it is about providing a good experience for visitors. I hope this story is a good reminder to us all why we design the way we do.