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Lack of HTML craftsmanship leading to inaccessibility?

Discussion in 'HTML & Website Design' started by Gary-SC, Sep 24, 2019.

  1. #1
    I came across the following recent tweets by Jeffery Zeldman. As @deathshadow has often said before, the sheer lack of craftsmanship and business ethics seem to be rampant in the industry, and the deeper I dig, the more I am concerned. To me, the implications of some of these comments are disturbing.

    SEMrush
     
    Gary-SC, Sep 24, 2019 IP
    SEMrush
  2. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #2
    While quality of workmanship is an issue it's common across all professions - that's why people pay for "Master Builders" and "Authorised Dealers" and buy brands they recognise.

    I just checked NZ stats and we're about the same for unmetered internet access. Before you fret too much about the loss of metered users consider whether or not they're your target market. The #1 reason they remain on cheaper plans is affordability - if they can't afford an extra $20 a month are they likely to purchase what you're selling? If you're selling plumbing services, then yes, they're still potential customers. If you're selling expensive luxury items then losing that traffic is unlikely to equate to lost sales.

    Back when I started building sites we were on dial-up, I shared office space with my husband and we'd take turns going online or making calls. Images were kept small, code was kept small. Access got better and we relaxed a bit, then along came mobile browsing and those images had to shrink again. I'm now on a 22GB mobile plan with 4G access and it's a fairly common plan being sold by a major telco. Does that mean we can relax? It all depends on your target market and the time you have available to pare everything back to the bare bones.
     
    sarahk, Sep 24, 2019 IP
  3. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #3
    This is why I've said for some time that "web professionals" NEED a code of ethics much akin to that used by engineers.

    There is a TOTAL lack of genuine professionalism amongst developers; and no, I'm not referring to clean shaven, running around in a suit, and shoveling platitudes. (though that can help at the start, it's bullshit once works starts). No, I'm referring to actually doing a PROFESSIONAL QUALITY JOB.

    ... and these people who treat semantic markup -- the entire REASON HTML exists in the first place -- as a "advanced sidequest" are a good chunk of who's responsible for it.

    You'll hear it time and time again, "HTML isn't a real programming language". This is why it is treated as sixth-class citizen that nobody takes seriously, and it's why 90%+ of the code in circulation is a fat bloated mess of 3i. What's "3i"? Ignorance, incompetence, and ineptitude!

    Well I've been programming for four decades, and HTML is a language that computers parse to process information. IF there's another definition of a programming language, I'VE NEVER HEARD IT!.

    It's just another of the BS claims made by people who not only are unqualified to be making websites for business, but are for all intents and purposes saying "wah wah, eye dunz wunna learns!".

    This dismissive attitude towards HTML plays well with the "blind copypasta" crowd, the ones who do NOTHING but copy other people's work. You once used the word "plagiarism" and it is indeed a good fit; and like those who cheat on tests in school, the end result might make them THINK they succeeded, but it leaves them ill-equipped to be a "professional" whenever anything original is required, or worse when things go pear-shaped. Such "developers" are incapable of dealing whatsoever with when things go wrong -- out of both a lack of knowledge, and an irrational overconfidence in their own abilities.

    Confirmation bias plays a lot into this. They have made websites. Maybe they've been making websites for years, even decades... so they ASSUME they've been doing it right all along and that what they see others doing is right, or just, or even "easy". EVEN when you present overwhelming facts they do nothing more than dig in harder like second-rate cultists, parroting nonsensical glittering generalities, and sooner or later reverting to that class gem of "Well that's just how I feel about it.". Ignoring facts because of feelings is the core of cognitive dissonance, where anything that contradicts the pre-conceived notion, popular opinion, or threatens the echo-chamber is either outright rejected, or somehow perversely twisted to fit the narrative. It's how doomsday cults can stay together with loyalists even AFTER their alleged date of destruction has passed. In fact, the term was coined to explain exactly that!

