Clickable “Essentials” feature requires DOM–compliant browser.
17 October 2002
K10k is a layout-intensive site. It achieves its look via presentational XHTML (tables, frames) combined with style sheets, scripting, and images. Such sites would not ordinarily bother converting to XHTML let alone striving to validate. Yet it is precisely sites like K10k that may inspire a second wave of designers to incorporate web standards into their production workflow. When K10k validates, designers will see that it is possible to achieve pixel-precise control using standard markup and code.
Many would argue that pixel-precise control is antithetical to the web’s nature. Certainly, such control means nothing in the context of Lynx, screen readers, Palm Pilots, web phones, etc. But in desktop browsers, it sometimes means everything. To many designers, a few pixels make the difference between a professional effort and a sloppy failure. Many clients agree. Ours, for instance.
These clients want compliance and accessibility. They don’t expect their sites to look the same in 4.0 browsers and new ones. But they’ll fret over subtle rendering differences between IE 6 and Netscape 7. Are their concerns foolish? We think not.
We believe if the top of an image is supposed to align with the top of a block of text, it should do so. Likewise, if 50px of white space helps a visitor distinguish between a content area and a functional, task-oriented area, that 50px means something. Is 43px close enough? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
In many cases it’s enough that there’s an appreciable block of white space. The amount may be based on ems or percentages. For many designs these loose, flexible values may be perfectly appropriate. But not for other designs. On some sites, precise visual alignments across a page convey an immediate sense of quality assurance. That notion of quality and precision may be a paramount brand value. Flexible, liquid design won’t communicate that brand value as effectively as a perfectly rendered grid.
Old-school pixelism wastes bandwidth on proprietary markup and excessive images and yields bloated, often inaccessible sites.
New-school pixelism provides precision when the design requires it. It does so without sacrificing accessibility or standards compliance and while conserving bandwidth. It is a reasonable alternative to Flash. To hope all designers and clients will one day stop striving for tightly controlled layouts is to miss the chance to persuade those who live and die by the pixel that standards are good for them, too. :::
16 October 2002
Now @ Webmonkey: The Secret Life of Markup.
CSS layout—and hybrid design that combines CSS with tables—both require trickery to avoid potholes in browser compliance. Eric Meyer has compiled several strategies in one convenient location.
GIF animation on Rollovers remains troublesome in Mozilla 1.1. The technique works as expected in Netscape 6.2, IE5, and other common household browsers old and new. But in Mozilla 1.1, when you mouse over an image whose “on” state consists of a multi-frame animation, you see only the last frame. Mozilla supports ECMAScript, CSS, XML, and the DOM. So why the difficulty with GIF animations? Dunno. :::
13 October 2002
This site may be viewed in any browser or Internet device, but looks best in one that complies with web standards.
Jakob Nielsen Corner:
Most buttons require DOM–compliant browser.
See us at Web Design World Boston and Meet the Makers NYC. Save $200 off Web Design World registration with special access code.
served! Copyright © 1995–2002
Jeffrey Zeldman Presents.
XHTML, CSS, 508. Reset bookmarks to www.zeldman.com. Ahead Warp Speed.