The purpose of a web site is to communicate with one's visitors. So the primary goal of a web site should be to make this communication easy. Unless you are careful, you'll shut out up to a quarter of potential visitors. To make your site inclusive, you need:

  • pages that load quickly
    • roughly half the world is still on dial up
    • requirements for javascript and flash minimized
    • only a few graphics and of small file size
  • pages that are accessible to any browser
    • 20% do not use Internet Explorer
  • pages that are accessible to any screen resolution
    • 20% of the population uses resolutions less than 1024x768
    • people should be able to enlarge or reduce font size for comfort
  • pages with consistent look and navigation
    • the pages should have a common visual theme so the site is clearly branded
    • navigation placed in a consistent location
    • links clearly identified

None of this is new or revolutionary. It's just that a large part of the web-design population doesn't follow these simple guidelines. Either they don't know any better, or else they think making web pages is an art project not a communications project.

© 2006 by Lawrence G. Piper
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Last update: Thursday, January 03, 2013