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From Nicola Ken Barozzi <>
Subject Re: Usability news website
Date Tue, 25 Mar 2003 17:07:34 GMT

Stefano Mazzocchi wrote, On 25/03/2003 12.02:
> Nicola Ken Barozzi wrote:
>> BTW, I cannot get CSS to remove the icons for list
>> items or to use the right one for the selected item... see if you can 
>> find out.
> don't use <li> for those. use simple divs.

Yeah, you're right! Done, and also it looks much nicer :-)

I'm still confused though WRT the multiple levels and how to work with 
them... could you explain a bit on them with examples of when the 
second-level is selected, the third, fourth, etc?

> 1) there is no visual semantics coherence between hyperlinks. The 
> navigation bar is all hyperlinked, but you find out only with mouseovers.
> A good tip is never to use mouseover as a way to discover properties of 
> a particular resource. visual context should be coherent and immediately 
> informative.

I started out saying that all sites don't use them, that they stink... 
but again I tried to do it, and honestly, comparing both versions, the 
underlined one is nicer! Cool :-)

> 2) the link-visited color is too light.
> A good tip is to take a snapshot of your page, turn it into grayscale 
> and see how much 'contrast information' you are passing along. it has 
> been shown in usability feedbacks that 'luminance' conveys much more 
> information than 'crominance'.
> Expecially in text, where people are used to very few levels of contrasts

Ok, what I did is to use only two colors for links. Dark blue for 
not-visited links, and black for visited links, because I reckon that 
they don't need the attention of the user anymore. Do you have a better 
suggestion maybe?

> 3) the section bars are too big. you don't need more than one pixel to 
> indicate separation. everything else is abusing precious screen space.

I disagree to some point. I want to keep a visual consistency with the 
rounded corners, and added them to these bars. The height is the 
smallest reasonable one IMHO that can be used, remembering that 
second-level sections have even thinner bars.

Not sure here, but there was a meaning for them to be like that.

> 4) I would place the logo buttons on the left but down the very bottom 
> of the page so that they are visible, but not intrusive.

IMHO this doesn't change things much from having them at the bottom... 
they seem ok where they are ATM, where also they usually are on other 
sites (and where users think they'll find them).

> 5) I would make the font sizing +/- appear more as buttons to convey the 
> visual information that they are clickable (this goes along with #1 but 
> note that this is not a hyperlink so it should not be indicated with the 
> same visual semantic)

Yes, you are right. It sucks to have to click on those small 
non-underlined links.

I tried underlining them, but it was suboptimal and confusing WRT the 
us-case of other links, so I used buttons, and they look not bad IMHO.

I preferred buttons to images for visual consistency with the above 
search button.

> 6) I would leave a space between the very last paragraph and the 
> copyright bar. This increases readability of the last paragraph.

Yes, I just saw it too now when checking for the logo placement. Done :-)

> 7) the media="print" properties of the CSS has to be tweaked to remove 
> the logos and to put the published date in the better position.

When I did the print CSS, I kept the logos on purpose. Maybe I should 
use the alternate text as text in the top of the page, but how?

For the date should it go on the top too?

Nicola Ken Barozzi         
             - verba volant, scripta manent -
    (discussions get forgotten, just code remains)

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