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Subject: Gettin' down!
From: Ron Koster <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 10 May 2000 16:26:22 -0400
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At 02:42 PM 5/10/2000 -0500, George E. Thompson wrote:
> > But you shouldn't be using character entities for symbols like that in your
> > web pages, either. Nor for em- and en- dashes and stuff. They're just not
> > fully supported and some people just won't be able to view them correctly.
>
>Which raises the perennial design question: Do you design down to the lowest
>common denominator of reader / user and thereby encourage them not to change
>or do you design up from there and encourage them to move upward in their
>sophistication.

I personally do neither. I design in a way that's fully cross-platform,
cross-browser and backwards compatible (down to Netscape 2), and don't
force people to use plugins or anything of any kind (although if ya wanna
hear me play guitar on my music page, ya gotta have a RealAudio or MP3
player!). ;)  My pages look best in Netscape 3 and up or Internet Explorer
4 and up, but they'll still look good and work just fine in earlier
versions that don't support things like rollovers, etc., and also work just
fine for people using plain text browsers or voice browsers (for the vision
impaired). I also design my pages to look just fine on the smallest monitor
resolutions (640x480, for desktop computers), or, alternatively, what's
known as "liquid" designs that adjust themselves nicely for anyone's
resolution (yet not going crazy with long line lengths at higher
resolutions), and whenever possible I do my best to keep everything to a
maximum width of 540 pixels (to accommodate small laptop screens).

So yes, I do design down to the lowest common denominator, but not at the
expense of more advanced features -- I just make sure that everything is
taken into account so that as many people on as many platforms using as
many browsers as possible will be able to view my pages and have a nice,
pleasant experience and that nothing will go wrong, neither encouraging
them to not change, nor encouraging them to upgrade. This latter is
something you just can't expect people to do -- some people really just
don't have good enough computers to be able to upgrade. And also, I don't
know about you, but there's nothing more annoying than when I come across a
site that *forces* me to use flash (or even worse, java), or leaves me high
and dry if I don't have the latest stupid little nifty trick capability of
the latest version of M$IE, or insists that I have my monitor set at some
uncomfortably high resolution. One of the things I find totally offensive
in some web designers is that they're too lazy to figure out how to design
their pages effectively -- and yet they fully expect that people are just
dying to see their site so that everyone in the world will stop what
they're doing, bookmark their page and shut down all their programs (if
they need to), dig up their monitor settings and change them, and then
re-boot (if they need to), then start all over again and go back to their
site. It's so *unbelievably* stupid! %}

But anyway, does that answer your question???

Ron 8?

Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue.
Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they
really are or people might think we're stupid. - Jules Feiffer

Allow me to introduce my selves... http://www.psymon.com
Digital art, dreams & fantasies... http://www.psymon.com/art/

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