Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 11th Aug 2005 17:30 UTC, submitted by anonymous
General Development Do you think the pixel is the only unit of measurement for building graphical displays? Come on, you can measure better than that! This article offers tips for user-friendly HTML layout and interface design, and explains why pixels aren't always the best unit for the job.
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Not impressed with the article.
by Andre Siegel on Fri 12th Aug 2005 08:46 UTC
Andre Siegel
Member since:

In my opinion, the author has a very narrow view of the internet and communication via this medium. I suppose he does not work as a designer of websites and/or print media.

He is overly concerned about how websites will look on, say, a 1600x1200 screen (which only a minority of people uses) but does not acknowledge that layout is an important aspect of visual communication. Full control on a website's layout is essential if you want to acommunicate with readers also on a subliminal level and make full use of knowledge gained from psychological studies.

The internet does not just consist of Wikipedia. It is also a platform for commercial entities who must create emotions with the help of sophisticated graphical presentations. Just providing a text feature list and a photo in a corner is just not enough. Full control on a page's layout and a perfectly dynamic design do not go along very well together in most cases, however. You have to decide for either of the two.

Alienating a few owners of highend monitors is just not that important if it allows yourself to improve your communication with the other 80% of your potential customers by a great deal.

I sometimes wonder whether graphics wouldn't be better off if graphics designers and developers had stayed with vector-based graphics.

The answer is: No.

Vector graphics do not make a lot of sense for anything that is more detailed than the average BeOS icon. MacOS X shows quite well that you can mix scaleable icons with photorealistic bitmaps quite well.

I don't get the hype about vector graphics at all. Scaling the very same vector icon from 1600x1200 pixels down to 16x16 so it fits inside a file list, is and will remain a pipe dream unless the icon is barely more than a simple geometric form in the first place.

Some designers use pictures of text as a way to control the layout of words. Don't do it: it's a bad idea. First, it introduces bloat. Second, it makes your page less accessible to people who can't see the pictures. And finally, it makes your page harder to read. Frankly, it's unlikely that you can do a better job of rendering text clearly for the user than a browser can; don't waste your time (or mine) trying.

Why would it make the page harder to read? That is totally subjective. If you use a decent graphics application, chances are that antialiased text is likely to look better (on CRTs)!

Adobe Photoshop can produce better-looking antialiased text than WindowsXP. Period.

Hopefully it will discourage you from creating one of those horrible pages that depends on a large collection of disconnected images all lining up together to form, well, an even larger and uglier image.

Sigh. First the author says that "text in images" is bloat, later he complains that people optimize file sizes by cutting one big 180kb image up into several smaller ones which are half the size combined. I find his argumentation to be inconsistent.

André Siegel

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