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Show Us Yer White Bits!

By Ian Lloyd | April 3rd, 2006 | Filed in CSS

It’s almost April the 5th and time for the first CSS Naked Day

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It’s time to get naked, people! Time to strip off all your decorative layers and reveal your white bits (or whatever your default background colour might be) in the first CSS Naked Day.

What’s this all about? Well, it’s quite simple – on 5th April you shed all your CSS files and reveal to all your site’s visitors exactly what you have under the covers, so to speak. What’s the point? It’s to make a point – that good document structure and semantic markup are a good thing. Will visitors to your site who see you in all your naked glory understand? Some will, some won’t, but don’t let that stop you – have a bit of free abandon! Dustin (the naked instigator and one half of Naked Cameron Diaz fame) has provided a piece of PHP script that will automate the process for you, so what’s your excuse for not taking part? Other than you’re a bit shy.

Your Replies

#1 On April 3rd, 2006 5:16 am Pig Work - Web Standards Compliant Web Design Blog » Blog Archive » April 5 Is CSS Naked Day replied:

[...] While both of these blogs at the moment are really just default Kubrick WordPress themes without colour and background – no skiplinks or anything because I’m a slack time-wasting procrastinator – its a no-brainer on whether or not to go into the first CSS Naked Day as posted a few minutes ago on the WaSP site. [...]

#2 On April 3rd, 2006 5:18 am Pig Pen - Web Standards Compliant Web Design Blog » Blog Archive » CSS Naked Day replied:

[...] CSS Naked Day is on April 5th. (via WaSP>) [...]

#3 On April 3rd, 2006 6:26 am Blog Standard Stuff » Going Naked! replied:

[...] I posted this over at earlier, but thought I’d cross-post it here for me approximate 2.3 average daily readers (hi sis! Hello, erm , me!): April 5th is CSS Naked Day, and this site will be bearing all. To be honest, all I’ll be showing is the markup that *someone else* created for this page (it’s an off-the-shelf CSS design that I’ve used here). All the same, I feel like I should join in here as well as at Accessify. Who knows, maybe seeing my nudey bits here will encourage me to get some new threads. And by that convoluted phrase what I’m really saying is this – Ian, redesign this frickin’ site already. There, that told me. [...]

#4 On April 3rd, 2006 9:25 am Ian Muir replied:

This is a great idea in many ways, but I don’t think it will take off. I know that I would probably be seeking new employment if I tried this with any of my companies sites.

I will definitely do it to my blog, but I don’t really feel comfortable trying this on any business critical sites. Mostly because the bulk of the general web viewing public wouldn’t understand and would just assume that I have some critical errror occuring on my page.

Hopefully, this gains enough steam to become well-known. Then I’d be happy to go naked.

#5 On April 3rd, 2006 11:03 am iJoost replied:

I’m not going to. Our customers wouldn’t understand it. ;-)

But the idea is sound. People may want to try viewing their sites with Firefox > View > Page style > No style. Perhaps less of a statement but equally educating.

#6 On April 3rd, 2006 12:44 pm Small Paul replied:

You got it.

#7 On April 3rd, 2006 4:18 pm Keri Henare replied:

Being a personal blog with a webstandards focus (especially semantics) I’m quite happy to take it all off for the cause.

#8 On April 3rd, 2006 7:38 pm Chris Ruppel replied:

Brilliant! Signed up and waiting to take it all off! I agree with those of you that say it’s not appropriate for a website that is supporting a business, as a frustrated customer is not going to get the right message.

Hopefully our nakedness will turn a few heads!

#9 On April 4th, 2006 1:21 am Dustin Diaz replied:

Thanks a ton Ian (Lloyd) for posting this on the Wasp!
@Ian Muir: It is indeed much bigger than you might have thought. Just go through the list of participants on the subsite and you’ll most likely recognize quite a few of them. CSS Naked Day will indeed not be forgotten.

Also thanks for those who are participating, it’s going to be quite fun.

#10 On April 4th, 2006 8:13 am CSS-fri dag - replied:

[...] For å demonstrere at enkelte tar hensyn til semantikk og webstandarderer har Dustin Diaz kommet opp med den første årlige CSS frie dagen. Datoen er 5. april (i morgen) og denne dagen skal alle påmeldte sider fjerne sitt stilark for å demonstrere at siden vises og er leselig selv uten CSS aktivert. Listen over deltakende sider finner du på CSS Naked Day, samt mer informasjon om bakgrunnen for dagen finner du i hans bloggpost. WASP Buzz har også en bloggpost om påfunnet. [...]