    You mix the lack of knowing enough HTML or CSS to be using either, the overconfidence caused by a perceived success even when they are failing miserably, and the "comfort zone" of feelings overriding fact, and you've got the perfect storm for the Dunning-Kruger effect. These so-called "pros" are so unaware of how little they know, they don't even recognize how little they know.

    This is often evident in their "defense" of bad practices and sleazing things together any-old-way with ZERO concert for semantics, separation of concern, or actual simplicity. You'll constantly hear unfounded dumbass claims like "Well if we did it your way we'd be here for months" -- when THEY'RE the ones advocating techniques that take weeks to do single digit man-hours worth of work when it comes to doing anything worth actual money to a client. They talk a good talk, but they present ZERO tangible facts.

    Since as you noted in another thread, if all they're doing is sleazing together off the shelf answers that ANY beginner could blindly do with a couple hours of tutorials, what the bloody blue blazes makes their "skills" worth a single blasted penny? Especially when the result takes them weeks to do what should be man-hours work despite the "shortcuts", is harder to make unique, harder to modify, harder to maintain, and tells large swaths of visitors to the resultant sites to sod off?!?

    Much of this stems from the "credit mentality" that's ruining society as a whole. As Kissenger once said, "America has gone from a nation of savers to a nation of debtors." -- and this mindset of "pay more later for something we can't afford now" has seeped into the cracks of nearly everything, resulting in nearly all "constructions" having a foundation less sturdy than a house of cards. As a friend of mine said about it a few years ago, the Internet as a whole is built out of "Shantytown sausages".

    It's why certain types of sites end up in court for US ADA and UK EQA violations. It's why we see endless data-breaches from companies that should know better. It's why the vast majority of Internet startups fail in their first year, and the majority of websites are money pits instead of investments.

    The truly sad part is a LOT of these people who make up the lame excuses for their lamer practices and developer ignorance, sound like the same type of asshats who get their panties in a twist over having to put a handicap ramp in the front of their building, or running around parking in handicap spaces saying "why do they deserve special treatment".

    Just as they don't seem to care at ALL how much they screw over the site owner, screw over visitors to the site, screw over the next poor sod stuck with maintaining things, or even screw over themselves without even realizing it! It borders on outright sociopathic behavior at BEST, full on psyhopathic at worst.

    Though again, that seems right now to describe the direction of society as a whole. Devoid of empathy, decency, morality, or giving a damn about anyone other than themselves. In that way it's hardly a shock so many two bit dirtbags gravitate towards a field with no regulation, where most of the rubes have no clue how badly they're being bent over the table, and where sleazing by on as little effort as possible is the accepted norm.

    Or at least, the ILLUSION of as little effort as possible, since again the moment you get past the draft stage thanks to using ten times the code needed, scripting to do things that's none of JavaScript's business, scripting for things that have ZERO business on websites in the first place, scripting and broken presentation because some artsy-fartsy type who knows dick-all about ACTUAL design got wood whilst spanking it on their graphics tablet in Photoshop, etc, etc, etc.

    Again the illusion of simplicity -- a "false simplicity" as it were -- nabs people early, and once it is established in the mind the ability to accept facts in the average person goes flying right out the window. Fighting those who have established this bias is more often than not a lost cause. The damage is done and it is VERY hard to convince them otherwise.

    For example a client I had two years ago where this bank was in court for a US ADA violation; their portal (where you check your balances and transactions) had no scripting off graceful degradation, pissed itself with bootcrap and pixel metrics, was knee deep in illegible colour contrasts, etc, etc, etc... but their head of IT and their marketing director fought me tooth and nail on fixing such issues. Despite the company they were working for being in court over it, they flat out refused to believe that any of the things that were wrong... were wrong!

