[thelist] link borders on a MAC

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Mon Sep 22 14:49:24 CDT 2003


> From: Maisha Walker
> I am indeed an accessibility advocate.  But I do think
> there are times when other objectives outweigh the
> value that accessibility offers.

that's *highly* debatable.

> 1. He's an illustrator, so the central purpose of his
>    site is to get work by showing the work he's done
>    in the past.

not a point for consideration, no matter how much it may seem so.

> 2. His only realistic use for search engines is for
>    people to be able to look up his name and find his
>    site.

only if they're specifically looking for him.  what about terms like
illustrator, advertising, graphics, artist, the name of the city he lives
in, etc.  these are all valuable search terms necessary to expose him to a
wider audience than just those who know his name.  after all, if they know
his name, half the reason for the existence of the site is gone, imo.

> 3. Because his work is so visual, what purpose would the
>    alt tags really serve?  It would help someone
>    navigate the site in a text based browser perhaps,
>    but for what purpose?

do not make the flawed assumption that those surfing with a text-based
browser cannot view images.

do not assume that all users using graphical browsers have images load

do not assume that someone with a visual impairment isn't in charge of
sourcing and hiring new artists like your client.

> 4.  Since there are so many images of his work (each of
>     which is further sliced into smaller images for
>     quicker downloading), thinking of and adding alt
>     tags for all of the images would have added a lot of
>     time to site development.  I had a hard time
>     justifying the time and energy given the content.

no offense to you, your effort, or your client's work, but right now there
is *no* content on the site.  sure, there is a bunch of graphical fluff
representing your client's past work and abilities, but that's not actual
content that explains the who, what, why, where, when, how, etc.

furthermore, slicing large images into a bunch of smaller images doesn't
necessarily equate to a faster download, unless you're doing things like
rollovers where only a portion of the overall image changes.  even then the
expected gain may not be as big as you think.

the excuse of adding alt tags to all the images is a cop out.  that's a cost
you pass on to the client.  if you've educated them on the value of that,
they'll pay for it.

in closing, after looking at the site i really don't think you're interested
in accessibility at all, at least as far as this project is concerned.
there are so many things about the site that would make it pretty much
impossible for someone with an impairment to navigate the site and/or glean
any useful information from it.  you're welcome to prove me wrong though.
you can start by leaving the link outline alone.


Jeff Howden - Web Application Specialist
Résumé - http://jeffhowden.com/about/resume/
Code Library - http://evolt.jeffhowden.com/jeff/code/

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