Okay... I'm seeing some polite tact and diplomatic approaches here... which strikes me as being more likely to generate a less hurt or defensive response.
The biggest issue I see is ignorance and lack of knowledge/interest in many companies websites.
This is where I get concerned and generally feel the urge to make contact.
As a car was mentioned, and I like analogies, I'll follow on that.
When I see someone driving aroudn with a light out or a dropped exhaust, I tell them. I feel obliged to do this as they may not be aware of it, and it could be more than a hinderance. I view many sites in the same light.
If people do not know, and people to not tell them, then they will remain in the dark. THis means their business may suffer, and they could face legal action against their company.
Now I'm more than happy to accept that some people are going to view that as offensive, or univited, or plain rude. Then again, I view it as being one of the main causes for so much trouble and strife in life - people simply do not go out of their way to improve things in general - where as I'm always willing to do something to help, improve things or raise the level in general.
I started this topic off in the view of seeing if others make cold contact, and if so, how they do, what sort of reception they receive, and how they handle it.
Not only do I see responses in that vein, but it is also abundantly clear that there are differences of stance regarding whether this should be done, whether the reasons are justifiable, and how it is done counts.
So, I'll take this a step up...
If the general public do not know of internet standards, if businesses are not being told about any requirements, and if a certain percentage of those in the web design profession are not even bothering to look around and see what is neccessary - how the hell is the net to improve and become more accessible and general get better?
If people are not told, and the information is not made obviously available, then people will remain in the dark - which strikes me as being more than a little bit backwards.
Now, as I've said, I don't always make contact.
On the occassions that I do, only a few of those would be considered as offering services for payment.
In most cases, it is simply informing/advising the recipient of issues, and making suggestions of alterations/improvements/alternative methods.
So, if people are willing, lets try a scenario, and see how others would handle it.
To be absolutely fair, we could approach it from both sides of the fence, and respond as the person establishing contact and pointing out the issues, and also as the person receiving such an email/call/visit, and how they would respond.
So, if willing to play... the site is in HTML 4 (any), built with tables and divs, has a mix of embedded and inline styling, use of deprecated attributes, a total of 24 actual mistakes (improperly closed tags, typo's etc.).
It has a JS only menu, no sitemap, no contact details bar an email link.
The site has general in-page optimisation for search engines, but lacks any real link structure, in-page links. As you go deeper into the site, the links get less on the navigation, loosing the top most levels. Further, no link as any alternative state difference/styling, and uses links based on images with no alt text and no title attribute.
Should be interesting (if anyone plays that is
), to see which points are brought to the attention of the site owner, how they are handled, and what your response would be to it.
Edited by Autocrat, 02 January 2008 - 03:10 PM.