    Then not even three days after I was done and we got them clear of the courts, they went through and undid everything going back to their old colours, doing it with bootcrap and vue, scripting only functionality, etc, etc, etc. THEN when they got back into the courts they tried to blame me for THEIR changes. Changes the courts had on record. Changes the prosecutor had written off on. Changes THEY removed. I went from "guy hired to supervise fixing it" to "witness for the prosecution".

    But of course their head of IT was the son of a board member, so naturally he could do no wrong... and the marketing director -- like most who peddle that scam -- knew just who to get down on their knees in front of.

    In any case, THAT is the level of willful ignorance we're talking about here. They are SO convinced that they've been doing it correctly all along, even being dragged into court cannot change their 'belief'. JUST LIKE CULTISTS!

    You can see the cult-like behavior when you DARE to say any of this. The immediate "how dare you!"; the claim "it's not what you said it's how you said it" that is nothing more than a copout for having zero rational counterpoint. How on many forums simply saying "bootstrap is bad and I question the skills and knowledge of those who created it" being an instant permaban no matter how politely you word it. Don't you DARE point out what's wrong, or you'll be shown the door faster than you can blink... why?

    Because that's how you maintain the echo-chamber of like-minded head bobbers and blow jobbers. They want to create and maintain the circle-jerk where any dissension is unacceptable. Again, just like religion!. Exodus 22:19, Deuteronomy 17:12, 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 -- SAME EXACT THING! They preach prejudice to prevent any facts that disrupt the narrative from even being discussed. Propaganda 101, control the narrative.

    Hence the trick is to catch people early enough that they get a better narrative from the start -- as I did here with you. When this all started for you here, you were completely green. You had heard a lot of the BS but you didn't fully believe yet, it was still early enough to convince you otherwise with FACTS. That said facts were so plainly evident if you take the time to understand them makes the stream of unfounded unrealistic nonsensical claims made by "sleaze it out any old way" developers feel like... well, you said it yourself: FRAUD.

    MOST of the people calling themselves web professionals -- and I don't care who they work for -- are FRAUDS.

    But again, you can't actually come out and say that. Try that over at SitePoint or Hashnode, and see how fast you're shown the door.

    Anyhow, to create genuine change we need to "catch 'em early". BEFORE those biases can be established, to build better ones built on facts and understanding, not feel-good soothing-syrup LIES... because Wizard's First Rule. People are dumb. They will believe a lie because they want it to be true, or are afraid it might be true..

    Catching these beginners early and KEEPING those good habits in place is very hard. We're talking about trying to overcome disinformation, web-rot, dated practices people claim are modern, and again, 3i. When 50% of the world is running off the edge of a cliff, another 40% is looking over going "hey, that looks great!" thanks to bandwagon.

    Seriously when we have idiocy like bootcrap and jquery, web-rot like W3Schools run by two-faced liars, and a "get it done who cares if it's right" attitude that permeates the entire industry, is it any wonder people choose to work harder, not smarter? Is it out of the ordinary that -- muchlike your average faith-tard -- the "rank and file" reject facts in favor of feelings? Can we REALLY be surprised with the state of affairs when HTML -- the foundation of EVERYTHING you should be building for websites -- is considered a joke that's "not really that important" even by the clowns who's job is SUPPOSED to start with writing it?

    Just like the Catholics, we gotta nab 'em when they're young. Green. Teach them ethics, teach them facts, teach them good practices that last a lifetime.... but most important of all: Teach them criticial thinking skills!. That way they can cut through the bullshit and call bullshit on the sleazy dirtbag predators who run amok in this industry like the bad guys from bad Adam Sandler movies. "The topic is: Business Ethics"
     
    deathshadow, Sep 25, 2019 IP
  4. qwikad.com

    qwikad.com Illustrious Member Affiliate Manager

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    #4
    Is there a trophy for the longest post on DP? JK. I read it, almost all of it.
     
    qwikad.com, Sep 25, 2019 IP
  5. Spoiltdiva

    Spoiltdiva Prominent Member

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    #5
    And most of that was spent writing post #3.;)
     
    Spoiltdiva, Sep 25, 2019 IP
  6. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #6
    I find it troubling anyone would consider that a long post -- it's not even 12k. I can remember when forum members various places used to complain that 32k was too small a size limit. Good gravy I write around 100 times that a day!

