MozillaZine

Full Article Attached BugDay is Moving!

Tuesday May 29th, 2001

Asa Dotzler writes: "BugDay is moving. More than a year and a half has passed since the fist Tuesday BugDay and it seems like a good time to change. Starting this week (tomorrow, 05/30/01) BugDay is moving to Wednesdays." Click the full article link to find out more about BugDay, and how you can get involved.


#30 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Jedbro

by gerbilpower <gerbil@ucdavis.edu>

Thursday May 31st, 2001 10:41 PM

You are replying to this message

I am not ignoring asthetics here. I work with information design in a part-time job where I balance usability, presentation of information, and it's overall appearance and its affect on what I want/need to accomplish (even if my audience cannot consciously perceive the subtle artistic impressions I put in), plus I do my own web site and graphics on the side. And the web is definitely an art of its own, but it is not like a newspaper or going to a museum to see the Mona Lisa where the environment can be controlled in a way so things are shown exactly as intended. The Mona Lisa is in a museum, a single museum, and people can see it in a single room with controlled lighting from a single roof.

And I'm a person who complains about watching movies on TV since the TV ruins the subtle cinematographic effects filmmaker put into a work, BTW :)

However, the web is different. People do not come together to single computer running a single browser just to visit web sites. You're talking about people spanning the globe from the latest machines to some "Old Faithfuls." People have their preference on what browser they want to use (hopefully a standards compliant one), the screen brightness they prefer, different gamma settings, different fonts and dpi settings, etc etc etc.

In short, the web design is not like magazine or newspaper design. They do share concepts and various similarities, but they also differ greatly. In newspapers and magazines, you have benefit of the design presented on a universal standard called paper displayed with another universal standard called ink. These variables can be controlled by the people who design them. Currently, this is not possible with web design unless you create all your pages as images and save them as PNGs with gamma correction to compensate for different monitor settings.

Usability is also a big issue on the web, since the underlying principle of how the web operates is the exchange of information, so the user must have some power over how a web page looks on their computer in order to access the information they are looking. If the contrast bothers their eyes, they can adjust their monitor. If the font is too small for them, they should be able to use a browser setting (that Mozilla has) to increase the size of the fonts being displayed.

The purpose of web standards is so that things can look exactly the same when possible, which means very reasonabily the same most of the time. The vast majority of the time, subtle differences exist due to the factors I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

All the pages with forms I'm looking at, ones not using CSS to manipulate the physical appearance of the form element, all have the darker borders in Mozilla. This is only a bug if you can convincingly argue that this somehow hinders the intuitiveness of the form or confuses the user in such a way that might prevent them from using it. Also, the W3C specs does not say that textboxes must have a light grey border.

In my opinion, the grey border does look better than a black one, but this is a personal preference issue. And how do you know that the person who is designing the site prefers a black border, or doesn't think there is a significant enough issue to impact their design? As I said, CSS is available that lets the designer stylize form elements, including the border style and color.

Yes, I have ICQ, but I'm not on it often enough for any reasonable real time chat. I think these issues are revelant to a lot of people so they should be posted here. Otherwise, you can also email me. My email is posted with each MozillaZine post.

Alex <http://www.gerbilbox.com/newzilla/>