Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

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[not native english speaker speaking, ok? - i posted also to another
group being unsure whether html.critics was more appropriate and yet
less read than this - so 2 posts on the whole]

Although it may appear speculative, and although i do not put any
particular trust in newsgroups (meaning that most of the times the
quality is not very high, but of course one goes for the few good posts
that may be there), I have a topic that maybe could be of some relative

Let's make this short review. Some extremely popular websites - which I
know because I _use_ them, so if I do I can't imply they are bad in
themselves. Yet, there is something to say.

Flickr: you won't get very impressed by its front page. You won't say
the palette of colours is well chosen : blue, fucsia, grey, azure,
another sahde of blue and grey.
You try and you will see
navigational options on bottom: written tiny, with a grey header almost
invisible on white background (#999 9px "big" on #fff isn't exactly a
lecture in legibility... or is it?)

Craigslist: a typical ad certainly isn't in an enticing setting: a few
lines of naked text, in an ocean of white.

Ebay: a giant. Palette: red green azure grey blue yellow. You need a
degree in Cryptoanalysis to find out where things are - I know it
sounds ingenerous, but its complexity seems to have run out of control.
If you browse the categroies then, you find the strangest colours
included things like #d989a9 #6bd6ad #dddd33 or bg #7d81d7 with #0000cc
on foreground.

Myspace. I like it and most of is detractors judge it on contents that
are user made, actually. However, you still find things like picture
commands dispersed rather than grouped in one area where one would
logically expcet them, and color palettes that you won't call well
studied. Palette seems inconsistent also in the shared areas.
Same thing for Hi5.

Delicious: you find font 9 on bg white and text colour #888888 palette is #99cc00 #cccccc #d568a7 #c52481 #375092 #788dc4
#ec008c #d6d6d6 #284b9e, navigational menus on bottom as tiny as they
can be

Monster com, palette: #663399 #a1b934 #c7d582 #330066 #875900 links on
bottom bg white text #999999 about 8px

Now, haven't we already created EXPECTATIONS in our users, if so many
_great_ sites adopt these solutions that, thus, become a standard? BY
standard I mean the expectations that the ongoing experience of surfers
may instill in the surfers themselves.

1) Texts should be small - fearing wasting paper I argue lol
2) texts can be light gray, small, on white background
3) options shouldn't be grouped
4) colors must go as wild as possible. matching brown with purple as if
it were a great combination
5) commands should not be immediately apparent: they must be looked for
and chased in a clustered interface, or must be semi transparent to
make sure you won't find them too easily.

I am interested in this because I developed a site, whose address i
will NOT print here because it is not my concern to advertise it but to
see if my thoughts can make any sense to some among you, where I use:

1) big TEXT
2) 1 colour: blue - background white text black
3) big buttons to make commands immediately apparent.
4) xhtml strict valid

Do you know what? Some users get disconcerted: they say text is too
big, blocks of commands strike too much the eye, the interface
intimidates them as if it were howling its commands to them.
Maybe: but how much of it is due to objective criticism, and how much
of it is due to the fact we have educated our users that commands must
be looked for until you remember where they are, and texts can be as
small as possible, and colors run everywhere without any logic or

We advocate standards, we advocate consistency, we advocate legibility.
Where is the last time we have found it? And anyone of you out there
has ever experienced that if you give legiblity, our surfers have been
educated to find it like an insult rather than a feature - big text as
something TOO clear?

Re: Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

In article

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I take the bracketed remark as a personal insult.


Re: Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

No insult meant, go figure a personal one: I don't even know you.
You were trying to confirm the point didn't you? LOL

The post raises a topic. If one prefers concentrating on a bracket to
feel offended, one can go with it. But then, how big our narcissism can
be when every bracket is enough to make our self esteem feel shattered
to the personal point.

Quality many times is not very high. It's a fact. Why you thought I was
addressing you, is something that you only may know.