    But I guess in this age of twitter-generation mouth-breathers. where their 'cup doth runneth over' when handed a whopping 288 characters they can't even conceive of filling, it's hardly a surprise we have so many herps and derps screaming "AAAH, WALL OF TEXT!"

    In a way that too is a problem we face with site development; the "wah wah, eye dunz wanna reeds" when it comes to documentation being as much to blame as "wah wah, eye dunz wanna leerns"

    A serious issue when the entire concept on which HTML is based is professional writing norms. Hell, not even "professional" -- most of this is stuff I was taught in the 4th and 5th grade in the early '80's... which I'm assuming given the state of education is now 5th year college level?
     
    deathshadow, Sep 25, 2019 IP
  7. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #7
    @sarahk

    Website isn't always about selling a particular set of products to specific demographics. It can be about making educational materials available to a wide range of people with varying levels of connectivity. Furthermore, I suspect that performance is often a result of the biggest bottleneck in the entire process. Having a 22GB plan alone isn't going to matter if a bloated website creates the performance bottleneck on the server-side as a result of poorly written HTML/CSS/JS. Otherwise, why would Google even bother making performance recommendations and providing dev tools to address them?

    Besides, I don't think that the tweets above fit within the scope of "workable trade-offs" because the solution in those cases is not rocket science; write proper HTML and CSS. I see those tweets as a reflection of utter laziness and "shortcuts for maximum profit" mindset that so-called many web professionals seem to share. Where is the sense of care and responsibility?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
    Gary-SC, Sep 25, 2019 IP
  8. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #8
    Same place it seemingly is in mainstream society. Missing, not encouraged, and in many cases actively fought against. Instead we are told to just be good little sociopaths and rip off every last other person for personal benefit.

    It's the "well it doesn't effect you personally , so why do you care?" mentality. Again, sociopathic if not outright psychopathic lack of empathy.
     
    deathshadow, Sep 25, 2019 IP
  9. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #9
    @deathshadow

    Take a look at this article I recently came across:

    https://www.searchenginejournal.com/prevent-accessibility-website-lawsuit/306055/#close

    "Convincing website owners and companies of the business case for accessibility is difficult. One reason is the cost. Will they see a return on their investment? I would rather choose to design an accessible website over paying for defense lawyers and losing revenue during remediation work."

    Exactly. And then, it says,

    "Many companies lack an understanding of what accessibility is and why it is important. They may not know how or where to find help."

    And the same ignorant companies boast about how none of this matters because "our site works?" In any case, I couldn't have said better than you did to describe this ridiculous state of things.
     
    Gary-SC, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  10. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #10
    Again, Dunning-Kruger effect. These people know so little, they don't even realize how little they know. They cannot recognize it. This plays to confirmation bias as well.

    Basically what they are saying is "But it works for ME" -- and you'll hear that one a lot. The same thing crops up on slow websites where they get penalized by Google and lighthouse/pagespeed says its slow, or it's painfully obvious why it's slow for most people, but the know-nothings chime in with "but it's fast for me!". You'll see that on web development forums all the time.

    Well lah-dee-f***ing-dah for YOU! Just because something works for you or is fast for you doens't mean you aren't still pissing on large swaths of the potential user base! Again, it's all about "them" and nobody else -- throwing that sociopathic "lack of empathy" further into the mix.

    It's like the lame excuse of "target audience". It's not ALWAYS a lame excuse if proper research is present, but most of the time what information is used -- assuming someone isn't just talking out their arse and making things up -- has one major massive flaw.

    Survivorship bias -- their stats and assumptions are based on the people who don't have a problem, ignoring anyone who doesn't on the assumption they "cannot be' clients.

