“I’m not web-standards compliant. So sue me!”

“I’m not web-standards compliant. So sue me!”

A week and a half ago mega-store Target received another chink in their affordable-hipster armor when a judge upheld the suit brought against them by the National Federation of the Blind.

In the interest of journalistic integrity, allow me to present both sides of the argument:

Target’s thoughts:
“WTF? We just want to have an awesome looking site that sells our designer knockoffs to people who hate Wal-Mart but can’t afford the real thing. Shouldn’t we get props for that?!”

Blind person’s thoughts:
“WTF? Why can’t my software read this site? I just want to surf the web and buy some hipster crap like everyone else! I may be blind, but I still don’t want to look like I shop at Wal-Mart!”

The issue is vision-impaired people use software to read text, so they can communicate with their computer without using a mouse. But because someone got a little lazy and didn’t create standard alt-text, the software can’t vocalize image descriptions. Plus, there’s some serious image-mapping that limits blind users to areas of the site.

The real nail in eyeglass case, though, is that fact that you.have.to.use.a.mouse.to.complete.any.purchase. No alternate keyboard stroke or software can circumnavigate that.

So it turns out that pretty ain’t necessarily smart (that reminds me, America’s Next Top Model Season 7 starts this week!). Full-Flash site? Woot! Oh, it can’t be read by anything? Oops.

Webstandards. Turns out they are sorta important. Go fig.

MIT Advertising Lab | WebStandards.org | Three Minds on Digital Marketing | San Francisco Gate

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