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From Stas Bekman <>
Subject Re: more noise, but less confined
Date Tue, 22 Jan 2002 06:23:12 GMT
allan wrote:

> hi stas
> Stas Bekman wrote:
>>All the features are cool (snipped), but these:
>>>- body bgcolor is white (a very light gray might work)
>> > - no borders around content box and generally more white space
>>this page design looses the focus of the content box. If you put the
>>older design and this one next to each other, you will probably see that
>>the older one is easier to read.
>>In fact when I first saw your new design, I didn't like it at all, now I
>>realize that this was because I felt lost in the page. Now I see that
>>it's good, but the content box and contrasting bg are definitely making
>>the pages harder to read.
> <!-- eh, you mean the content box and contrasting bg  [of
> the original design] are definitely making the pages
> _easier_ to read, right? -->

IMHO, yes.

> well, granted, the content looses a little focus beeing
> box-border-less. i dont mind that at all. in fact i regard
> it as feature (!). when i surf a site (that i have never
> visited before) the most important thing focus-wise for me
> is in a way not the content but the navigation. 
> can you follow me? i mean, there is no way (in either
> design) that you feel lost (navigation-wise) at anytime - on
> the contrary. 

true, if you navigate a lot. This is not the case with 
-- here you spend most of the time sitting in one place and reading the 
docs. Remember this is not a shopping cart kind of site.

We want to have the best experience for people using our site. And most 
users will spend their time in /docs

Moreover since the amount of documentation is huge and growing, 
navigation will be hardly used at all inside /docs, because most users 
will use search to get to the item they want.

Once I reach the item that I want to read, I want to keep focused on it.

> so from a user-friendly perspective i think this design is in
> fact better because focus is withdrawn fron the content.
> no-one in the world would (in either design) be uncertain of
> what is content and what is navigation and what is ad(-ons).
> some sites have so many boxes that its hard to seperate
> functionality sometimes.

I guess it all depends on your definition of user-friendly-ness, placed 
into the certain context. Remember that we don't try to design a generic 
site, but a special purpose site.

>>>- menu-text centered (this looks strangely enough better IMO)
>>I think this is not user-friendly. An English speaking person's eye is
>>accustomed to read left to right, so by centralizing the menu you create
>>an obstacle.
> yes, it probably is not user-friendly but on the other hand
> not exactly hostile either :-)
> its not like the menu takes up a lot of words and space. to
> me this particular issue wrt the menu is a very small sacrifice.
> btw, if you turn off stylesheets its in fact more
> user-friendly than the original design IMO.

But why? because it looks fancier? Why do you want users to turn CSS off?

>>I think that trying to put the
>>download widget in the same line with prev|next is a better idea. Also
>>remember that we will have a search link (which will take users directly
>>to the search of the current doc). So I believe that packing these into
>>one widget with big spaces between will make a great navigation function.
>>[pdf|src]         [search]         [prev|up|next]
> yes, sounds cool. 
> but pretty hard (impossible) to do without using tables or a
> fixed-sized space between the functions. i imagine the above:
> [pdf|src] left-aligned
> [search]  centered
> [prev|up|next] right-aligned
> or the whole bar right-aligned and fixed space:
> |topbar span                                        |
> ....[pdf|src]  150px  [search]  150px  [prev|up|next]
> the first choice looks best.

agreed, any fixed sizes are bad in the long run.

May be I lost part of the tablelessness track, but I thought that the 
point was not to use tables for page layout. Does this widget fall into 
the same category? If not tables can perfectly fit here, no?

BTW, getting back to the depth issues, look at this site:

They use a 3d image to create a feeling of vollume and they still have a 
very thing vertical bar to separate the content from the navigation

Stas Bekman             JAm_pH      --   Just Another mod_perl Hacker      mod_perl Guide

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