    The classic example explaining survivorship bias comes from WWII. Someone got the bright idea in their head to have repair crews mark on diagram where aircraft returning from battle had bullet holes:

    [​IMG]

    Immediately the knee-jerk response was to increase the armor/protection in those locations. Makes sense, right?

    WRONG!!!

    WHY? Because -- as Abraham Wald pointed out at the time -- that's data from the planes that made it back to base. In other words, aircraft that took hits elsewhere didn't make it back, so you'd want to reinforce/armor the places WITHOUT bullet holes on that diagram!

    ... and this is where most people screw up their site stats/analytics. They assume that their "target audience" is who is tracked, when what they are actually just looking at is the survivors. This is why the most important statistic you can track is actually bounce. How many people came to your site, and then just "gave up" and went somewhere else. This can actually be a hard number to track given some people might even give up before things like your analytics are allowed to run. Hence why comparing your on-page stuff like Google Analytics to your server logs using something like analog or webalizer can be more accurate. If the server logs say a million visitors and GA says half that, you've got a problem!

    Actually part of why I don't advocate the use of third party analytics. Waste of code, waste of time, and provides little of value you cannot glean from the server logs. The only advantages it has are a better UI and containing tons of numbers marketing scam-artists can use to perpetuate their circle-jerk of card-stacking lies and statistical trickery.

    There's a reason "target audience" and "statistics" are on the list of Lame excuses in this excellent article that's as true now as it was over a decade ago.

    But really this:

    Is the most annoying part, in that people treat it as if using HTML properly and designing accessibly is actually any more work in the first place than just sleazing it out any-old-way. Doing it properly has rules, it hands you your design patterns on a silver plate, it results in building sites smarter and not harder, which is why from scratch doing it properly with a little knowledge should take LESS time than the blind dumbass copypasta even the people doing it don't understand!

    That's where it gets really infuriating, in that you'll have people say dumbass nonsense like how it will "take two weeks, doing it "right" like you say would take six months" -- over things that should take 10-20 man-hours of work! THAT is how utterly detached from reality these clowns defending bad practices are.

    They'll even make that claim about the front-end, where even if you do sleazy cookie cutter of the layout by the time you get into customizing color, padding, margins, fonts, etc, etc, you could have written it from scratch ten times over! they'll blow a week on dicking around in idiocy like bootcrap or jquery, for things that should have taken under an hour if you just "took the time" to learn to use HTML and CSS properly!

    Again, D-K, they don't even know enough to realize how little they know.
     
    deathshadow, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  11. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #11
    Oh and whilst on the subject of statistical lies and misconceptions, we HAVE to bring the "flaw of averages" and "percenters" into it.

    "Percenters" are people who seem to obsess on the idea of justifying their own sleazy bad practices by saying "Well it only effects a small number of people". Apple is notorious for this, where "the faulty internal video cables only effect a small number of users", or "the faulty new butterfly keyboard only effects a small number of owners" or "the overheating off the broadcom chips only effect a small number of users".

    We see this in web development. It was a classic a decade ago where "opera is only 3% of users, so they don't matter", or "non-sighted users are only 0.8%", or "people browsing with scripting disabled/unavailable is only 1.3%" or all sorts of other percent based statistics. The thing is they slather these on with a massive brush as "collateral damage" until they've eliminated so many small percentages there's nobody left!

    This gets worse when people start talking about "average" -- a bullshit concept that is utterly disconnected from reality. When people talk about the "average user" or the "average income" or any other such rubbish, they're card-stacking to support a viewpoint that might have no legs to stand on.

    I learned about this at Eglin during ACM school, where the history of aviation was as much a part of the training as actual ACM (air combat maneuvers) were. In aviation prior to the jet age the average height, weight, and so forth of pilots was used to create the seating arrangements. This had problems, but nothing that at the slower speeds was insurmountable.