Now, anyone interested in the topic rather than in desultory brackets?

dorayme ha scritto:

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Re: Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

In article

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OK, lets take this slowly and have a discussion, a deep one.
Please forgive me for feeling insulted before but it is not my
fault. Things in brackets just trigger that in me. It is a wiring
fault of mine. It happens when a stranger puts anything in
brackets, no matter what. I am seeing someone about this

As for your topic, I think what many might feel is that you
seemed awfully naive to suppose it was some sort of specific
topic, something new, something you were bringing to light. What
is wrong with so many websites is the business, generally of
alt.html, how to write good HTML and css, how and what to avoid
from the general crumminess all around, among many more narrow
technical issues.

I suppose there are some specific interesting topics as to how
bad habits spread and so on but really... you cannot expect to
simply list so many faults with so many websites and consider we
have ... lift off, Houston, for a great topic...


ooeee... I notice you know some very rude and naughty words in
your reply to old Korpela... which reminds me... sorry if it
seems illogical, I get that way when I use brackets to strangers:

Can you please not top-post?



Re: Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

Scripsit fullposter:

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You spent the 15 seconds attention span that you typically get, at best,
from an average reader. At this point, you haven't said a single word about
the subject matter of your message, still less formulated a single statement
about it.

You did manage to insult some people, though.

There's an HTML-related lesson to be learned. People write web pages quite
often as you wrote your message - without even trying to get to the point
during the precious few seconds that you can reasonably expect people to
look at your message.

There's good old advice on writing a column (for a newspaper or equivalent):
start writing, and finish at the end of the paper, then cut off the first
half and throw it away; then work on the remaining text (usually making it
shorter, among other things). This might, with due modifications, be used
when creating short web page, and also when writing a Usenet message that
you regard as important.

So get to the point early. Otherwise there's no reader left when you start
getting to the point.

Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")

Re: Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

On Wed, 13 Dec 2006 16:08:49 -0800, fullposter writ:

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You should feel right at home then.

"Because all you of Earth are idiots!"
¯`ˇ..ˇ¯`ˇ-> freemontŠ <-ˇ¯`ˇ..ˇ¯

Re: Website Paradigms: Are We Creating Bad Standards Unwillingly?

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I won't enter into the first part, as the quality of my posts is almost
always quite poor unfortunately.
However, with regard to your observations as to layout on very busy and
popular sites, I have to agree.
I think the problem lies in ballancing the wishes of the customer with what
is supposed to be good practice.  Customers inherintly want their site to
look, well, to look the way they wish to see it.  What they desire is often
the product of graphic artists, who themselves are wanting to make artwork
that pleases the eye of the customer, and have little or no regard for the
technicalities involved in marking it up.
As you have observed (accurately I beleive) the persons using the net,
visiting these sites, have become accustomed to the vaguearies of markup,
and have develloped skills in this regard.  I recently observed myself
looking for a "contact us" link, and was surprised as to how quickly I found
it, considering it's rather ridiculous location on the page.

Very recently I have been involved in a discusion about layout options for a
new site that involved the client, the artists, and myself.  What the client
sees from the artist he likes, or not.  If he likes, then he looks to me
expectantly.  If my response is not altogether positive, what is he, a non
technical person, to think?  The artist only wishes to make the client
happy, and will not be too supportive if his nice little silver on white bit
at the bottom is criticised by a person of little artistic ability (me).
The client recalls seeing many many sites that are very popular doing
exactly what this artist is suggesting.  He sees me trying to explain why
this isn't considered good practice, and he's suddenly very tired.
In the end I wither under the artists calm and self assured gaze and after
passing some smelling salts under the clients nose, tell him that if that's
how he want's it, that's how it will be.
At that point I feel much like a web policemen who has had his gun relocated
as a butt plug.

Unfortunately, perhaps, freedom of speech translates into freedom of
everything when it comes to the web.  And certain restraints often need to
be considered when your mind flashes to the "heres the invoice" part of the

And, if you actualy consider your observations a different way, you may find
yourself asking "who or what is driving the net in this direction" and I'm
sure if you do you will see that every client/customer is indeed also a web

You may know the rules.  You may have the skills.  But the person in the
back seat, that possess none of these, will still insist on giving you
Vince Morgan

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