I Heart Jeffrey Zeldman

Today, .net magazine asked on Twitter how Jeffery Zeldman had affected our lives.

I immediately responded by saying that he had shown that it “wasn’t just me” and that websites could (and more importantly should) be done properly.

As a website user rather than designer or developer, I’ve often moaned (mainly to my long suffering other half!) about websites that don’t work properly, or that are 80% there but lack a few essentials or aren’t doing things properly.

I’ve since discovered that the majority of my gripes can be resolved, and that every designer and developer needs to have a copy of Designing With Web Standards, and should read it and learn from it.

Whilst some of the recommendations may take a little longer to implement or be more expensive, it’s morally the right thing to do for clients and the users of the website.

Providing a better experience for every visitor is better for visitors, better for the web design agency and for the reputation of the industry too.

On occasions, the industry does get a bad reputation, and whilst often it is unfair criticism, sometimes companies don’t deliver on their promises or don’t provide the best used experience. Jeffery Zeldman has shown that doing the right thing is the right thing to do.

With many years of SEO Experience I have previously thought about websites only from a Search Engine point of view and not from a visitor’s point of view. Jeffery has made me think that doing things properly is likely to have a massive positive impact o the search engines too.

I discovered Jeffery through a Boagworld podcast and bought Designing With Web Standards and then started following him on Twitter @Zeldman.

Within minutes I had also discovered many leading lights in the world of web design that were a million miles away in their thinking than the large agency I was working for. I can’t possibly mention them all, but people like Jen Simmons, Ethan Marcotte, Mark Boulton, Andy Budd, Andy Clarke, Aral Balkan, Bruce Lawson, Remy Sharp and Molly Holzschlag and many more are all extremely passionate about improving the web for everyone.

Following these people on Twitter has introduced me to even more incredible people and changed my perception: being found in the search engine results pages is not the most important consideration.

Thank you Jeffery for all your hard work and effort. If this is the effect you’ve had on me, someone who only uses websites, from a non design or development background and who doesn’t make websites, what sort of effect have you had on those who do make websites?!

#iheartzeldman Do you>

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