    But by the time the speeds started increasing with even prop planes pushing past 500mph and jets pushing the edge of mach 1, we started losing planes and pilots a LOT in stressful situations. The survivors and analysis of radio communications showed that short pilots were often having trouble reaching the necessary controls under high G loadings, and tall pilots often found themselves unable to move pinned in from a lack of simple space around them. The "average" seating fit nobody.

    So the solution was responsive layout. No joke, they added: The adjustable seat. Amazing 1950's aviation innovation, a seat that could be adjusted to pilot height.

    The lie of average is SO commonplace. Take average income, where people just assume that's "what's most people make" -- when all it takes is one rich guy to ruin that concept. To simplify:

    10+2+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 == an average of 2. Despite 80% of the pool being HALF that. This is how statisticians -- and politicians -- use percentages to lie to the public; with Joe Sixpack and Susie Sunshine yumming it up because they don't know any better!

    The same applies with "share". This is another number used to support invalid conclusions. A little over a decade ago -- shortly before Google created Chrome -- all the Firefox fanboys were trumpeting the death of IE because it had dropped from 98% market share to around 42% before Chrome kicked everyone's arse. Sounds reasonable, right? From 2002 to 2009 they "lost" 56% of the market according to the least favorable numbers! It's doomed if that continues.

    Side note, the "best" numbers were reporting over 60% in '09 for IE, so it's subjective. I used the lowest number to drive home the point!

    Only one problem. The pool size changed! At the peak of IE's share -- late 2002 -- there were roughly 587 million internet users. By the end of 2009 there were 2.8 billion internet users. Now, I'm no mathemagician, but I'm pretty sure that 98% of 587 million is 575 million-ish, and 42% of 2.8 billion is around 1176 million.

    I'm pretty sure that 1176 million is more than 575 million. Anyone care to correct me on that? THIS is the lie. They didn't lose dick. Whilst "losing" 52% market share, they grew the user base over 205%!!!. They didn't lose JACK, they just failed to expand with dominance into a rapidly growing market.

    Even bigger laugh, if you remove mobile from the equation, IE and Edge combined is roughly the same number of users today as it was in 2003.

    It's a lie percentages are often used for, either out of ignorance or intentional malice. IF you ever see a percentage used for a year-by-year comparison without a pool size, any conclusion drawn is likely complete unfounded nonsense.

    .. and knowing this is something you can use to convince site owners you're on their side. Point out when they're being lied to, how they're being lied to, and how they are being manipulated. There is very little business owners hate more than being lied to by contractors or employees. Only thing they really hate more than that is loss of income, failing to meet the maximum potential revenue, or having long-term costs that outweigh any short-term savings.

    The three of which are all directly related to the bad practices and failing to meet accessibility norms we're discussing. The only reason many don't see it, is the above statistical LIES being used by the dirtbag predators to cover up for 3i.
     
    deathshadow, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  12. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #12
    The vast majority of websites are targetted - even CNN and NetFlix - so the business owner needs to consider the cost of putting barriers in place versus removing them. I can't think of a single website that doesn't consider some part of the market as irrelevant.

    As for paying for quality... From my experience with the management of large corporates, they buy buzz words and trends and have little ability to check the quality of the work done.
     
    sarahk, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  13. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #13
    And that's probably one of the most shortsighted, flawed, and generally stupid choices that can be made. Never limit your potential audience. ESPECIALLY since if you do it right from the start it should be LESS effort.

    Though that's really where most places are shtupped -- legacy. Bad choices made years ago they're stuck with until they have the $$$ or time to start over clean. Web rot is always the enemy of quality.

    Hence we have "bullshit bingo".

    Also why they hate calling in actual experts.

    On that latter one, I've been in dozens of "business meetings" where what the clients were saying made just about that much sense.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
    deathshadow, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  14. sarahk

    sarahk iTamer Staff

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    #14
    Quite the opposite. Trying to be all things to all people is nearly impossible. You don't see Chanel advertising to the world's poorest people, coca-cola advertising to triathletes, fast food companies targetting the fine dining niche.

