Wow. I was just filling out a survey that was sent to me by the White House webmaster. So I took a look at the White House website and got hit with a mighty blow. When the White House website is run through the “validator” to check how well the code is written they have a whopping 44 ERRORS and 9 WARNINGS. They’ve unfortunately disregarded professional standards when it comes to web design.
My site Web Design WorkPlace has an experimental HTML 5 slider running on top of a world class StudioPress Genesis framework – which runs on HTML 4 still. So I have a hand full of validation errors due to the Ken Burns slider being a newer language of the HTML website language. But my site is not representing the entire population of the United States. And I can replace my slider or wait until Genesis is upgraded to HTML 5.
When you have a showcase production website like the White House, it has to be bullet-proof. One way to ensure that it’s bullet-proof is to clear all those validation errors one by one after you build the site.
The White House developer is too lax – not on their toes – and it’s a tad bit embarrassing. It’s sloppy. It’s not professional. It might be an indication that the White House website does not display properly across all current browsers. In any case it should be remedied immediately.
When I was at the Smith Barney World HQ in Manhattan, if a consultant did sloppy work that was found out, they were escorted to the front door right then and that was it. On Wall Street it was purely performance based. No one cared what you looked like or where you came from as long as you did the job right. In the US Navy they had ways of “developing character” in the submarine service. Like washing dishes for 18 hours a day until you were ready for game time and professional level work. I’m not sure how they enhance the level of professionalism at the White House but I’d suggest they figure it out fast. For the staff at the White House to represent the people of the United States with shoddy work in front of the whole world is not up to our level of our expectations.