Silicon Glen, Scotland > Web usability > Pants websites

Valid HTML 4.01!

Why the Open University website is pants

Site reviewed on 7th January 2004

Went to the Open University site to order some back up materials for a TV programme I'd been watching. Had I been using Internet Explorer, this is the page I would have seen, a page with links to the relevant supporting materials.

what it should look like

However, I was using Mozilla and this is the fine mess I was presented with. A blank page!

blank page

Moral of this story: If you develop your site against HTML standards you'll probably find it will work in all major browsers without problems. If your validated page doesn't work on some browsers, maybe its a bug with the browser. If however, you test your site against Internet Explorer and it looks a mess in other browsers, then you'll need to spend additional time and effort fixing the problem and it will be you as a web designer rather than the people who wrote the browser who will be at fault. If you think you don't need to test against different browsers, then think again - it is a requirement for a website to be accessible by disabled people and if it doesn't even display correctly in a standards compliant browser such as Mozilla, what chance has your site got of being displayed correctly by a screen reader used by blind people?

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