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Experiences with end-users who don't know HTML?

I'm going to start some web-design projects soon with people who don't know HTML, and I'm wondering whether anyone else on this board has any experience with this.

My plan is to design some websites for people who are fairly smart but are not HTML coders.  I'll design the site, provide the people with a short tutorial with CityDesk, give them the .cty file, and leave the updates / modifications / additions to up to them.

I'm not certain, though, that this is going to work out well.  Whenever I use CityDesk, I usually do my editing in HTML mode, because Normal Mode always sticks non-breaking-spaces everywhere and otherwise does things that I don't want or don't expect.

I'm not sure how well things would work out if users didn't know anything about HTML and were forced to use Normal Mode _only_.  (For my purposes, teaching HTML is out of the question.)

Anybody have any experiences with this?  Any tips, warnings, etc. for me to keep in mind?


Alex Chernavsky
Monday, September 16, 2002

I did something similar for my wife for her weblog. Set the web site look and feel up. Showed her how to use CD and now she has been updating it ever since. Always in Normal mode. Works great.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Alex,  I've helped one person do a site that he's now updating himself.  He picked it up very quickly.  He tends to paste from MS word so his type styles get mucked up. But, I think he's happy and not shy about adding pages and text.  I'm proud of him.

The other problem is pasting from emails which usually adds bunches of <br>'s.

If you can just get folks to type articles into CityDesk or do all their typing in Word then paste into CityDesk they'll probably do fine.  For pasting emails you might show them how to switch to HTML and search/replace the <br>'s with spaces, that's usually all they need.

If they need tables and can do them in Word, just let them paste away.  If they get hooked on publishing, and they may, you might be able to show them some fine points later.

Monday, September 16, 2002

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