In 1799, a soldier in Napoleon’s army discovered a large black stone in Egypt on which was inscribed the same text in three different languages: Greek, Demotic, and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Using the stone as a guide, scholars for the first time were able to translate previously-baffling Egyptian hieroglyphics. It turns out the message on the stone was a plea for help from a Nigerian prince who needed assistance getting his money out of the country.
Front End Coding
When you’re designing and building a website—or anything else, for that matter—it’s easy to assume that the end users are just like you: Talented, good-looking, fashionable…the list goes on. And the end users, of course, are all of those things, especially our readers. Some of them, however, may have additional characteristics, and if you don’t have them too, it’s easy to forget about them. Some, for example, may have trouble seeing, hearing, typing, or using a mouse. The art of accommodating these users is called making your site accessible.
Some websites are fairly static, with infrequent content changes. For other sites, to paraphrase an old Rush song, “constant change is here to stay.” These are high-volume e-commerce sites, news sites, and the like. In between are the vast majority—sites that change over time, but maybe not every day or even every week. The owners of these sites may update their home pages to feature new products or services, or advertise seasonal specials, or simply freshen up the page with new images or videos. Perhaps they have a set of photos that they want to rotate onto and off of the site on a regular basis. Whatever the case, for these sites, a web content management system can take some of the headache out of managing the site.
In the world of writing, there is some variant of Murphy’s law that says that no matter how many times and how thoroughly you check your copy, you won’t see the obvious misspelling or glaring grammatical error until after you’ve published it, at which point it will jump out at you like a giant flashing neon sign. This is why we have editors: to catch the mistakes that you won’t see even if you look at them a thousand times.
Have you ever had a tiny pebble in your shoe—nothing major, you can just wiggle your foot and it feels better for a while—and you’re too busy to really do anything about it anyway? You could just take your shoe off and dump the thing out, but it’s not bothersome enough to go to that much effort, so you just put up with it.
Some Web sites are like that: They have little annoyances that aren’t irritating enough to send you elsewhere, so you put up with them. Maybe the navigation is a little counterintuitive, or certain pages take just a little too long to load, or the font size is just a bit too small. Not a big deal…until you find a competitor’s site that does it better, and you take your business there.
A lot of times, simple tweaks can make a big difference in how visitors perceive a site’s quality. That perception, in turn, can determine whether visitors dump out that tiny pebble of Web site irritation and go elsewhere.
You Design. We Code.