Black and Brown and 960 all over

En route to An Event Apart Seattle, I leave you with these:

Optimal Width for 1024 Resolution?
Spoiler: Turns out to be 960px.
Brown University homepage
It’s HTML! (Don’t let the smooth taste fool ya.)
Rogerblack.com
Black’s back! Black blogs! Site design by Rob Hunter. Love the “simplify” button. Red-and-black visual joke works, but shade of red needs fine-tuning. Having to employ drop-shadows on every character of body text (only Safari supports this) should be clue, if one were needed, that the background color doesn’t work.
Reflections are the new drop-shadows.
Yup.
RSS 2.0 & Atom compared
I finally get this.
Netscape 4-ever!
Scott Andrew’s back pages.

[tags]design, webdesign, 1024, rogerblack, brown university, rss, atom, standards, browsers, aneventapart[/tags]

15 thoughts on “Black and Brown and 960 all over

  1. Layouts: I think that, even when they are harder to get right at first, the fluid layouts are the fittest solution… but I also agree that in a few years, the fittest solution will change.

    Here, the only constant is change.

    But, what is your take Mr. Z?

  2. And so the fixed vs. fluid debate continues.

    Other than rubbing Jeremy Keith the wrong way (or some poor Windows using soul, still confined to the 800 x 600 purgatory), I see no harm in a fixed width site. However, I really like the flexible option, such as the one that Dan Cederholm outlined in his book, Bulletproof Web Design.

    The fact of the matter is, most web designers have a background in traditional design and they have a hard enough time getting over the fact that your final XHTML file might not match their design comp, pixel for pixel or the fact they are restricted to a limit number of fonts for body copy.

    It’s the itchy tag of a new tee shirt, poking her in their neck – ‘why doesn’t this font look EXACTLY the same on the web as it does on my comp?’

    Perhaps pushing for fluid layouts across the board at this point is too much. I have just gotten my designers used to relative font sizing – they just don’t see the value. *sigh*

    It’s looking more and more to me that the flexible width layout is the solution that lots of people can be happy with.

  3. The Brown University site is definitely innovative, but I don’t like that the section expands on mouseover. If you try to click on one of the links on the right side to go directly to that section, and you have a section that is already expanded above it, the section you mouseover expands up, and then you have to reaquire the target link.

  4. Microsoft, FeedDemon, Bloglines, and others would prefer that you only provide one.

    After all, do you provide XHTML and HTML versions for each of your pages?

    But, if you wish to provide multiple feeds, all with the same content, simply pick the template over the plug-in.

    My only additional suggestion is that you stick with x.0 formats, like RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, and Atom 1.0.

  5. Regarding RogerBlack.com:

    I’ve used the Safari-only drop shadows in a layout before too; but not because the foreground-backround contrast was too low. I did it because I found that Safari in some instances would annoyingly “bloat” or fuzz out some white text on backgrounds (like ink that was laid on too heavy to borrow a print metaphor). I couldn’t quite track down what the issue was, but adding the drop shadows enhanced the readability in Safari while the readability was fine everywhere else.

  6. rogerblack.com – falls apart on an iBook with 1024 by 768. I’m obviously below this gentleman’s threshold.

    960px looks ok but remember that education uses computers that are 3 to 5 years old. Lots of 800 by 600 monitors floating round. We just upgraded to Winders XP as we could find the money to replace the really old computers this year.

    I went for a liquid design on the personal blog -and using a dl on the front page listing title and excerpt has increased the ‘life’ of blog posts by a factor of two according to the logs. Most people can scan 5 stories above the fold rather than reading one in full.

  7. The Brown University homepage is certainly impressive, but it doesn’t hold up so well if you increase your browser’s font size. Long text ‘teasers’ disappear out the bottom of their containers. Of course this won’t affect IE users, as fonts are sized using – *cough* – pixels. Am I being bitchy?

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