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    • CommentAuthorjnh
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2006
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    Hello everyone, =)

    First of all, I'm new here and it's really a pleasure browsing CSSBeauty.
    This post kinda won't be an ordinary post and would rather sound a little awkward. But to satisfy my curiosity, here it goes...

    As we know, web standards is no arbitrary thing. Many have been into discussions, and some into arguments, to "preach" to web developers/designers who have yet to realize the standards' value. I too have been into several conversations trying to explain, for example, why they should not use table for presentation(although there isn't much to explain). Unfortunately, many feel comfortable with their primitive way of developing websites and are reluctant to adapt to the correct practices.
    They think so long as they can get something up on the web that looks the way they want it to, everything is fine.

    I'm just wondering, have you guys been to conversations where people just refuse to believe with what you say and think "using tables makes the life easier"?
    How did you respond to their arguments?

    cheers,
    jnh
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      CommentAuthorJohnRiv
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2006
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    3 big reasons as far as ROI goes are (1) less code = faster load time = less bandwidth, (2) the ease of updating in the future and (3) SEO benefits. For a bonus, throw in the laws regarding accessibility of websites (just do a search for "target accessibility lawsuit"). Here are some articles to help you convince others:
  1.  permalink
    JohnRiv gave you good explanation why.
    The bottom line it's the client who pays you.
    Always remember that even if what he saying is wrong.
    Be careful when you argue with a client he might take it wrong way.

    Best, DS
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      CommentAuthormringlein
    • CommentTimeDec 15th 2006
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    This is a really interesting question -- one to which the answer evolves right along with the web and the mass adoption of web standards.

    You have to first determine who your audience in this "debate" is -- someone who is going to be in the code or simply a business-owner who has no personal hands-on attachment too the mark-up.

    If it is a business owner than there shouldn't be much of a debate -- going the web standards route should be faster, easier and cheaper from your stand point. You should also use the argument that the site will be built in a forward thinking manner -- taking into account things that aren't important today but could save the client a lot of money in the future (accessibility, seo, ease of change for a redesign, ease of use for mobile devices, etc.). Just throw around all of the trendy "Web 2.0" buzz-words and the client should be "totally sold"!

    If your debate is with a client that will themselves be getting into the code -- it might not be a debate you can win. Remember, the client is always right -- that is still true in freelance design work. If the client only knows table-based design, they aren't going to change their ways over-night (not if they are debating with you and not easily open-minded to the idea). For all of you old-timers, you have to remember how hard it was to make the switch -- exciting, but hard (so much to learn). Also, remember that you are working with them on a site that is most likely expected to be up by the end of the month -- time just isn't on your side.
    • CommentAuthorcore
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2006 edited
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    I disagree with "the client is always right". Because the client hires me for a simple reason: I am a specialist at something he is not a specialist. They hire me for my expertise, and if I am recommending a certain way, there are reasons for it. That being said, of course it is not wise to argue with a client. But they should either trust you, or find someone who is not doing their job as good as you can do it. Hiring a web developer who doesn't care about W3 standards is just that: A quick and dirty solution, with an emphasis on dirty. By the end of the day, your client will have to do the same work over and over, because it wasn't based on W3 standards.

    All that aside, I would say the biggest argument is scalability and the fact that Google and Yahoo! search like W3 websites better. It's not increasing accessibility (unless you design for better accessibility), but it's clearly benefitting from Google's and Yahoo's search algorythms.
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      CommentAuthormringlein
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2006
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    My big thing on the "client is always right" is that when push comes to shove -- you won't convince a client that doesn't want to be convinced. You should push standards, inform and educate clients -- but if they know the difference and are stuck in their table-based ways -- you are eventually going to have to do things their way to keep the contract. The worse thing for a client is a stubborn designer (the worst!).

    To your point, you are right, the client isn't always "right" -- but the client does eventually get what they want (perhaps a better way to put it).

    Just use common business sense when "arguing" with a client.
    • CommentAuthorJack
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2006
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    I beat them with a stick
    • CommentAuthorjnh
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2006
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    I've read this short blog entry on the accessibility survey of websites. http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/200612/97_of_websites_still_inaccessible/

    Sad but true. I'm not sure, is it really that difficult to at least add an alt attribute & value to an image tag?

    I'm starting to think it's all because a fraction in 97% just don't care and another fraction just have yet to know the standards. And the sad part would be, that the fraction who have yet to know the standards could include people who might not even care once they know it...

    This 97% is gonna grow. Especially considering even majority of institutions all over the world groom more and more students to become web designers who designs for the sake of the "looks." I certainly look forward to that time where schools get to be more focused not only on how to design... but more to how to design with standards.

    It's not gonna be an easy fight.

    cheers,
    Jonah
    • CommentAuthorMatt
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2006
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    I wrote a whole page email to a client once who was upset he couldn't/wasn't allowed to edit his pages other than in the editor I provided for him (which strips everything but strong and paragraph tags (because he was messing up my prettyish code). The next day he called me and asked if I still wanted to kill him, I told him no, but he would have to respect the way I do things. A week later he asked to hire me full time, I respectfully declined because my firm rocks, but told him if he wants I can continue doing freelance on the side. Needless to say he still wants me developing the site, and has been happy with the outcome thus far.

    They will learn, one way or another. The best route is if you can provide examples of why you are right, and why you can be considered an authority, then tell them straight up without hesitation.
    • CommentAuthormaspick
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2006
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    There is a line where, as a designer, you shouldn't back down to a client's demands, especially if it means your work will be degraded below what YOU can accept the world seeing of YOUR work. We once had a client who had an abominable sense of color and pushed us hard to accept her color choices which we knew would not work. We finally softly told the client that they could accept our choice or find another designer. They relented and ended up appreciating the outcome. We were perfectly willing to lose the job, though, rather than give in to something that would compromise our design integrity.

    That's my 2 cents :^{>
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      CommentAuthormringlein
    • CommentTimeDec 28th 2006
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    I'd agree with Tom. However, I should mention that there are a lot of sites out there that have never and will never make my portfolio. Most of my work for my full-time employer will never make my portfolio -- there are just too many cooks in the kitchen to make anything good.

    I know some of you are not in a position to be able to turn down work -- so do it, suffer, collect the check and forget about it. If you are in the position to pick your clients and pick your gigs, then yes I totally agree. The best way to teach that client the importance of web standards is to show them you are willing to lose the gig for it -- that is how important and passionate the topic is to you.
  2.  permalink
    Well if you own boss and have plenty of projects you might be little bit picky about it.
    But I remember on my full time job I almost get fired because of that.
    Neither by boss or the client would agree. It's nice to have a personal satisfactions and be proud with the final results but sometimes it's better just suck it up and shut up.

    Cheers, DS
  3.  permalink
    Why did the elephant eat the caterpillar?
  4.  permalink
    Remember to tell them it's because information soars our superhighway beautifully while riding the graceful wings of best practice publishing...

    WTF? The graceful wings of best practice--you've GOT to be kidding.
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