I have been working with the Human Resources department at Ryerson University to redesign their Working@Ryerson web site (the old site is available here). We recently relaunched the site. Our goal is to move all of the content to xhtml-1.0 Transitional, css 2.0, WCAG1.0 Priority 2 compliance, ADA Section 508 compliance. The most impressive thing has been the reduction in page size and total download time.
The original Working@Ryerson page was 32.68 kB (according to Watchfire’s WebXACT) with a Total download size of 102.62 kB. The redesigned Working@Ryerson page is only 11.59 kB and has a total download size of 35.75 kB. The redesigned page is 35% of the original (34.83% of the original download size). Wow!
There is still a lot of work that is being done to improve the information architecture, the content and the underlying technology. This is the first step for the HR department to moving towards web standards and incorporating accessibility requirements into their technology offereings.
The CSS code that drives these pages is awful. I need to spend some time to cleanse and document the code as well as 6 News Weather, 37 Signals, Meyer Web, Wired News, StopDesign, Zeldman, and others.
I am not sure why, but the page currently looks horrible in IE5.x on the Mac. I haven’t had time to investigate all of the issues related to the Mac IE5 issues, but I will look into in it after the university is back to regular hours.
There is a CSS hack for IE5.1 Mac that I have implemented on the Working@Ryerson homepage. I am hesitant to use many of the other hacks described on the CSS discussion list because they are not valid CSS code. (I probably shouldn’t be overly worried because my CSS doesn’t validate, but that will change).