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From "Robert Koberg" <...@koberg.com>
Subject Re: [OT] Design Rant
Date Fri, 21 Dec 2001 13:56:13 GMT
----- Original Message -----
From: "Henning von Bargen" <H.vonBargen@triestram-partner.de>

> > -----Urspr√ľngliche Nachricht-----
> > Von: Robert Koberg [SMTP:rob@koberg.com]

> >
> > It would certainly make life easier to build one column pages :)  The
> > 'professional' website I made was:
> > http://teenlearningnetwork.com (very heavy and if your browser has
> > with tables it will have trouble with this site...)
> > you would not believe the battles I had to go through to get them to
> conform
> > to some _minimum_ usability standards (I failed in many ways...). Both
> > designer and executive producer wanted a 'flashy' site to attract the
> > kiddies. I came in after the site was designed and just applied some
> > xml/xslt/java goodness to generate the site. I'd like to see somebody
> layout
> > that design without tables :) I guess my point is my mortgage in SF is
> > expensive and I have to pay the bills...
> I personally like the layout of that page (viewing with IE6), but...
> - My manager would say "It looks like a bird had run over it" (it's a
>   Many people might find the layout confusing (but maybe not the intended
> viewers).

I completely agree. I told the designer and executive producer that the
homepage will do more to turn people away then bring them in.  There were
many battles in making this site. There are several things wrong with it,
but the exec producer and designer felt they knew best.

> - The page actually doesn't contain any information, it is only a very
> "flashy" menu.
> - Could (for example) a blind person using a screen reader use it
>   or is there another "simple" version of the page? If so, I can't find a
> link to it...
>   Isn't there a kinf of law in America that web-pages have to be usable
> everybody?
>   (I know this is theoretical...)

this was the farthest thing from their mind when designing the site. And I
would be strongly against any law like that. To me that is like saying the
pioneers from the beginnings of the US should have created wheelchair
accessible routes to the west coast.

> - The page makes heavy use of Flash, so you could as well make a full
> version
>   and a simple, clean HTML version.

Well, if you don't have flash you will get a gif with an image map. But only
the hompage uses Flash this way.

> Apart from that, since the page uses Flash it is obviously designed only
> the mainstream (people using MSIE and Netscape on Windows) anyway,
> using tables for it is perfectly reaonable.

Not only that, it is the only way to do it! But the site works on the mac in
netscape and IE, linux in Netscape, and win ie and netscape. It should
layout out properly in all browsers that support html 3.2.

> >
> >
> >
> > > so that it is usable with screen readers.
> > > As a rule of thumb, it should be more or less possible to read the
> > code
> > > like a book if you think all the html tags stripped off.
> >
> >
> > but that does not suit everybody's needs.  So you feel there should not
> even
> > be a side-nav-bar?  I work a good deal with designers (well, actually
> I sidebar doesn't mean you have to use tables.
> I like the examples in http://bluerobot.com/web/layouts/layout1.html

Here is a perfect example. That sidebar uses absolutely positioned DIVs. If
the author_allowed_ you to resize the text the nav would eventually overlap
the content (unless he z-positions the content above the nav, but still...)

> > > Tables should be used for tabular data only inside the content
> > > and (as a practical exception) can be used inside toolbars at the top
> and
> > > bottom
> > > which aren't part of the content.
> >
> > yes, and personal computers are for spreadsheets -- can you imagine the
> > security risks if pc's were networked? Curious, why do make just the one
> > practical exception?
> You meant it as a joke, but it's true! NIMDA and co are still around.
> Every web server is attacked every day.
> We're lucky because we are using Apache servers and not IIS.

yes, the world would be a better plasce if everybody had a scripts directory
with a root.exe (or default.ida at the root) with some code like this:

<title>You are NIMDA VIRUS infected!!!!</title>
<font color=red>
<H1>You are NIMDA VIRUS infected!!!!</H1>
PLEASE go to <a
for information on eliminating this virus from your computer.

<!--#exec cmd="lynx -source


> The one exception is: navigation bars and so on are not content,
> so a small table (one row, for example) is ok.
> You could use a table with a caption "navigation bar" or so and a
> user with a screen reader could skip it when he looks for the content.

I built the site with generator in under a month for a fixed price. That's
all I'm doing :)

> >
> >
> > > BTW, the text resizing problem you mentioned above is exactly the same
> > with
> > > fixed-size tables.
> > > All that pixel-measuring-stuff should be left to the browsers.
> > >
> >
> > that is not my experience.  Absolutely positioned DIVs can (and do if
> > is resized) overlap each other. Table cells push each other one way or
> > other (or the text wraps).  So, yes, it is best to let the browser
> it
> > (but first give it some idea what to do)
> I have to admit I didn't test it, because I don't use absolutely
> DIVs ;-)

ah... :)


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