Disney Store UK store

It was a busy ten days in the web-standards world. Jeffrey Zeldman was a new dad (congratulations) and Dave and Doug made big noises in Australia at Web Essentials. Here was my news in October 2004.

Hot on the paws of WWF UK, I was pleased to announce that Disney Store UK had a new online store which was web-standards based and accessible. The fact that well-known and important brands such as Disney Store appreciated the benefits of web standards and are keen to embrace accessibility was a tremendous step.

Disney Store UK
My 2004 design for Disney Store UK home page

The store was built on the Karova Store accessible e-commerce platform, a company that I started in early 2004 and sold my interest in two years later.

Maintaining web-standards and accessibility, while meeting brand and corporate requirements did prove challenging, but my client was keen to learn about modern coding methods and accessibility issues and was always open to suggestions about how to improve accessibility. Their keenness, and the flexibility of Akiko, who provided the character illustrations and Flash elements, was fantastic. Each day that week, I wrote about the elements that went into the making of the Disney Store UK website.

Disney Store UK
My 2004 design for Disney Store UK catalogue page

Anatomy of a mouse

  1. Design and CSS
  2. Accessibility issues
  3. What made it tick?
  4. Wrapping it up

Update: Thanks went to Ethan Marcotte for posting this over at The Web Standards Project. My design for Disney Store UK was also featured on the now defunct CSS Beauty and CSS Vault.


  1. #1 On October 4, 2004 04:11 PM Ethan said:

    Absolutely brilliant work Andy and it validates too! Great stuff.

  2. #2 On October 4, 2004 04:20 PM Matthew Pennell said:

    Aargh, my eyes! ;o) Looks good, can’t wait to get home now so I can switch off the CSS. Have you got a snapshot of the old design? archive.org isn’t playing nice.

  3. #3 On October 4, 2004 05:17 PM Drew McLellan said:

    Nice job! I just attempted to place an order (!). On submitting the payment page, Safari flagged me with a warning that the form will not be sent securely. I guess it would freak most shoppers out of continuing.

  4. #4 On October 4, 2004 05:18 PM John Oxton said:

    It looks fantastic, really fantastic! I have one possible gripe though but it may be due to my browser config. Every time I go to a new page I have to press stop animation each time, it would be nice if I didn’t have to do this.

  5. #5 On October 4, 2004 05:55 PM Phunky said:

    That’s a great site, and what an even better client to have on you client-list :D The site looks great, amazing work!

  6. #6 On October 4, 2004 06:08 PM Phil Baines said:

    Nice job Andy, I like the integration of Flash on the site (design wise). I can imagine that there must have been some issues that arose because you were working along with other companies. It would be interesting to learn how you dealt with the potential differences that yours and the other companies must have had during the development of this site.

  7. #7 On October 4, 2004 07:02 PM Neil said:

    Wow. It looks great! I’m really looking forward to the guided tour over the next week.

  8. #8 On October 4, 2004 07:23 PM Jonathan Snook said:

    FYI: You could store the status of the stop animation in the local shared object of Flash to retain that information across the site. Everything looks good, btw. Looking forward to reading things this week. :)

  9. #9 On October 4, 2004 07:45 PM John Oxton said:

    And if I may be so bold as to point you to the link for info on local shared objects.

  10. #10 On October 4, 2004 07:53 PM Colly said:

    It’s a beauty, Clarkey. A real beauty. It’s got that awesome first impression thing. Also looking forward to a week’s worth of how it was done. Are they paying you in fluffy toys? Can you get me a life-size Little Mermaid or Beauty?

  11. #11 On October 4, 2004 08:53 PM Malarkey said:

    @ import: Hi guys…

    That's what Iove about the web-standards community, everyone is so helpful with suggestions, links etc. And nobody (except Colly ;) ) wants paying…

    I’ll get the Flash guys at Akiko to look at the stop animation issue and thanks for the link John. I’ll also get the techies to test Safari again, vis-a-vie Drew’s checkout issue. It (may) be due to the corporate toolbar being pulled in from Disney corporate into secure https pages. Not being a techie, I can’t comment much on that.

    I hope that I don’t disappoint with this week’s postings.

  12. #12 On October 4, 2004 10:21 PM KMB said:

    Really slick design. Just ordering a Pooh Beany Bag (crossing my fingers, that they ship to Germany) and noticed that some of the buttons (like the Checkout or the “Click here for more Disney Magic)” have a yellow back with white type above it and even I sitting some close to my monitor had problems to read it.

  13. #13 On October 5, 2004 12:27 AM Jay said:

    Looks good. The only thing I don’t like is that contrast on the Checkout button. White on yellow is quite difficult to see for me.

  14. #14 On October 5, 2004 01:36 AM Derek Featherstone said:

    As I’ve already mentioned, nice work my friend. Congrats to the whole team! Looking forward to the rest of the week’s posts. No pressure! ;)

  15. #15 On October 5, 2004 02:02 AM timfm said:

    Nice work Andy! What method/s did you use for the Flash object?

  16. #16 On October 5, 2004 02:13 AM Malarkey said:

    @ TimFm: For that, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow. :P

    That’s twice the yellow/white buttons have come up. I’ll look at those more closely. The “click here for more…” in the Disney toolbar is (unfortunately) outside of our control.

  17. #17 On October 5, 2004 02:24 AM patrick h. lauke said:

    Nods with a sheepish smile ;)

  18. #18 On October 5, 2004 02:28 AM Alex Giron said:

    Nice job and with your website also. Top notch!

  19. #19 On October 5, 2004 09:34 AM Bj�rn said:

    Nice work! It feels really good to see more and more big companies jumping on the wagon. Looking forward to the write-ups! Regarding the backend, did you have any issues with getting .NET to produce valid xhtml? Kind of struggling with that at work right now.

  20. #20 On October 5, 2004 03:12 PM kartooner said:

    It’s nice to see the Mouse House adapting standards, especially using your excellent e-commerce solution (which I need to adapt someday, I’ll be in contact with you.)

  21. #21 On October 5, 2004 09:23 PM Callum Mcleod said:

    You may like to know that the rounded corners at the very bottom of the main page at the Disney Store have a darker background than the rest of the page. Overall it looks fantastic though, great job!

  22. #22 On October 6, 2004 06:26 AM Chris Lienert said:

    Well spotted Callum! Top site, Andy. I’ve sent a link to some of my colleagues who are just learning about why we need to write for more than IE 5.5 and that table based layouts aren—t a preferred option…

  23. #23 On October 7, 2004 08:45 PM Karl Karlson said:

    I love this site. It’s fantastic!