Since I started reading about web standards, from Molly’s countless works, to Jeffrey Zeldman’s ‘Designing With Web Standards’ book, to near limitless guides and tutorials on the internet, I’ve noticed a few things that has changed not only my perspective online, but in the real world.
For one thing, web standards has taught me that it is important to keep everyone in mind. Web standards teaches us to follow a set guideline to achieve the best results. If you adhere to those guidelines, you please the majority of the people that view your website. It has taught me to care about what I do with my designs, and to pay attention to details that are usually overlooked. It has taught me to view a webpage, not as a designer, but as a visitor visiting for the first time with wide eyes. This alone has taught me that certain choices I make are not so wise, such as a preference to a certain color, or preference for a certain browser, and so on.
Web standards has taught me values of pleasing the demographics that you interact with. This has helped me in real life, as I’ve noticed things when visiting businesses and stores that I didn’t before. Usage of signs, for example. One store I visited, had a sign that was very hard to read, using fancy fonts that noone is familiar with, in a section of the store that didn’t see many customers (Mexican food isle). When I mentioned it to the manager, he fixed it and used a legible font, moved the sign near the front and in plain view as you walk in, and 2 weeks later thanked me as business for the particular product that he was selling has grown substantially.
Web standards has also taught me that there is a large community of people out there that feels the same way I do. That, to me, is what standards should be all about; beneficial to everyone.