I noticed a quick mention of this over at mezzoblue (who got the heads up from Digital Web). American automative giant Chevrolet have just unveiled a brand new website, one that was designed in XHTML 1.0 Strict (the same “edgy” markup I use on this site). Not only was it done in a strict, standardised doctype, but it validates as well. This isn’t just some hack shot in the dark attempt at standards-based design, either… the code is lean, clean, and in my jaded eyes, quite beautiful. This is a great thing, people! I’m always looking for good examples of websites that have embraced web standards, and this is a great example. Unlike such other notables as ESPN, you can’t brush this one off as being “okay because they have a technically-inclined demographic.” That’s an actual quote I’ve heard by a staunch anti-standards developer (who, strangely enough, says he’s all for standards… he just won’t use them in his sites). Let’s forget the lunacy of saying that ESPN.com is visited only by the technological elite… Chevrolet is the average Joe’s car company. Users of all levels of computer literacy and computer platforms visit Chevy every day. I’m not saying this because I am a Chevy fan… I’m more of a Ford guy myself (two of my last three cars have been built by Ford or a subsidiary). I’m realistic… General Motors (Chevrolet’s parent company) is the largest car company in the world. Chevy is their most popular and well known brand. Their site is bound to be visited by people of all walks of life. That’s what makes this so great. Firstly, web standards allow this site to be accessible to those who would have problems viewing the site otherwise. Second, Chevy have taken steps toward “browser education.” I loaded Chevrolet.com in Netscape 4 (for as much as I hate that browser, I tend to be using it a lot this week). I was greeted by this fine notice, which made me smile.
Education, people. If we don’t educate the masses, then how can we expect our clients to find standards important?