In 2004 Russ Weakley of Max Design presented a Web standards checklist to the Web Standards Group. I was on the mailing list and found the checklist invaluable as a guide for developing and testing web sites. The online version is perhaps the most useful, since it has links and reference materials, but I’ve often used the PDF version that Russ made available since I could print a new version for each project.
For several years I would either print the PDF and reference the checklist on paper, or open it in Illustrator, edit new layers of “checked” boxes and notes, and save it as a PDF again.
Now I’ve moved the checklist to a much easier format to work with on a regular basis: outline template in OmniOutliner. (OmniOutliner’s free version comes bundled with default software packages on Mac OS X.)
This allows me to quickly check off items without the clunky Illustrator editing. The plain-text export is handy for emailing or clean printing, and you can export as HTML if you like. OmniOutliner also has “notes” areas for adding text underneath each item, which is great for including reasons for not checking off a point, or if you need to jot down a few to-do items regarding an item.
A big thanks for Russ for developing this checklist—it’s been an integral part of my workflow. I hope you can use this outline-style “Web Standards Checklist” and that it speeds up your web site development and testing.
To use the outline, download the template file and open it in OmniOutliner. Then “Save As” to start a checklist; this gives you a new checklist for every web site project.