#11 On April 4th, 2006 1:01 pm Britney replied:

I am down for the cause, but I am with Ian on this one I would probably be fired and seeking new employment if I tryed this as well but it sounds like ti work.

#12 On April 4th, 2006 5:38 pm patrick h. lauke replied:

I’ve got nothing to hide…

#13 On April 4th, 2006 8:25 pm Hidden Melody · What happened to the design? replied:

[...] To know more about why styles are disabled on this website visit the Annual CSS Naked Day website for more information. “It’s time to get naked, people! Time to strip off all your decorative layers and reveal your white bits (or whatever your default background colour might be) in the first CSS Naked Day. Ian Lloyd, Web Standards Project, April 3rd 2006 :: Link [...]

#14 On April 4th, 2006 10:08 pm Alexey Feldgendler replied:

Are you still with your CSS on? I’ve already taken it off!

#15 On April 5th, 2006 11:31 am Kynn Bartlett replied:

I think this is a foolish, designer-centric idea that will only hurt usability and accessibility for end users for 24 to 48 hours, while producing minimal benefits (beyond mutual back-patting) for the developers.

It sends the signal that website design and functionality exists only for the benefit of the designers and not the end users; end user functionality IS affected by style sheets, and this statement says that users don’t matter as long as developers “learn” that CSS is…something.

Count me in the naysayers.


#16 On April 5th, 2006 12:46 pm Kerri replied:

Hmm, shame I just found this now, or I’d have actually done it. I think I’d have needed a bit more lead time.

That said, erm, how come The Web Standards Project dot org hasn’t done it?

#17 On April 5th, 2006 1:38 pm Rik Hemsley replied:

Come on then, get your kit off!

#18 On April 5th, 2006 1:53 pm WaSP Member Chris Casciano replied:

I don’t think that the idea is a bad one. Or at least it wouldn’t be if the default browser style sheets didn’t stink so much.

More then anything what was lost when I’ve hit 3 or 4 “naked” sites today among my course of browsing was context and other visual clues and I just find I’m spending too much looking for what I want on a page / where I want to start reading rather then doing what I came to do then leaving. As a result it seems like more of an exercise in reinforcing the need for visual design rather then reinforcing the need for a strong foundation behind that design.

#19 On April 5th, 2006 3:04 pm Joey Day : Avocation » CSS Naked Day! replied:

[...] I’ve stripped off all my CSS for the day (and maybe a few more days). Why? It’s the first annual CSS Naked Day. Several of my favorite blogs have gone naked as well, including Adactio and Clagnut. There’s also a mention on The Web Standards Project. [...]

#20 On April 6th, 2006 11:38 am Kynn Bartlett replied:

As a result it seems like more of an exercise in reinforcing the need for visual design rather then reinforcing the need for a strong foundation behind that design.

Yup. Visual design is useful and valuable.

#21 On April 6th, 2006 3:26 pm glandium replied:

Create a site with old fashion code (i.e. table layout, inline style). Remove the CSS. Oh there was already none. Oh okay, one to change the font, just to say there’s one. Here, now look my site on the CSS Naked day. It looks like… the original one with a different font.

Take a semantically designed html with a fine tuned css design. Look at the site on the CSS Nake day. It looks like… plain text with some titles bigger than the rest.

I don’t really see the point of the CSS Naked day except for adding one more argument for those who don’t support CSS. You won’t make the point for the others, since they are already convinced.

#22 On April 6th, 2006 5:35 pm Alright, now somebody hand me a towel replied:

[...] Surely you’ve got to know at least one of those. It was even digg’d to the hompage (nevermind the fact that the comments are generally useless over there). More importantly, it had the support from which ultimately is what it’s all about. [...]

#23 On April 7th, 2006 3:18 pm Rob replied:

I would just like to say that I really loved the idea when I read about it. My site started as a school club for our college group of friends and has moved into a community. We all graduated with a major in web design and still trying to decide what to do with our site at the moment, but I took off the css for April 5th! Not all of my vistors and members understood, but it got noticed. Thx for the idea to try to push web standards!

#24 On April 12th, 2006 4:56 am John A. Bilicki III replied:

This won’t work too well for sites with a complete seperation of content and structure (IE all div layouts like my site).

Good idea in general, tricky execution.

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