[Accessibleweb] Public humiliation time

Dylan Wilbanks wilbanks at u.washington.edu
Mon Nov 5 15:27:01 PST 2007

> I'm new to the list so I hope I don't speak out of turn.


> First off, I think it's great to see a public-facing UW page

> that's well-designed (visually strong), well-developed (it

> validates!) and attentive to usability/accessibility.

Thanks. I think I'm a terrible web designer and an even worse coder, but I'm
happy I was able to execute the plan I had effectively. And I always try to
put standards and accessibility first.

> I looked at the site using Lynx (http://lynx.isc.org/) and it

> turns out pretty well using that text-based browser. Having

> the "skip to content" link was crucial and a smart choice.

Yeah, I actually added the "skip" links after looking at it with Lynx. I'd
forgotten you can access it through the Homer login screen (as "View UW
Site"). One look and I'd realized that I'd made a couple of critical

> But the site looks like a tough assignment--lots of

> information to make findable from one page. Navigation-wise,

> the old (maybe not too old axiom) is that if you think your

> site needs drop-down menus, you need to rethink your site.

> But these aren't instrusive and I can potentially see how

> they're helpful.

Without eating up too much e-mail time, the problem for me comes down to
what the nature of the site is. Is it a marketing device? Is it a portal? Is
it a "corkboard" where people stick documents so they're "on the web?" All
the above? Something else?

I think the site should focus on marketing first -- thus the 28K
modem-destroying big pictures. At the same time, everyone and their dog
thinks THEIR page should be on the home page. Thus, the dropdowns.

> I'd agree with you on the discrepancy between the homepage

> and internal pages. Is it part of your mandate to make the

> internal pages jive with the homepage?

Yeah, that was all part of the original project. But the timeline got
compressed, other projects demanded my attention, and SOMETHING had to be up
by today. I'm hoping I can roll out an interior page design in the next 4-6
weeks. Meanwhile, I feel sorry for all our confused users....


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