Visionary Design Awards 2003

December 3rd, 2003

Well, we didn’t win. The standard was very high and some of the sites in the running had done some really exceptional things to make their sites fully accessible to the blind. The problem we always suffer with in my team is the lack of time available for each project. Prototypes often become the actual live site with little time to rebuild and fine tune. So often we build a prototype with the idea that it will be going live. Many good accessible features are built in to our sites from the word go. This is helped by writing standards compliant code. But standards compliant code is not enough by itself. In fact, in terms of the awards, it didn’t count for a great deal. The winners had, however, paid great attention to the WAI guidelines on accessibility. Whilst some interpretations were a little wacky, the people judging the awards (some completely blind) found the sites with the wacky elements (sound on rollovers for instance) the biggest turn on. The event was a real eye-opener and gave us enough fuel to take back to the project managers who have the power to give us the time that really is required to win an award such as this. The sites that won the awards were all deserving, even if some had opted to follow the text-only route rather than achieve complete parity.

The social side of the event was brilliant. The staff at the Marlborough hotel put on a decent spread and the wine was free flowing all night. The meal was delicious and the speakers were engaging. Dermot Murnaghan from BBC’s Breakfast News presented the awards after a really impassioned and witty speech. I got to meet a few new people and some that I’ve only known through emails and the web. My boss was rather amused to see me talking to a bloke who was swigging from a bottle of white wine – Ian Lloyd of Accessify (lack of glasses!). Turns out that he is a fellow Southamptonite from Fair Oak! Although I didn’t manage to drink much more than two glasses of wine, I was thankful for it as I would have hated to have been in the same situation as the puking kids on my train on the way home.

A top evening further topped off by the news that Southampton beat Pompey 2-0.

Further reading


One Response to “Visionary Design Awards 2003”

  1. Stephen

    Well done for getting nominated anyway! That in itself will look sweet on your cv.