It's not rare that when trying to convert a client's nice Photoshop picture of a website into a real website, the needs of the end user would be better served by altering the design. The trouble is, the design has already been completed, and clients generally seem uninterested with excuses as to why their pretty picture has not been duplicated verbatim. By this time, of course, it's too late. The design has been done, and there is no chance that the client will revisit it for a reason he doesn't really understand.
So I was encouraged to read in .net magazine an article about Saatchi and Saatchi's re-design of the Royal Navy's website. There's a handy paragraph in there by Chris Walker that every client should read.
It's important to design with accessibility in mind from the start: attempting to reverse-engineer accessibility requirements into an existing design can prove time-consuming and painful. After all, accessibility isn't just a nice thing to have, it's a legal requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act. It also makes your site much better overall, not just for people who may have physical difficulties in using the web. Natural search is improved by a standards-compliant site and, more often than not, accessible sites are much easier to navigate.
So clients, get those spectacles out.
Jason posted this on Saturday, August 26, 2006 at 9:46 am. Leave comment.