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Web standards and their importance in today’s digital marketplace – Part 2

Published on March 19, 2018 by Shenuk Alles

In part 1 of this blog, we introduced web standards and discussed W3C standards. In this part, we will be looking at web accessibility and the design library.

Web accessibility

Web accessibility refers to the extent to which people with disabilities can use the web. More specifically, it refers to the extent to which people with disabilities are able to perceive, understand, navigate, interact with and contribute to the web. Web accessibility also benefits others, including older people with changing abilities due to age.

Web accessibility is required by law and policy in certain countries, and failure to comply with such regulations could result in legal ramifications.

Examples of legislation covering web standards:

US

Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)

UK

  • Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001

  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Part III Access to Goods and Services

  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Part IV Education

The following are some tools commonly used to detect and resolve accessibility errors:

www.w3.org/WAI/intro/wcag

https://achecker.ca/checker/index.php

Design library

Similar to an editorial or design style guide, a design library is a common location where web users can find the best method to display their content, and where content managers can display their capabilities.

A design library, unlike all the other technologies we have discussed, is a tool used mainly by large organizations that employ dedicated web design teams to maintain websites globally. Companies such as HSBC and Apple that have subsites for each country they operate in tend to use a uniform design across their websites to give users a sense of familiarity.

However, a design library can also be used by web design firms to display their functionalities and the designs they have created, and can be modified based on the requirement (e.g., using carousels, hero banners, and calendar widgets).

Benefits of maintaining a design library:

  • Having a design library makes it easier for web content managers who maintain content for their respective regional websites to communicate their requirements to web developers. It also makes new subsite creation easier, as the pages do not have to be created from scratch

  • Clients are able to find the most attractive and efficient way of displaying their content

  • Content managers are able to display their capabilities

  • Acts as central location for content managers to locate common components and replicate them

The following are some resources that can be referred to when building a design library:

https://designmodo.com/create-style-guides

www.elegantthemes.com/blog/tips-tricks/best-web-design-style-guides

http://styleguides.io

At Acuity Knowledge Partners, we ensure that any content we maintain adheres to industry standards, enabling the websites we manage to operate efficiently and smoothly and to provide the best user experience. This ensures that our clients do not have to worry about the legal ramifications of building websites that do not comply with industry and legal requirements and that clients maximize their digital marketing strategies.

References

https://www.webstandards.org/

http://validator.kldp.org

http://www.minervaeurope.org/publications/qualitycriteria1_2draft/qualitypdf1103.pdf

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2001

http://www.soswebdesign.com/gallery/webstandards.cfm


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About the Author

Associate, Fund Marketing Services

Shenuk is part of Fund Marketing Services (FMS) at Acuity Knowledge Partners, where he focuses on the implementation of varied digital marketing strategies for clients.

He has over 11 years of experience in digital marketing and publishing, content management, business analysis, and client services. Additionally, he has experience in the application and execution of W3C standards, web design and applications, and web accessibility guidelines. Prior to joining Acuity Knowledge Partners, he was a Web Production Officer at a leading international bank.

Shenuk holds a Bachelor of Science (Business Information Systems and Management) and a Certificate in Telecommunication.

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