Implementing Web Standards Across The Institution – Trials And Tribulations Of A Redesign [B2]


Coding to Web standards – only a few years ago considered the sole domain of fussy purists with little or no connection to the real world – has become a central concern for both designers and developers. The increasing number of large, commercial Web sites making the transition from “tag-soup”, browser-specific code to clean, structural markup, is proving that Web standards may well be a viable technology of today, rather than just of a theoretical, utopian tomorrow. The benefits are many, and often highly publicised: separation of content and presentation, easier reusability of content, potential for increased accessibility (high on the agenda of anybody striving not to fall foul of SENDA), better search engine rankings and decreased bandwidth requirements, to name but a few. But the path towards achieving these benefits is not free of obstacles…

Having relaunched the core site for the University of Salford in September 2003, with a new design based almost exclusively on CSS-driven, table-less layouts, Patrick H. Lauke will provide the opportunity to consider and discuss the main motivations behind such a relaunch, the problems that can be encountered along the way, and the far greater (and, in the case of Salford, still ongoing) challenge of implementing web standards and good practices across the institution.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the session participants will:

  • Be familiar with the concepts of “standards-compliant coding”
  • Have gained an insight into the advantages of standards-based markup and the separation of content and presentation
  • Have identified areas in which this technology can be easily implemented
  • Be aware of potential barriers to effective use of this technology (particularly on large scale projects with multiple authors)
  • Be aware of possible solutions to some of the barriers to effective use of this technology
  • Have gained an insight into an actual test case in which this technology was implemented