A Mercedes

Amercedes.net and Hydrotec.co.uk

Two new sites have just gone live. The first is A.Mercedes with some lovely photography from the Jeremy Trew factory. The second site is Hydrotec. The Hydrotec website was created from start to finish in only 7 days!I get the feeling that the web industry is being pushed along towards the WAI web accessibility scheme of things whether it likes it or not. To make sure that our customers do not miss out we are investing some serious time and effort into finding out what needs to be done.

I have done all the google stuff and have found reams and reams of verbiage on the subject. But it was not until recently that I picked up on a very small piece of information.

I have been using the web for a long long time and never once have I thought about how a blind person navigates around a web page. Having just spoken to a friend at the RNIB I discovered the amazing tab key. I should have twigged this a lot earlier as I do use the tab key in Xcel and inside the forms of web pages. It never occurred to me that people actually use the tab key for moving around all of the links!! Amazing discovery. So as well as doing all the techie things with CSS, ALT tags, descriptions etc etc, one should really take care how your links within web pages are ordered. If you order your links well then anyone using the tab key will get a nice smooth ride across your pages……

Following on from this discovery another nail needs to go into the coffin of websites that use Frames.

Frames are bad because

a) I get lost in them whilst building them.

b) I can never name the things in a meaningful manner

c) Search engines don’t like them

d) The tab key does not like them – and thus blind people get lost

e) The RNIB recommends that web designers avoid them.

Frames are at the top of my rant list due to the fact that I was asked to help with www.silkflow.co.uk. The initial problem was that the pages were not loading in any reasonable time frame (excuse the pun) To my horrors I discovered that the site was using frames. So a simple job to remove lines of javascript were hampered by me losing myself in endless frames. Also Dreamweaver seems to decide on a random basis when you get to see the top level frame and when you see an inner frame……… arrrgh. Take it from me avoid Frames.