    How many people come to this forum with limited English but have abandoned their home market because they want to target America?

    It's a separate discussion to the quality of the web build but knowing your target market and the best way to reach them is hugely important.
     
    sarahk, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  15. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #15
    Actually as part of branding you do. Hence why high end products often advertise in rags like People. You know, you go past the magazine racks and the stench of such products permeates them all? That's for a reason, or at least it used to be.

    That reason being establishing name recognition. Even if you're not selling to said audience, creating envy -- "gee I wish I could afford that" -- helps establish you as a premium product. Something "normies" dream of. As such the rich buy it as a status symbol. If you don't establish that level of "wow you can afford that" there's nothing for the rich to rub the poor's noses in it over. See why high end perfume companies buy ad spaces in chaep print, or why Rolex and Porsche advertise in Playboy -- or again at least used to. You really think the average loser spanking their crank to airbrushed bimbo's can afford half the products that advertise in dirt rags?

    One word. McCafe. They try, and they keep trying. McDonalds every few years tries to go upscale. See their makeover a couple years ago with the mottled glass, high glass-top tables, and full living room sofa sets in many locations.

    Again, what @Dan Schulz said a decade ago -- "This is the Internet, the only thing you can know for sure about who will visit your website, is you have no idea who will visit your website."

    It reminds me of a client a decade ago that got a new marketing director who looked at the products -- which were specifically for women -- and changed their entire advertising strategy around targeting women exclusively. What was the result? a 20% reduction in advertising costs and a 60% reduction in sales.

    ... because most sales were to men buying it as a gift.

    Or the non-profit I worked for in the early '90's where they got a new development (as in fundraising) director who thought the best donors likely didn't donate because the hand typed (well, we cheated, daisy wheel printed) letters looked cheap, and replaces it with this massively expensive full colour flyer to better address the "target audience". Lowest single mailing in terms of donations up to that point, whilst costing ten times as much to produce.

    What happened? It's FUNDRAISING.

    1) the printed letters looked hand done so it felt more personal when their name was on them.

    2) it's hard to feign poverty when you can afford big fancy full-colour printed brochures.

    That was actually my first encounter with anyone using the term "target audience" outside of media. Generally as full of shit then in terms of logic as those who use it today as a lame excuse to do a half-assed job.

    Every time I've seen "target audience" used as justification for something it's done more harm than good. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    deathshadow, Sep 26, 2019 IP
  16. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #16
    @sarahk
    You are comparing a technical issue with a marketing issue here. Web developers can write a more optimal, correct, and semantic HTML/CSS for CNN and Netflix website, cut out unnecessary images and put more focus on making contents more accessible and load faster. Many sites like them are still noticeably sluggish even on a fast broadband line. That is not about targeting a specific demographic and a specific language market. Even if it is about that, developers should still argue for doing the right thing in writing their code for the most optimal result. It isn't rocket science or time-consuming in this case.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    Gary-SC, Sep 27, 2019 IP
  17. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #17
    @sarahk
    Just curious, how do you come to your conclusion that writing semantic and accessible HTML is so hard that you have to compromise and write MORE code to overcome such an obstacle?
     
    Gary-SC, Sep 27, 2019 IP
  18. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #18
    That's the thing that makes it all lame excuses. There is this false perception that it's somehow harder to do it right than it is to do it wrong, and that means all these makeshift rationalizations for the sleazy incompetent practices don't have a leg to stand on. When you do it wrong it's harder to fix when things go wrong. When you do it wrong you likely aren't learning how to do it at all. When you do it wrong it's harder to find actual useful help.

    Following the structural rules, maintaining separation of concerns, following good practices; they all combine to hand you your design patterns on a silver platter. The constant improvements in things like CSS continue to make our lives easier and our sites more reliable if you just use them properly. Even if you take accessibility out of it, that's just how it works. It's why HTML was created in the first place!

