Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

It was with some sense of chagrin that I learnt that a high-profile, previously standards compliant and accessible site had been redesigned using cutting edge webdesign techniques, circa 1996. Goodbye CSS, hello tables. I could understand this (to a point) if it wasn’t for the fact that the resulting Disney Store UK site is just so _damn ugly_.

Andy Clarke’s response is very restrained, and at the same time funny. Molly Holzschlag, lead of the Web Standards Project goes for the jugular, pointing out that the new site is riddled with bugs, is slow, their email doesn’t seem to work, and is probably in violation of the Disability Discrimination Act.

I poked a little deeper. Not only is the code horrible and inaccessible, it is also BIG. I ran it through the Website Optimization tool – the total size 250K, leading to download speeds of more that a minute for a 56K modem. Even more daft, it isn’t even being compressed. Not only are the designers not doing their job, it seems their sys admins aren’t either – compression on the serverside is a no brainer.

Mind you, as a friend said, “It is a Mickey Mouse site”…

2 Responses to “A Mickey Mouse Site”

  1. Colonel Nikolai

    The truth of it is you have a rift between the Gold Owner (the account execs of the site, I presume) and the Goal Donor (the standards-compliance community). The Gold Owner always wins when there is a showdown between these two parties. Eventually, if not immediately.

    So where does that leave us? I think you and your posse are right to point out loudly and often that this sucks. But that’s about all we can do. I defend the right for people to be wrong. It’s the price we all pay for a more equitable society where we may hope that cooler, saner heads will prevail in the long run.

    Got any better ideas?


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