(At first, excuse me because my bad grammar in english.)
I have been working in web design like eight years.
Starting from 0, I have learned to write code (xhtml) with notepad, and CSS
in depth, dedicating my time to write code in a clear, simple and accessible way.
I have made an effort in learning to design and program in respecting web standards and paying full attention to usability and accessibility
I’m really proud of my work.
A few months ago (with a good CV) I have been contracted to work in an important audio-visual producer company. Here I’m the maximun responsable over the programation and design of some important and famous film websites.
Everything would have to be perfect, but it isn’t…
Here, nobody values that my code is correct, or that I'm trying to make the web navigation simplest, or that I make an effort to make websites able to be visualized from any system platform.
By example: Some days ago I worked in an important project in xhtml 1,0 strict with full enfort. It counts with an excellent code, a good navigation and a defined and organized content, in addition with css I have given a very attractive and modern design to it.
In addition when I had my work finished I decided to use a little bit og flash in a specific section (a photographic gallery) with a nice visual slideshow effect.
Well… Once we did a production meeting for the website, everybody has congratulated to me because the slideshow in flash, and nobody has said a single word about the rest of the Web.
The only commentaries that I have received from of my boss have been of the kind:
- And if you know to make these animations with flash. Why you don’t use it for the full site? Your websites are nice but just a bit bored…
So, my question now is:
Really is worths the ennfort to focus in the usability and accessibility when you are working for a "media" company?
A demo is like a sales
A demo is like a sales presentation. You are trying to sell/enthuse your audience on the website. And just like any presentation its important to know your audience.
They probably aren't technical, at least not about web standards and accessibility.
If you want to highlight usability and accessability, prepare for that. Demo the site on some other device. These are media types - do it on an iphone, no flash there. Find some competitor sites that look terrible when viewed on the iphone or whatever alternate device/user agent you use. Have some figures to back up your stance - a growing number of people will first view the site on this device and if it doesn't work they won't come back, blah, spin, blah.
You also have to remember what the website you are building is doing for the organization. Accessibility is important but it probably has very little effect on your bottom line. If a slideshow does have a positive effect, then its your job to implement it in such a way that the site doesn't become inaccessible.