Added Value

Supreme Court decides against Domino’s Pizza: Websites Must Be Accessible

A blind man sued Dominos Pizza after he couldn’t order a pizza on their website due to it’s poor design. Domino’s said that it was too much trouble to make a website accessible and would be too costly for every business to do that. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court and today they refused to hear the case against Domino’s Pizza.   By refusing to hear the case they left the lower court’s ruling that websites are included in the ADA stay in effect.  Access for all was established by the ADA and isn’t just about ramps for wheelchairs but also includes websites.

I’m so pleased with the Supreme Court ruling. When I lived in the Washington, DC area I used to car pool with a blind man and his guide dog (I always drove). He was a programmer and described how a screen reader would repeat what he had just typed. It was a laborious process and I was so impressed by his drive and patience to program like that. It made me very sensitive to the importance of designing sites that everyone will find easy to use.

Accessibility includes good contrasting colors, adequate spacing between elements, navigation that works with just the tab button, appropriately sized text and buttons, videos with transcripts, images with text descriptions and forms with labels on each field that the screen reader can easily detect and read.

You will save development costs if you work with a skilled developer who understands the guidelines and designs your site correctly from the very beginning.

If you’re worried about the accessibility of an existing site, please contact me and I can send you a free audit that will grade your site and give suggestions to improve it.

Web Design vs. Web Development

Design vs Development

I believe it’s important to understand the distinction between web design and web development. Individuals can be both designers and developers but it takes time and experience. No two people have the same education or career path. We all acquire skills in a variety of ways. At the most basic level, however, I think one is more of an artist and the other more engineer.

Web Designers often have a graphic design background and training in design principles like color, contrast, balance, and variation. They often use tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator. Great web designers may have studied something completely different, though. Maybe a physician has a solid understanding of computers and medical systems and is offered a job to consult with software developers. The developers need an expert on medical procedures to ensure their website has accurate information and is easy to access during an emergency. The physician becomes an amazing web designer.

Web Developers often have a computer programming background. They’ve learned computer programming languages like C+, JavaScript, HTML, Java or CSS. They know databases and how to retrieve and organize data for a mobile app or website. A web developer can build complex websites by integrating different software and databases.

Web developers can customize! There are usually several products to chose from if you need software to support your unique website or business. For example, there may be a dozen tools to add a restaurant menu yet not one is a perfect fit. A web developer can add necessary data fields and enhancements to help you run your business. Most importantly, a web developer will make sure a website is coded properly so it loads quickly, works well on slow connections, doesn’t drain your battery, is secure from hackers and is accessible to all users.

There is a marketing firm here in San Diego that has created some absolutely beautiful websites for their clients with restaurants. Unfortunately, the sites take forever to load and look pretty bad on a mobile phone. If you look at this firm’s team page you see the staff is comprised entirely of designers.

This question is not a debate of good or bad, better or best. The world needs creative people with good ideas and people with technical skills to build things. If you need a website you want an individual or team with a good balance of design and development skills. It’s not enough to look for gray hairs. Ask lots of questions and poke around in the portfolio of a potential web firm. Click on the links and check out how the sites look AND how well they perform.

XML Sitemaps included on all our sites

When we build a site there are dozens of steps we take to ensure your site is built correctly and visible to google and your potential customers.  These technical features are the kind of details a web developer will understand over a web designer.  A sitemap is mandatory because it tells search engines like Google and Bing what pages and information are on your site.  The more they know the better your visibility. This is also part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

An effective sitemap is formatted in Extensible Markup Language (XML).  XML is a series of tags that structures information in the same way a spreadsheet does.  You’ll probably never see your sitemap but rest assured we’ve taken care of it. This is just one of many features you can expect when you work with Thrive Web Solutions. At the end of the day you will get incredible value.

Scroll to Top