Promoting Purchasers on Net Requirements – A Record Aside
It’s been a sluggish yr. With the Web economic system taking a little bit of a tumble (maybe you’ve examine it), new shoppers simply haven’t been calling like they have been. So what’s a hapless internet designer with a household and a modest mortgage to do? Use the downtime to re-tool, re-learn, and change over to Requirements Compliant Design after all (wild cheers, whistles, deafening applause).
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Accomplished! Ummm, only one small drawback. How do I persuade my shoppers to go together with it? They will not be tech savvy, however they’re well-versed within the mantra of designing for the least widespread denominator. Full entry for everyone is the battle cry of the small enterprise, and what’s worse, they in all probability even received a few of these loopy concepts from me.
SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE CLIENT’S BROWSER#section2
It occurred to me final week. I used to be speaking with certainly one of my long-term shoppers. I used to be feeling just a little heady and intoxicated by the ability of requirements compliant CSS and all the brand new design alternatives and challenges introduced by it. He requested me what we do subsequent along with his web site (since it’s turning into just a little dated). A nibble, simply what I wished. I attempt to set the hook.
“Doug,” I say, “I’m glad you requested. I simply modified my design technique from previous messy table-based HTML to beautiful, easy-to-maintain, fastidiously carried out requirements compliant design.” I stretch out “requirements compliant design,” permitting him to really feel the total weight and majesty of this new strategy. “In reality, I’ve virtually completed my promotional web site. Are you on-line? Good, let’s have a look.”
“Hmm, it seems humorous, Greg.”
“Whaddya imply humorous?” (Stress rising.) “What browser are you utilizing?”
“Uh, what model?”
“How do I inform which model? These are previous College machines.”
“Hit Assist, About.”
Lesson realized. Make rattling certain your promotional web site is admittedly prepared to guard itself from previous browsers earlier than you present it off.
However, if Doug seems on the web site at the moment with IE 4.x he’ll see a reasonably plain web site – properly organized, thoughts you – no pictures on high of phrases, and so on. But it surely definitely received’t seem like I designed it. He’ll nonetheless be confused concerning the worth of requirements, and I’ll nonetheless should delicately (and persuasively) win him over to my new strategy. All whereas he’s taking a look at a “damaged” web site.
TURNING NEGATIVES INTO POSITIVES#section3
So right here’s the problem. You might be speaking with a possible shopper. They open an older browser to take a gander at your beautiful SC (Requirements Compliant) web site. And what they see on the high is, “This web site will look MUCH higher in a browser that helps internet requirements, however it’s accessible to any browser or Web system.”
#1 Full Accessibility#section4
Shortly flip that damaging right into a constructive by instantly emphasizing “full accessibility.“ Inform the Potential Consumer that you just’re actually glad he checked out your web site with an previous browser as a result of this demonstrates how each Web system – from wi-fi to Braille – can entry all of the content material in your web site. And this consists of buggy previous browsers like IE4 and Navigator 4. Now, let’s transfer over to just a little more moderen browser (like IE5.x) and take one other look.
The widest accessibility has at all times been one of many keys to good internet design. In any case, that’s why we used these dreadful framesets and tables within the first place. SC web sites ought to really invite extra browsers to view them, not much less. And as soon as we recover from pixel good layouts (as a recovering pixel-nazi, I do know it’s actually, REALLY exhausting) our designs ought to look beautiful in any newer browser.
Requirements Compliant websites are cheaper to keep up and develop. Inform the shopper that SC web sites are extra reasonably priced than table-based designs. And that a lot of the content material upkeep they will probably deal with themselves. If cash doesn’t pique their curiosity, nothing will.
How typically have you ever been requested to replace content material on a year-old web site you constructed? Isn’t that enjoyable? Attempting to relearn the code you used 12 months prior; deciphering previous tables and framesets. Spending a number of shopper hours to make comparatively minor (from a person perspective anyhow) adjustments.
Effectively designed SC web sites ought to repair most of this trouble. The markup is straightforward – a couple of DIVs right here a couple of DIVs there. And they’re all properly labeled! Because the web site is not pixel exact simply make the adjustments and transfer on. Change the fonts, change the background, change the colours, create a nearly new web site (in order for you) in a fraction of the time you spent monkeying round with a table-based format.
As an apart, from a designer’s standpoint, it happens to me that since there are at present only some purposeful SC layouts – one column, two column, three column (see Glish or Blue Robotic) we must always be capable to quickly prototype a web site with out spending numerous hours measuring pixels and creating obtuse desk layouts. Simply select probably the most applicable format and off you go. For me this implies I might be extra versatile with my worth, which is particularly necessary on this reasonably comfortable market.
Inform your Potential Consumer how SC web sites are constructed as soon as and used eternally. Older table-based designs (just like the one they’re at present trying to improve) are notably rigid with regards to updating them. In reality, that’s in all probability why they’re speaking to you.
Most newer browsers are approaching full Requirements Compliance. These are the browsers that the overwhelming majority of individuals use. So it makes completely no strategic or monetary sense to construct a web site that’s out of date the second it’s completed. It solely is sensible to construct a web site that can final into the longer term.
You possibly can replace the content material and by no means danger blowing out your format. Change the type sheet and by no means lose your content material. Add extra upcoming type options (like translucent backgrounds, png alpha transparency, place:fastened – get up, Microsoft!) with out sacrificing the bottom design.
#4 And MOST IMPORTANT – Don’t Make a Huge Deal About Requirements Compliance#section7
The largest mistake you can also make is to broadcast to your shoppers that you’re now doing SC design. Sounds as in case you are utilizing them as an experiment. Unhealthy concept. Truly, assuming you strive look out in your shoppers’ pursuits, SC design is nothing greater than what you’ve been doing all alongside – particularly constructing one of the best web site you may in your shopper’s cash.
SC web sites will last more, have extra accessibility, be simpler to keep up, and cheaper to develop. No apologies wanted. After all, you may point out Requirements as a promoting level, however by no means sound apologetic. Potential Purchasers can scent concern.
If this isn’t sufficient, listed here are a few different (unfinished) concepts which may assist help your SC arguments:
- SC is healthier for search engines like google and yahoo – structured content material helps engines index you higher.
- SC works at any decision and any monitor dimension (yay!) and nonetheless maintains design integrity.
- You’ll look totally different (and higher) than your rivals.
To advance Requirements it’s essential to begin constructing SC websites for actual, paying shoppers, not only for ourselves. A strong Celebration Line will assist us current SC to our shoppers not as one thing scary, however as a pure “finest practices“ strategy to constructing their web site.