In a recent study of web design patterns, Dr. Melody Ivory found that accessibility is the most underutilized aspect of good web page design (Ivory 2005). In fact websites have become more complex and less accessible over time (Hackett 2003). Less than 20% of the Fortune 100 have websites that are fully accessible (Loiacono 2004). Accessible forms are one way to combat this disturbing trend. With CSS layout, you can create two-column forms without the use of tables to save space and time. This article shows how to create a simple two-column contact form using CSS to style structural elements that is both fast and accessible.
A common visual element in many websites is to position two blocks of content on either end of a navigation bar. The left block of content typically displays global navigational tabs or drop-down menus. The right shows today’s date or perhaps a simplified search form. This article shows how to create a “bookend” look with elements on either end of a box using CSS-styled lists. This CSS-layout technique saves a significant amount of HTML code over table-based techniques. Tests with working code yielded savings in page size ranging from 30% overall to over 73% for the HTML code alone.