A matter of Style

The WTH Remix contest has ended and the winners have been announced, showing that sometimes, the net community can do better than standards creator. The grand prize winner is a visually arresting page (compared to the original) that has only a few small things missing in order to make it perfect.

First of all, I would ensure that all the links have proper titles, something that a lot of people tend to forget when designing pages but which can be useful for disabled users. Second, I would replace the validation logos with a much friendlier CSS only alternative, similar to what some have done with the XML button.

Second, I would put the A-to-Z elements in a list, as they should properly be. This would also take care of clearly differentiating them instead of using a CSS trick to hide special characters.

The descriptive text about the consortium is needed on the page and could go above the news section in that design in order to match the existing information available on the page and the proper RDF tags would need to be reinserted in the page to ensure its continued progression with the semantic web.

Last but not least would be a change of color in the masthead to align with the existing color set presented by the original W3C logo (basically changing the site’s primary color from orange to blue).

A very good effort and I hope that the people at the W3C will consider moving to that new design. However, the redesign also points to a big issue with the existing site: not only is its wrong page boring, in comparison to what can be done using the latest standards, but there is also a certain inconsistency in the way sub-pages and sub-section of the site are presented. While the existing front page provides a lot of information, there does not seem to be any overarching design thought in the way each subset is organized, with some pages looking as if they came from the web in 1993, 1995, and late 90s-earlyish 2000s. Maybe the consortium should consider developing a style guide for its overall site. After all, shouldn’t the site be an example of how standards can be implemented and still look professional? On that end, the W3C still falls short and it would be nice to see them doing some work in that direction.

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