WebRef Update: Featured Article: A Little More than Standard | 2 | WebReference

WebRef Update: Featured Article: A Little More than Standard | 2


A Little More than Standard (pt. 2)

Beyond merely helping customers and developers, a design standards list would be a great boon to those just taking their first steps into the world of HTML. By learning the language and a standard for use at the same time, students will begin creating exceptional Web sites from the very beginning, and employers won't have to worry about bad habits in potential employees. At an early age, coders will know how to build organized and structured Web sites, increasing the potential they may have for creating inspiring, award-winning work.

Benefits will be abundant and obvious. Web surfers will be drawn to this discussion forum because design standards will help them select a design team easier by weeding out the bad from the good. They will be able to dictate what they like to see on the Internet and what they don't. Potential clients will find better service without a rate hike and will be able to work better with their preferred design team by understanding basic Web design concepts and limitations. Users will be able to voice their opinions to the entire industry with ease. All of this only scrapes the tip of the iceberg when it comes to user benefits.

Designers should participate because the transition into a standardized environment won't be a big one and it may even help spur ideas for new and bold designs. Once standards are established, designers will spend less time in the various stages of Web development, saving time. Participants will become a part of a global movement that may very well revolutionize the industry.

If the "standards list" is developed with accurate research, it will help the community, not harm it in any way. The only limitations placed on creativity will be to the benefit of the user. For example, a cornerstone element of such a list is to have a readable font color for the background color. What objections should there be to this? While many companies currently violate this point, any good designer will know how essential any element on this list is to keeping visitors around. The standards list would reinforce fundamental Web design and pave the way for future innovations.

Admittedly, not all points on such a list will be as clear-cut. There is bound to be some controversy, but that's the case with every issue. Dispute over this list can be settled with an open forum for discussion. This solution brings together active Web surfers and designers in such a way that only benefits the entire industry. Web Carpentry is currently pursuing this issue with much vigor, creating a site to host this user forum and begin discussion of this issue. While the site is still under construction, several contact methods have been opened and the Design Standards staff is dying to hear the community's concerns. Currently, any questions or comments can be directed to the staff at: standards@webcarpentry.com. More information can be obtained online through Web Carpentry.

The power of the Web has been realized. It's time to convert that raw power into something much more refined.

About the author:

Ryan Hancock, co-chairman of Web Carpentry (www.webcarpentry.com), is also a part-time Web developer in Chantilly, Virginia. Web Carpentry is a start-up Internet consulting firm, also specializing in graphic design. Ryan also enjoys writing poetry and short stories. He can be contacted at ryan@webcarpentry.com.

Previous: A Little More Than Standard (Pt. 1)

This article originally appeared in the May 25, 2000 edition of the WebReference Update Newsletter.

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Comments are welcome
Written by Ryan Hancock and

Revised: May 25, 2000

URL: http://webreference.com/new/standard2.html