New website ?

Tim Parkin tim at
Sun Jan 15 06:39:17 EST 2006

Martin Maney wrote:

>Nah, it's very simple, if you can let go of the wrong-headed notion
>that the web is just like print media.  Of course that means you're
>unlikely to win any design awards, or even get a lot of commecnts about
>how spiffy your web site looks, because all the design geeks will judge
>you by the inapproriate standards of print media.  You may, however,
>get pats on the back from people who actually use the site, and
>appreciate a readable, logical layout far more than design school gloss
>(and fonts too small to be easily read by many; no, Aahz, IMO your
>solution throws out far too much along with the bath water, though I
>have to agree that the font size problem vanishes if one uses a
>text-mode browser <grin>).
Fortunately, what you are asking for is to be provided just the plain
text information with sufficient semantic markup to indicate logical
groupings of text such as headers, lists, etc. You've got that with the
new website, just disable your styles sheet.

>>From a quick look, the beta appears to commit the same error as every
>design (as opposed to usability) driven web site in the world: it makes
>the running text smaller than the user's default.  It's as if they care
>more about how it looks than whether I can read it (as far as I can
>tell, that's exactly the case, though it may just be that few are
>willing to admit that the designs that they've learned to make, and
>that do work well in high-resolution print, just suck on the web where
>a high resolution screen is coarser than a bad fax.  bad artists, the
>lot of them, who persist in ignoring the characteristics of the medium
>they're working in).
Absolute nonsense, would you prefer we take our cue from. Just for your
information, I've never worked in print design in my life. People tend
to have a 'preferred' font size for working in. This is normally smaller
than the standard font that is delivered on the standard system running
a standard browser. For this vast majority, it aids usability for them
to have a smaller than normal body font. Possibly in an ideal world, all
websites would not set a body copy font size and it would make sense for
each user to pick the one that most suited them. Unfortunatley, if we do
that, the majority of sites break so whatever we do is a *compromise*.
I'd like to live in  the world where we don't have to do this.

As a matter of interest are you a professional design, web architect,
empassioned ameuter web designer or just an observer making casual
comments? (it's just that if you're a professional or empassioned
amateur, I'd like to know how you managed to deal with the same balance
and which group of users you would choose to cater for more)

>It's otherwise nice, and I didn't see any problems with overlapping
>texts (in Firefox, etc.) at any halfway reasonable window size, but
>perhaps that was corrected already.  The name of the city in Sweden is
>mangled in every encoding I've tried - the headline is proper UTF-8,
>but the mention in the paragraph is weird.
Yep.. it's just a double encoding problem.. the source was iso8859-1 and
it got reprocessed as utf8.

And thanks for the feedback.. it all gets listened to. (btw, we're also
adding supplementary style sheets for different purposes - one for a
larger text size for instance - a beta of the large text style on is
available on the beta site at the moment, it still needs a couple of
tweaks with the menu)


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