Google Remembers Louis
Google graphic celebrating Louis Brailles’ birthday, January 4, 2006
With their emphasis on simplicity and careful information design, the folks behind the world’s favourite Search Engine have done a lot for the web standards movement and its allies. Both in theory and practice standards-based design means placing a premium on accessibility: this means making the web a place where information design begins at a level of abstraction above the specific media in which it is represented. In such circumstances the visual medium can be somewhat tamed; ideally, it becomes one and only one (albeit dominant) method of communication, and perhaps exerts less militant effects on web content itself. The web will probably always privilege literacy, but the web standards movement helps to democratise the delivery of content. So when Google tips its hat today to Louis Braille, it’s not mere window dressing. They are participating in important work. Kudos.