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Website design considerations (was: Azurian.)

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  • Yahya Abdal-Aziz
    ... Yep. Lovely colours for a painting! Some of my favourite watercolours are landscapes with steely grey clouds, rich deep green foliage with warm golden
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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      On Thu, 30 Oct 2008, Lars Finsen wrote:
      >
      > Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
      >
      > > quoting Yahya Abdal-Aziz:
      > >> - high contrast between text and background increases clarity;
      > >
      > > I agree Lars's background color is too dark. I get mixed
      > > feelings since it reminds me of the old days of Netscape!
      > > A color value of #cccccc or even lighter would be easier
      > > to read.
      >
      > #cccccc in fact is what I have there now. But I get your messages.
      > More contrast, no reversed text. I liked it that way, though. That
      > steely #cccccc grey made just the right contrast with the green and
      > the warm yellow text inside...

      Yep. Lovely colours for a painting! Some of my favourite
      watercolours are landscapes with steely grey clouds, rich
      deep green foliage with warm golden highlights from a low
      sun on the grass ...


      > ... But then if it doesn't work, I guess
      > I'll drop it. Maybe to use the colours on some other elements.

      Wow! A creative who listens to reason! Watch it, you'll
      ruin our reputations as being utterly impervious to common
      sense. ;-)

      But you're right to focus on what works. That's the way
      to get your work seen and understood.


      >
      > I've had complaints before from people who thought black against
      > white was too much contrast...

      Funny you should mention that. I usually find a pure
      white background gives too much glare after several hours
      in front of the screen. So whenever I reinstal Windows,
      I change the default Window background to a parchment
      shade, though somewhat paler. Takes the edge off the
      glare for me.


      > ... So maybe I'll go for #eeeeee or possibly
      > some different tone.

      #eeeeee is an excellent choice for a background. You
      could also try #ee0fee for a warmer hue, or #dfffdf for
      a cooler one - basically subtracting or adding blue.


      >
      > >> - reversed text is poorly understood and assimilated;
      > >
      > > Do you mean light text on dark background? Yes that's
      > > hard...


      Exactly!


      > I was (and am) thinking that it could work for those simple and
      > repetitive headers.

      Yes, it could work - for most readers, but not for all.
      Do you want to miss out on the feedback from some great
      and knowledgeable genius just because she or he can't
      quite be bothered studying your page more carefully?
      You never know ...! ;-)


      >
      > > My particular vision problem makes it hard to read too
      > > wide lines of text, which is something almost all web sites
      > > err against. It's a good idea to wrap the main text of
      > > a page in a <div> which is 33em wide, and preferably
      > > centered in its containing block.

      Excellent suggestion from BP! And, just as in newspapers,
      a couple of columns of similar width are a good way of
      getting more info on a page. To prevent overcrowding, give
      a generous gutter (margin) between them.


      >
      > I see. Well, I agree that the text lines are too wide. I do feel like
      > doing without those ever-present sidebars, but having them is a way
      > to shorten the lines without wasting too much space on the sides.

      Another way to get your menus is with a hoizontal menu
      bar at the top, just under the heading. You can fix this
      portion of the webpage, whilst adding a side scroll-bar to
      the remainder lets it scroll if necessary.


      > >> I am slowly learning HTML. My site however is rapidly growing a
      > >> need for navigational sidebars...
      > >
      > > Perhaps you need a Web content management system?
      >
      > I have a couple. But I've never really fallen in love with them. I
      > like freedom better than standardisation. My work subjects me to an
      > excessive amount of standardisation already. So I decided to learn
      > HTML from scratch and build my site using HTML and some CSS. This is
      > more to my liking. It's probably my Gollum-type heart wanting to get
      > to the bottom of things.

      Nice to feel you know your creation from the ground up
      (or perhaps down, for Gollum-hearts such as ye be).


      >
      > > (Check out this term on Wikipedia!).
      > > A tip is to check if they support PHPMarkdownExtra.
      >
      > Never even heard of that.
      >
      > > <http://blog.melroch.se/?page_id=25>
      >
      > I see you have something related here. I guess I'd better check this
      > out too - as time permits.
      >
      > Yahya wrote:
      > >
      > > The morphology is, IMO, unexceptionable.
      >
      > *looking up dictionary* - Okay.
      >
      > Thanks for all your tips, which I agree to in full, especially those
      > on language style. I do a lot of depassivisation and sentence
      > breakups in my work. In my spare time, I do have a liking for longer,
      > more complex sentences, though.

