It’s time to show off your <body>. Annual CSS Naked Day

What a laff! I’ve participated in it in previous years, and Naked Day is always fun. Lots of people around the web make their websites “naked” by stripping out the codes that make them pretty, so we’re left with just a bunch of black text on a white page.

Why would you do this?

To show people that a good website shouldn’t just look pretty, but should have good structure as well. Websites have to be usable by blind people, colour-blind people, and people who have trouble using a mouse or keyboard. Some of these people can’t use Internet Explorer (lucky them) or even gasp Firefox to view their favourite sites. They have to use software that strips away all the pretty colours and flashy graphics, to leave just the meat of the site - the information.

A few years ago the web was a hodgepodge of sites that were unreadable this way because designers didn’t know better, and were most interested in how wonderful their sites looked. So people started to suggest some changes that would make sites behave more appropriately for people who used these amazing programs. Nowadays a good website is made by first creating the page raw, with nothing but plain old text information. Then the designer whips up a fancy design to wrap around it all. It just makes good sense. Everyone wins - people who just want to read their favourite sites, but have some difficulty using regular old web browsers, can still see their sites, and designers can still make their site as fancy pants as they want, and regular Joe is none the wiser.

Except Naked Day is about making Joe wiser. He should know that time and effort goes into making sites usable for everybody. He needs to know so that he can make sure that the next website he designs (in Frontpage probably) or commissions needs to be usable as well as pretty.

So I’m sorry if my (site’s) nakedness offends you, and I hope you can understand. This isn’t about you, this is about me being free… and about making the web a friendly place for everyone.