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Entries tagged with "css"

Over the long weekend, a debate started that completely flew under my radar! I might be slipping in my older age... Anyways, it's seems approriate to me, at this time, as the launch of our 5.0 storefront is coming this week (fingers-crossed). And we've battled mightily with IT the whole way.

Our IT department was stuck in 1996's table based design up front with 2010's XSLT on the back. There was no transitioning between. Luckily, John showed up. He was our pied piper of sorts, leading the charge for CSS integration into the new site.

I would complete agree that it is up to the designer to create accessible content. But there have been times, in the redesign of our site, where our IT department just can't - or won't - do something that was coded in CSS. They constantly revert back to their table-based designs. It's then up to us to figure out a way to fix that.

Now, admittedly, I haven't had much of a hand in the actual redesign. In fact, it's been very minimal, but that doesn't mean I haven't heard the horror stories of our IT department. (One of which being that, because they are using Microsoft’s .net technology coding ID's in the XHTML isn't doable. Apparently, .net’s architecture automatically enters an ID on it's own or overwrites any existing ID's, making the new storefront consist of only classes.) IT have even told us that CSS layouts were unacceptable and that we needed to go back to coding with tables.

I think it's up to us, being the standards geeks we are, to show the outside would the advantages of CSS-based designs. Less markup means less load on the server which equates to saving the company money, ease of updating the site - be it for a redesign or a minor color tweak, and probably the best reason is that using standards, there is a better base to jump off for accessible sites that will come down the road.

I still believe it is my job, be it in freelance or in the office to push for standards based design. Developers will (hopefully) appreciate the clean code I send their way and future designers will appreciate the ease of editing my sites. It's the designer's job to be informed about these topics. And hopefully, they won’t have a battle with the IT department to implement them.

A List Apart. Redone.

It's all the rage today in blogsphere. It's pretty, no doubt. What it reminds me of is a cleaner, better designed version of any generic newspaper out there. And by that I don't mean anything negative. ALA is THE place for design resources, just as the Post is THE place for news here in DC.

ALA also started the bloggy, centered, navigation-across-the-top rage when it unveiled version 3.0 years ago. Basically, as Jeffery Zeldman points out in his article:

If the value of a design can be measured by how often it gets swiped, then ALA 3.0 was genius, for it has been copied, with and without attribution, hundreds of times. But of course it was copied all those times, not because it was lovely, but because it was generic: an adequate template for nearly any content-oriented site. Most of all, it was copied because it was easy to copy.

This redesign stops that. It gives ALA an identity as the "periodical" website for designers. We want cutting edge design news we look to ALA.

What I think here is the most impressive aspect of the redesign is the back end conversion to Ruby on Rails. Forward thinking by the boys (and lady) at ALA.

My favorite little quark about the redesign? The color coded archives. It's like navigating a parking garage. You look to the color and know exactly what level you're on. You look at the color scheme and know which issue you are in.

(Coming in a close second is the new "readibility" of the website. It no longer makes the articles seem so long and confined. Point proven by the fact that within 12 hours of this new redesign going live, I had read two full articles word-for-word. On the old site I would have to skim them because I felt that I could never finish them quick enough. Bravo!)

Overall, well done. It gets my approval. But what does that matter?


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