Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

One step forward, several steps back

Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear.
Some time ago, Disney Store UK became one of the UK’s biggest online stores to have a standards-compliant, accessible re-design – here’s some background information from the designer.
The site has been re-designed again, however, and all that wonderful markup has been chucked out of the window. What we’re left with is a mess of tables, spacer GIFs (do a Google search for spacer image) and thoroughly invalid and inaccessible code. Disney has gone from having a clean, modern, efficient site open to all web users, to a slow, clunky site that locks out anyone not using a mainstream browser and who doesn’t have good eyesight. Under Firefox on the Mac the tops of all the pages failed to render properly and in print preview it looked even worse.
This beggars belief. Disney had a site they should have been proud of – one that was setting the precedent for their competitors and showing that even large e-commerce sites could be standards-compliant. Now they have the web page equivalent of messy gloop, that contravenes the UK’s Disability Discrimination Act. Those responsible for requisitioning this design should be fired.
Molly Holzschlag has written an open letter to Disney after trying to contact them through their contact form (which ironically failed with an internal error message) on behalf of the Web Standards Project.


  1. It’s such a shame, but a good precendent HAD been set, and recently redesigned with an AJAX based shopping-cart. Which at least is a step forward. It’ll be interesting to see whether this impacts on their sales over the winter period, and whether their rankings will take a hit.


    Btw, in relation to this new form, the tabindex is incorrect. I tab from the URL and I end up with the preview button. Also, it flickers like mad when I it backspace, which is really annoying. I like the expanding, but I don’t see WYSIWYGs use in comments though.

  2. Weird – I can tab from the URL field direct to the comment box with no problems in Firefox on Mac, but not on Windows. I don’t get the flickering thing though.

  3. I get the same problem here. Instead of tabbing directly to the comment box, it tabs over to the Preview button.