      They just seem more apposite at times, don't they?
      It's nice to develop one's thought completely in a
      single statement - but that does presuppose a generous
      reader to follow thru all the ramifications of that
      thought.


      > > Though I've seen very little written specifically on readability
      > > of websites, it is subject to physiological and perceptual con-
      > > straints similar to those that apply to print. Last Tuesday, my
      > > eye was taken by a web ad for a website design business called
      > > "Clean and Fast". Their website is worth a look:
      > > http://www.cleanandfast.co.uk/website_design_dorset.html
      >
      > Thanks, that was interesting. Looks like they are taking their bread
      > out of their own hands by telling their customers how to do things
      > without their aid.

      Oh, I don't know. In my opinion, most people value
      more highly those people who can show that they know
      their subject. Besides, if you never give away the
      last 10% of your special knowledge, that's the edge
      that will make your clients extra competitive, so
      they will pay more for you to apply it for them.


      > > I'm all agog waiting to learn more about the language of the
      > > Valley of Muna: is it a true isolate? Or is it perhaps a distant
      > > relative of a Finnic language like Livonian? Time (or Lars) will
      > > tell ...
      >
      > I did tell you. But perhaps not clearly enough.
      >
      > LEF

      Not your fault; sometimes I learn more by pretending
      to be even more ignorant than I really am! ;-) But
      mostly, I really _am_ that stupid and forgetful. :-(

      Regards,
      Yahya
      _____

      Yahya Abdal-Aziz

      Convener, Graphics SIG <http://groups.melbpc.org.au/~graphics>
      Convener, Music SIG <http://groups.melbpc.org.au/~music>
      Melbourne PC User Group <http://melbpc.org.au/> (MelbPC)

      Share my music, paintings, equation art, and thoughts on books, online at
      eSnips:
      http://www.eSnips.com/user/Yahya
      _____
    • Lars Finsen
      ... I see. Well, you shall have your wish from me at least. Not 25 em perhaps, but I too think the pages have been too wide with the formatting I have been
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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        Den 31. okt. 2008 kl. 12.13 skreiv Benct Philip Jonsson:
        >
        > Due to my impaired peripheral vision my ideal
        > text block width is narrower, about 50 chars.
        > I wish there was a convention that the main
        > text block of all webpages was wrapped in a
        > <div> with id="textblock" so that one could
        > use local CSS to set it's width, or rather the
        > width of <p>, <pre> and <blockquote> blocks inside it,
        > like so:
        >
        > #textblock p, #textblock blockquote,
        > #textblock pre {max-width: 25 em; }

        I see. Well, you shall have your wish from me at least. Not 25 em
        perhaps, but I too think the pages have been too wide with the
        formatting I have been using.

        Yahya wrote:

        > Funny you should mention that. I usually find a pure
        > white background gives too much glare after several hours
        > in front of the screen. So whenever I reinstal Windows,
        > I change the default Window background to a parchment
        > shade, though somewhat paler. Takes the edge off the
        > glare for me.

        I never had that problem myself, but now that I'm older, coming to
        think about it, it seems my eyes aren't as comfortable with the
        screen whites as they used to. This is not an age problem, though.
        The first person who complained to me about this was in his 20s.

        >> ... So maybe I'll go for #eeeeee or possibly
        >> some different tone.
        >
        > #eeeeee is an excellent choice for a background. You
        > could also try #ee0fee for a warmer hue, or #dfffdf for
        > a cooler one - basically subtracting or adding blue.

        Ok, thanks for the suggestion.

        >> I was (and am) thinking that it could work for those simple and
        >> repetitive headers.
        >
        > Yes, it could work - for most readers, but not for all.
        > Do you want to miss out on the feedback from some great
        > and knowledgeable genius just because she or he can't
        > quite be bothered studying your page more carefully?
        > You never know ...! ;-)

        Well, it has to be a compromise, between what I like personally and
        what will attract as many visitors as possible.

        > Excellent suggestion from BP! And, just as in newspapers,
        > a couple of columns of similar width are a good way of
        > getting more info on a page. To prevent overcrowding, give
        > a generous gutter (margin) between them.

