[MUD-Dev] META: Web site backgrounds and readability

J C Lawrence claw at under.engr.sgi.com
Tue Apr 14 15:59:57 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Tue, 14 Apr 1998 15:09:20 PST8PDT 
Greg Munt<greg at uni-corn.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> On Tue, 14 Apr 1998, J C Lawrence wrote:
>> Writing as list owner:
>> <URL:http://www.kanga.nu/~petidomo/lists/mud-dev/>
>> As always, please don't publcise the URL or mail kanga.nu yet.
>> We're not live yet.  RSN, but not yet.
>> How readable are the pages on *your* system with *your* browser?
>> Are they too dark?  Do they make reading difficult?  The reason for
>> the question is that different sytems with different colour depths,
>> video cards and monitor settings can display very different images
>> of the same page.

> Can read it fine. However:

>   Pages are too long. (Can go into more detail if required.)

Yup, the indexes are long.  This is deliberate.  Go much shorter and
the rate of thread breakage across index boundaries started climbed
quickly.  Somewhere in the 90-day range (1,5000ish messages) per index
seemed about right, which mapped out to quarterly for the automation
sides of life.  In my own (frequent) use of other list's web indexes I
find their ultra-short (often <100 messages per index, or monthly)
annoying -- I specifically wanted a broad overview presentation for
the indexes.

The homepage for the list is also long and may get longerd.  This is
due to its FAQ/intro nature. which I'd rather not get broken across
multiple pages (if it were it wouldn't get read -- as it is it may not
get read, but the chances are higher).  I am unconvinced of the value
of a frames approach to that material (similar reasoning, especially
on smaller displays).

Both sets of pages are also not frequent reload items.  The data
doesn't change frequently, and once you have it locally you (should
be) operating from cache.  Yes, some browsers on some machines may
take noticable time to render the pages.  <shrug>  

>   The navigation bar on the left is VERY thin on my display.

There is no navigation bar on the left.  There is a navigation bar on
the right however, which I'll assume you are referencing.  

This is a function of browser display width and the way tables are
handled.  Its not cute, and it could possibly be addressed with style
sheets were I willing to cut off the large the non-CSSS-capable
browsing public.  There isn't a whole lot I can do there, and there
are extremely good reasons to place such navigation tables on the
right vs the left
(<URL:http://WDVL.com/Authoring/Design/Sensory.html>).  The spacing of
the masthead graphic and title also function as deliberate (if
indirect) encouragements to resize the browser window to a wider
width.  That said, even with the navigation table scrunched to one
word per line I feel it still works effectively, if marginally less

J C Lawrence                               Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                               Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------(*)                     Internet: claw at under.engr.sgi.com
...Honourary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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