[thelist] I gotta vent, sorry

Diane Soini dianesoini at earthlink.net
Fri May 7 22:19:23 CDT 2004

I'm sorry, I'm so frustrated I gotta vent.

I've recently been transferred from Marketing to eLearning. These folks 
create learning materials largely comprised of html, javascript and 
windows media files, which are uploaded to the web server, or 
downloaded to play on people's laptops. None of the people in the 
department have much web experience.

I'm going crazy. The graphic designer person on the team creates web 
pages that are just a large image map. All the other html pages are 
IE-only/IE proprietary code (too lazy to make it cross-browser). They 
make javascript popup windows that won't fit on screen resolutions 
smaller than 1024x768, there are no alt or title attributes, all the 
html is absolutely positioned div tags that are not always in order of 
screen appearance, (do paragraphs really need to be absolutely 
positioned?), popups without scrollbars but content that needs to 
scroll, and worse.

Their development process is to copy a huge directory of junk as a 
template, save every iteration and every .psd file in it along the way, 
make multiple copies over time, then point me to whatever "final" 
version there is to upload to the production server. There is a 
tendency to point me to the wrong "final" directory, so I end up 
uploading the wrong stuff, a million kilobytes too late.

Collaboration on this is really difficult for me. I have made my 
suggestions, but nobody knows much about the web, html or css, so they 
just <em>can't</em> do it correctly. They can't do what they don't 
understand. It's a case of the lowest common denominator. I'm so low on 
the totem pole (I'm not an "instructional designer" so what do I know) 
and they're all the last remaining people from multiple rounds of 
layoffs, so they really bristle at a newcomer like me saying anything 
at all.

Can you imagine? An eLearning department that cares not one bit about 
usability/accessibility/good web design practices or bandwidth? All 
that matters is what the graphics look like. What a nightmare! What 
have I gotten myself into? It seemed like an opportunity to make a 
difference, but now I'm not so sure.

Sorry, it was a difficult day.

<tip type="Flash, but you probably already know this">
Sure, you can use Fireworks to make animated gifs, but it's much easier 
to use Flash, then set animated gif in the publish settings. Probably 
everybody knows that already, but I had completely forgotten, since I 
never have much use for animated gifs.

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