There are those who get it...

Published in News, Rants and Ephemera on Tuesday, March 9th, 2004

This post over at D. Keith Robertsons "Asterisk" crystallized a few things for me yesterday.

I've been a little frustrated at times when we go up for a contract against other groups who don't build their sites according to the standards. I know, "whine whine", but please, bear with me. What gets me is that it is sometimes difficult to get the idea of standards through to the potential client, and in the end I begin to wonder how many people really get what can be done on the internet.

The idea that a site can be designed without conforming to standards is truly shocking to people in industries where standards are an every day thing, but for most people the proof is in the pudding: a company has a portfolio of nice sites that work well, who cares about standards?

For me, this is more and more becoming the cut off line for potential projects. If a potential client doesn't have the time to learn about a simple idea like standards, I'm wondering if they are really willing to do the job right. Furthermore, I begin to wonder if they really get the internet, and if they want to succeed on it. After all, simply having a website just won't cut it these days; ask anybody who has been successful on the internet and they will tell you that if you want to succeed on the internet, there is some hard work in your future.

One of our current clients, probably our largest to date, gets it, and is a pleasure to work with, because we are working towards success of an objective larger than just a web presence.

But now and then I stop and begin to wonder if I get it. It takes us no more time here at fiftyfoureleven to build up an accessible well thought-out website than it did when we hacked them together with tables, though I will admit we did and still do a lot of hand coding. So who cares if the client gets it, as long as they pay?

So, coming full circle (I think), it seems that there are clients who get it, and others that just simply want it. "Help me succeed on the web" vs. "just give me a website": enjoy the former, beware of project creep with the latter!

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