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How a little bit of knowledge can be far worse than none at all

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Jazajay, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I have just fininshed a freelance project and the client submitted it to a forum for feedback. One of the ideas was that it was wrong to leave blank alt attributes as blind people wont be able to read whats in the image.

    Now seriously, really?
    But its a prime example of how just that little bit of knowledge is actually dangerous because the guy clearly thinks he's being clever to point that "issue" out but doesn't know enough to understand why I left them blank in the first place.

    The analogy I put back to the client really sums this up TBH:


    Same thing as a gun really. lets say the only thing you knew was pulling the trigger fires it but what happens when you look down the barrel and do the same thing? If you didn't know what a bullet did that little bit of knowledge is far dangerous than having a full understanding or no understanding at all, because otherwise you wouldn't of looked down the barrel and pulled the trigger in the first place.

    Unfortunatly the web industry is by far full of people with little bits of knowledge and no understanding of the greater picture, which is where they should concetrate their time IMO.


    Now once i explained why he actually understood how it wasn't actually an issue at all, and for people who don't know:


    But if it is decorative someone who is blind is not going to want to read decorative image, decorative image, decorative image as its annoying to them.

    Don't add it and screen readers, thats browsers for blind people, will read out the whole file path to them instead.

    http :// www.

    Would be read out literally to them so:

    http colon forward slash forward slash www dot example dot com forward slash images forward slash background hypen image hyphen top hyphen right hyphen corner hyphen one dot jpeg

    Now do that 5 times, yet alone 50, and blind people will get far more annoyed then they need to. They also don't want to hear decorative image, decorative image, decorative image, so you leave it blank so its literally ignored by the screen readers.


    I also had this corka today:

    Client: Since friday the server has been flipping out.
    Me: Why?
    Client: It's bouncing loads of emails to my customers, but I don't know if it was doing it on the weekend or just today and friday.
    Me: hold on I'll just check, (TBH light bulb moment) your mail box.
    <--Log in and check-->
    Me: Your mail box is full.
    Client: O I have outlook setup to fetch them down.
    Me: is it set to fetch and delete or fetch and store?
    Client: O.

    So again what turned out to be server problems was down to a full mail box as he hadn't configured it properly, but because they where bouncing it must have been a problem with the server, yeah we put DNS or nameserver changes in all the time, and the server does it randomly as well.

    I had an even better one when a client reported his payment system wasn't working as it wasn't adding any VAT to the purchase orders, it wasn't until I looked in to it and noticed it was he just forgot the system discounts for multiple buys and the system was working as it should do.

    So for example, as in this case:
    4-8 of the same order is £1 cheaper per item, but it must be again a complicated problem with VAT not adding on to any order not just this one. :mad:

    But dear lord. Anyone else had any clients come back with "advice/site problems"? :rolleyes:
    If so how did you deal with it?

    I must admit I have loads of other examples as I get loads from work as we host around 100 sites. I love support questions, really I do. :cry:
  2. JamesBrentwood

    JamesBrentwood Senior Member

    Not looking forward to clients like this. At all.

    On a semi-unrelated note,
    I had a look at your signature links, you've got some handy tutorials written out, I'll be applying some of the techniques described on my next sites, in all honesty, I've never thought of this stuff! Thanks.
  3. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    No worries get stuck, start a thread and I'm sure myself, or someone else will give you a hand. Bare in mind the DDA, Disability discrimination act, which is now the 2010 EA (Equailty Act), is UK based and not US, that said follow it and you should be okay under US Section 508, as far as I am aware this is still current but can't say for sure sorry UK law web development so don't really keep up to date with the US one. :)

    I have to admit I had a web developer and he was a graphic designer who could build web sites, so he was?
    A graphic designer who could build websites. :)

    As a project manager for a corporate client actually put down in the site responsibility document that we needed to fix:

    In Chrome the textarea has a dotted triangle in the bottom hand corner and this adjusts the textarea field. This has not been asked for so please remove. I'm sorry what now?
    I forgot we had so little work on that we decided that just in Chrome, he also didn't mention it was in Safari, this was before it was a firefox feature as well, that we decided to add a drag and expand function to all textarea fields, just for a laugh.

    Another one from the same graphic designer. He told us to use this resource heavy slideshow, and then provided us with really big JPGs to go in it, great slideshow jittery in IE7 due to the rendering agent couldn't keep up.

    Again another one of our problems to fix, and I crap you not.
    Make it not jittery in IE7.

    Yeah not a problem I will get on to rewritting the JS engine to IE7 right now for you.

    Honestly they really get stupid at times. :D

    Here's another one. classic.

    One of the clients who we host gave us this last week, and he was being serious:
    The site is broken message on my desk.
    Phoned him up.

    Me: Hi I understand you have reported the site is not working
    Client: yeah the page is not working when you click the button
    Me: Which button.
    Client: The bottom one.
    Me: O right it looks like the site you where linking to has changed their page and it can't be found. Do you have a new link form their site for me to put on instead?
    Client: Thats what I pay you for?
    Me: Sorry what?
    Client: Your meant to be checking the site for these problems, thats what I pay you for.

    Yeah around a hundred sites that are hosted by us, thats it I make it my first task of the day to go to every site and click every link to make sure all of them, thats every link on all 100 sites, so what 8000,9000+links are working correctly. normally done by 09:20am and all. :lol:
  4. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Now that's an easy one to get round :)

    I'd have just said that we check all internal links prior to delivery, external links are outside our control and as such we need to be informed about any changes to external site addresses so that we can update the site as required. These need to be supplied by the client so we do not inadvertently add the wrong type of site or a competitor as the replacement.

    I'd have also asked them to just check over the site when it was delivered and get them to 'sign off' that it was ok.....'just' in case we missed one
  5. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I kinda did. We did this site years ago, before my time, and just host it now. The link was working when it went live.

    But its the whole idea that he expects us just for hosting costs, not maintance costs, to be actually checking the site daily for such problems. Some people really do make me laugh at times. :D
  6. Jazajay

    Jazajay Active Member

    I want your experiance, it sounds so nice. :cry:
  7. BenJonesDesign

    BenJonesDesign Active Member

    ha, well it happens across the board in the design industry. I have a regular client who "thinks" they know about design. If we let them give us all the ideas and just do it exactly how they want it, they would probably never get any business because any potential client would see whatever it is that has been designed and never want to look at it again. Sometimes if i'm fighting a loosing battle I just come out with the biggest load of jibberish that just tends to confuse them and shut them up, then you get the "....... ah yes I see what you're saying, ok go with that" you understood that? and I'm Mickey Mouse

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