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Looking for advice, reading list

I'm looking for general advice, pointers to web pages, books, whatever.

I have a moderately successful web site. The major complaint that I
get, time after time, is "It's UUUGLY"

As I have explained at http://aplawrence.com/Blog/B1228.html , I
understand that, and to some extent it's deliberate: I am NOT looking
for flash over content and I want my pages to remain fast, Lynx
friendly, and easy to read.

On the other hand, if there is a way to have both, I'd like to do that.

I DO use stylesheets, but I'm probably not doing it "right". I'd like
to improve.

Any advice (other than the "you're a moron" that I already have) is
appreciated.

A couple of specific things: I read all kinds of conflicting advice
about default font sizes. Some people say do not set anything, but if
I don't, IE6 comes up with a gigantic ugly mess and I get the pitying
comments. But if I DO set it to something that looks a little smaller,
I get other people complaining that some things are too small to read..
so frustrating! Yes, people CAN adjust font size in their browsers but
apparently they don't like to, so is the answer to go along with what
MOST pages do - and if so, what is that magic setting?

Also: how on earth can you keep dynamic pages "Valid HTML 4.01
Transitional"? For example,
somebody added a comment referencing a Slashdot link that had
&from=rss at its end - the http://validator.w3.org/ doesn't like
that

TIA - I know it will probably be a lot of work, but hey, I'll learn
from it.

--
Tony Lawrence
http://aplawrence.com

Jul 21 '05 #1
4 1896
Hi,

pc****@gmail.com wrote:
I'm looking for general advice, pointers to web pages, books, whatever.

www.csszengarden.com may inspire you.

Chris
Jul 21 '05 #2
"pc****@gmail.com" <pc****@gmail.com> wrote:
I'm looking for general advice, pointers to web pages, books, whatever.

I have a moderately successful web site. The major complaint that I
get, time after time, is "It's UUUGLY"
Design skills are very hard to learn. Either you've got an eye for
design or you haven't. :-(
As I have explained at http://aplawrence.com/Blog/B1228.html , I
understand that, and to some extent it's deliberate: I am NOT looking
for flash over content and I want my pages to remain fast, Lynx
friendly, and easy to read.

On the other hand, if there is a way to have both, I'd like to do that.

I DO use stylesheets, but I'm probably not doing it "right". I'd like
to improve.
There's one error in your CSS:
http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/v...1&profile=css2

Apart from that the CSS looks reasonable, probably a few things I'd do
diffierently but no howlers that I could see in a five second scan.
Except for the font size...
A couple of specific things: I read all kinds of conflicting advice
about default font sizes. Some people say do not set anything, but if
I don't, IE6 comes up with a gigantic ugly mess and I get the pitying
comments. But if I DO set it to something that looks a little smaller,
I get other people complaining that some things are too small to read..
so frustrating! Yes, people CAN adjust font size in their browsers but
apparently they don't like to, so is the answer to go along with what
MOST pages do - and if so, what is that magic setting?
Don't use em for font size. That triggers a bug in IE whereby the
difference from the default is magnified if the user has their font
size set to anything other than medium. Use percentages instead. That
will take the edge off the problem you describe.

Also, don't use Verdana. Because Verdana looks larger than other fonts
the temptation is to set a smaller font size. Avoid Verdana and you'll
find that either 100% isn't too bad after all, or that if you do feel
the urge to decrease the size you don't need to decrease it by as
much.
Also: how on earth can you keep dynamic pages "Valid HTML 4.01
Transitional"? For example,
I don't. I use Strict not Transitional. This isn't 1997 any more so
why are you still transitioning from pre-HTML4 code?
somebody added a comment referencing a Slashdot link that had
&amp;from=rss at its end - the http://validator.w3.org/ doesn't like
that


It shouldn't have complained about &amp;from=rss, was it actually
&from=rss? The answer is that if you let people add content t your web
site you need to parse that content and correct any errors. That's a
programming issue.

Steve

Jul 21 '05 #3
pc****@gmail.com wrote:
I'm looking for general advice, pointers to web pages, books, whatever.

I have a moderately successful web site. The major complaint that I
get, time after time, is "It's UUUGLY"

As I have explained at http://aplawrence.com/Blog/B1228.html , I
understand that, and to some extent it's deliberate: I am NOT looking
for flash over content and I want my pages to remain fast, Lynx
friendly, and easy to read.

On the other hand, if there is a way to have both, I'd like to do that.

I DO use stylesheets, but I'm probably not doing it "right". I'd like
to improve.

Any advice (other than the "you're a moron" that I already have) is
appreciated.

A couple of specific things: I read all kinds of conflicting advice
about default font sizes. Some people say do not set anything, but if
I don't, IE6 comes up with a gigantic ugly mess and I get the pitying
comments. But if I DO set it to something that looks a little smaller,
I get other people complaining that some things are too small to read..
so frustrating! Yes, people CAN adjust font size in their browsers but
apparently they don't like to, so is the answer to go along with what
MOST pages do - and if so, what is that magic setting?

Also: how on earth can you keep dynamic pages "Valid HTML 4.01
Transitional"? For example,
somebody added a comment referencing a Slashdot link that had
&amp;from=rss at its end - the http://validator.w3.org/ doesn't like
that

TIA - I know it will probably be a lot of work, but hey, I'll learn
from it.

have a look around, see what you like, and create something like that
for your own, and stick to it, nomatter what other morons tell you.

btw, i personally think that the style should fit the site's purpose.
plain info site gets a plain design,
gamesite gets a flashy site,
also remember how long you expect people to look at your site untill
they browse further. -> dont put the whole bible in one page when you
think people will watch only 2 sec.

and .. if lynx gets a high priority, then you should maybe give a equal
priority to the opinion of people using lynx...

gl

martin
Jul 21 '05 #4
Ali Babba wrote:
and .. if lynx gets a high priority, then you should maybe give a equal priority to the opinion of people using lynx...


Well, I'm not thinking of Lynx as something people use every day. But
when the gui is broken, it's nice to be able to search the web for help
with that problem, and too many pages that might otherwise be helpful
are difficult or impossible to read with Lynx or a wget or (I've been
this hard up) a telnet to port 80.

--
Tony Lawrence

Jul 21 '05 #5

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