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October 05, 2007

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I would answer the accessibility question differently as well (though your Google answer rocks). You mention handicapped parking spaces. Why do companies make sure they have handicapped spots? Simple - it's the law. They have no choice. It's a situation where the government made a decision that they felt was right for society but was at odds with pure capitalism. They've made the same decision for software purchased by the U.S. government - it has to be accessible or they won't buy it. For products (like mine) that sell to the U.S. government, that effectively turns the question from whether it's the moral to exclude folks with disabilities to whether it's financially effective... and the answer is the same in both cases. Just like handicapped parking - it's now a poor financial decision to not have handicapped spots. I think this is important because I don't think we can count on companies to "do the right thing" consistently when it's at odds with their bottom line. History suggests that's a recipe for disaster.

As for why men don't take classes online, it's probably because we're idiots. But I'd be interested to know whether there's a higher percentage of minority males who take classes online - I personally know one minority guy who takes online classes because he likes that his work is judged completely without regard to his appearance. But my guess is that women make up a high percentage of "continuing education" overall, whether it's online or not.

What to do if your *designer* is hostile to usability? Good grief... quit? :)

I completely agree with your comments on the BaA article. The idea is simple but somewhere along the line a guideline (scented stuff above the fold, don't give an illusion of completeness) turned into a hard and fast rule (nothing below the fold!). People will scroll (i.e. go to some effort) if they think they'll be rewarded. 'nuff said.

It's funny how, despite the lack of understanding of usability issues, many web designers are equally failing at coming up with iconic designs that are artistically cool

To wit:
"on Tuesday, Armin Vit asked “Where are all the ‘landmark’ Web sites?” over at Speak Up. His contention is that we have yet to see examples of Web design in the fashion of “Milton Glaser’s Dylan poster; Paul Rand’s IBM logo; Paula Scher’s Public Theater posters; Massimo Vignelli’s New York subway map; [and] Kyle Cooper’s ‘Seven’ opening titles.” In short, Armin claims that the practice of design online has yet to produce its own canon of seminal and iconic works that can stand their own in the history books of the profession." http://www.underconsideration.com/speakup/

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