        Splitting text vertically isn't often seen on the web. But yes, it is
        a good idea. Will consider it.

        LEF
      • Lars Mathiesen
        ... good ... Please only do that if you have relatively independent bits of text to put in each column. One of my pet hates is reading a PDF of a text in
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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          2008/10/31 Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...>:
          > Splitting text vertically isn't often seen on the web. But yes, it is a
          good
          > idea. Will consider it.

          Please only do that if you have relatively independent bits of text to put
          in each column. One of my pet hates is reading a PDF of a text in two-column
          layout, where you have to *find* the top of each page again after reading
          the first column, instead of just scrolling down. Especially in detail-rich
          texts (like ones about conlang phonologies) where you want to go back and
          forth over a few paragraphs to check stuff.

          --
          Lars
        • Lars Finsen
          ... I see. The best idea if you are using columns at all, perhaps is to divide the text into screenfuls. Which is a good idea no matter how you format it
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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            Den 31. okt. 2008 kl. 16.43 skreiv Lars Mathiesen:

            > Please only do that if you have relatively independent bits of text
            > to put
            > in each column. One of my pet hates is reading a PDF of a text in
            > two-column layout, where you have to *find* the top of each page
            > again after reading the first column, instead of just scrolling
            > down. Especially in detail-rich texts (like ones about conlang
            > phonologies) where you want to go back and forth over a few
            > paragraphs to check stuff.

            I see. The best idea if you are using columns at all, perhaps is to
            divide the text into screenfuls. Which is a good idea no matter how
            you format it anyway, perhaps.

            LEF
          • Mark J. Reed
            ... But that s tricky to do, because a screenful is not even close to being a consistent unit. With careful design, you can use CSS and perhaps a bit of
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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              On Fri, Oct 31, 2008 at 1:17 PM, Lars Finsen <lars.finsen@...> wrote:
              > I see. The best idea if you are using columns at all, perhaps is to divide
              > the text into screenfuls. Which is a good idea no matter how you format it
              > anyway, perhaps.

              But that's tricky to do, because a "screenful" is not even close to
              being a consistent unit. With careful design, you can use CSS and
              perhaps a bit of DHTML/JavaScript to ensure that the height of each
              column is equal to the actual browser window size, whatever that may
              be, but it's still not an easy thing to do. Especially not with
              graceful degradation in the face of disabled browser features,
              accessibility concerns, etc.

              --
              Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>
            • Alex Fink
              ... Is it? I ve only ever heard the reverse: it s dark text on a light background that s inherently harder to read on illuminated displays, monitors and
              Message 6 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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                On Thu, 30 Oct 2008 19:23:26 +0100, Benct Philip Jonsson <bpj@...> wrote:

                >> - reversed text is poorly understood and assimilated;
                >
                >Do you mean light text on dark background? Yes that's
                >hard...

                Is it? I've only ever heard the reverse: it's dark text on a light background that's inherently
                harder to read on illuminated displays, monitors and projected slideshow presentations and
                such. For instance OS X has an accessibility mode that changes the display to its
                photonegative, AIUI for ease of readability. (And this jibes with my own intuitive sense.)

                Alex
              • deinx nxtxr
                ... I prefer light on dark too for illuminated displays of any kind (the black on white, or worse some other color scheme, used on the instrument panels of new
                Message 7 of 7 , Oct 31, 2008
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                  > [mailto:CONLANG@...] On Behalf Of Alex Fink

                  > >Do you mean light text on dark background? Yes that's
                  > >hard...
                  >
                  > Is it? I've only ever heard the reverse: it's dark text on
                  > a light background that's inherently
                  > harder to read on illuminated displays, monitors and
                  > projected slideshow presentations and
                  > such. For instance OS X has an accessibility mode that
                  > changes the display to its
                  > photonegative, AIUI for ease of readability. (And this jibes
                  > with my own intuitive sense.)

                  I prefer light on dark too for illuminated displays of any kind (the
                  black on white, or worse some other color scheme, used on the
                  instrument panels of new cars are awful). Websites are another
                  story though because most GUI-based systems these days are
                  black-on-white in an attempt to be WYSIWYG in relationship to a
                  paper document. A web "page" does appear better with a paperlike
                  appearence if only because it doesn't contrast with the rest of my
                  open windows.
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