    But no, even suggesting that you get shouted down by all these nonsensical fairy tale white-wash stories to justify how websites just sleaze things out any-old-way.

    ... and yet if you talk to their developers, I guarantee "target audience" is on their list of excuses, along with "well users don't really care about the markup". They do care about speed and what a useless inaccessible wreck their site is.

    A simple view source of CNN's homepage being proof enough of that. A megabyte -- a WHOLE HUFFING MEGABYTE -- of HTML. 700k+ of that being static CSS that they load on every huffing page-load. aka "caching models, what's that?!?"

    Endless gibberish to nonexistent semantics, massive static scripting in the markup on pages that don't even warrant the USE of JavaScript, scripttard lazy loading on a page that doesn't have enough content to warrant doing so... I mean FFS it's wasting 4 megabytes in over 471 separate requests to deliver 43 content images and 18k of plaintext... on a site that probably doesn't warrant more than 32k of HTML for the home page and 48k each of CSS and JS site-wide, much less likely not needing more than around 48 separate files, and not the 470+ that's making it take a minute and a half to load here cache-empty, and could result in taking upwards of seven minutes for people who have painfully low ping times to their hosting.

    Don't even get me STARTED about how it likely costs them ten times what it should to host, or how scripting off there is no website on a page that's basically delivering text and images -- and dick else.

    THEN these news agencies wonder why they're having trouble competing on the web. I tell you, when cable TV finally dies these clowns are gonna go the way of Sears and K-Mart.

    The sheer ineptitude of their developers knows few equals, and if it wasn't for their mainstream non-web revenues their web presence would have bankrupted them years ago.

    Please, anyone. Explain to me how you can justify a megabyte of markup... for that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 29, 2019
    deathshadow, Sep 27, 2019 IP
  19. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #19
    I took a closer look at the CNN website in light of @deathshadow 's CNN website comments.

    Holy crap. The site is mostly just a bunch of text lists and relatively small thumbnails. Then, looking at the unminified HTML source, the entire thing turns out to be 44,455 lines!! And worse, the <head> is the first 38,463 lines, most of which is CSS. The whole thing is written with BEM classes, and I get this kind of bloat:

    
     .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__article--embed .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__gallery--expandable .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__gallery--expandfull .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__gallery--fullstandardwidth .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__gallery--fullwidth .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__gallery--standard .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__leafmedia--gallery-full .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__show--embed .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__special--embed .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__video--expandable .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__video--expandfull .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__video--fullwidth .media__caption .el__storyelement__header,
        .pg.t-dark .zn-body .el__video--standard .media__caption .el__storyelement__header {
          color: #fefefe
        }
    
    Code (markup):
    All these things just to do that kind of top page mostly made up of a bunch of lists laid out in columns by sections?? I utterly fail to see any good reasons to build a page this way in any circumstances. This is absolutely dumb.

    It doesn't make any sense. Some devs might say, "CNN is mostly for the U.S. residents accessing it via broadband, so it works." It sure works, but why would anyone build it this way when they are probably getting hundreds of thousands of visitors every hour, and this kind of bloat will likely cost CNN a lot of money over time for absolutely no good reasons? And why write SO MUCH MORE code when there is no good reason to do so?? See, this is why I think that the industry is losing its mind. I've been dealing with this type of nonsense at my intern job, but CNN!?!? A big name in the news media running on this crap??
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019
    Gary-SC, Sep 27, 2019 IP
  20. Gary-SC

    Gary-SC Greenhorn

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    #20
    ...and another quick search revealed to me that some other people were talking about this problem:

    https://mondaynote.com/bloated-html-the-best-and-the-worse-cac6eb06496d#.as87o9ar2

    Appalled:
     
    Gary-SC, Sep 27, 2019 IP