Logo idea and FreeBSD.com concept

Warren Smith warren at wandrsmith.net
Wed Mar 2 19:31:30 GMT 2005

Johnson David said:
> From: Devon H. O'Dell [mailto:dodell at offmyserver.com]
>> That is done for a reason, at least on my mockup. If you take a look at
>> websites of companies that are in the same market (Sun and IBM, for
>> instance), their pages do not do this either.
> There is a myth among corporations that webpages are supposed to look
> absolutely identical on every viewing. It's about their corporate image.
> If
> they thought they could prevent user-side stylesheets, they would. If they
> thought they could put up an image of the page and call it "html", they
> would. If they could forcibly resize the viewer's screen resolution, they
> would.
I have to agree with David here.  My development group supports a web
application that allows registered shareholders of thousands of public
companies to cast their proxy vote via the Internet.  We have been asked
several times by clients to do some of these very things to enforce
consistency of viewing.  I suppose they are used to dealing with a more
controlled environment like their corporate intranet.  It is madness for
them to expect to exercise that level of control over even the subset of
Internet users represented by their registered shareholders.

> If you do a complete survey of corporations, though, you will find that
> not
> all follow the above philosophies. But even if they all did, it would not
> matter, because we are not a commercial corporation. It doesn't matter to
> us
> if the user is using an unapproved temperature on their monitor, shifting
> the colors out of their carefully chosen trademark specifications. We're
> not
> that anal. Or at least we shouldn't be.
I totally agree.

>> Both their sites look just fine at 1600x1200
>> as well.
> Irrelevant. The size of the monitor only determines the maximum size of
> the
> windows within it. I don't know anyone who browses in a maximized window
> on
> a 1600x1200 monitor. I'm sure people do, but they would be very rare
> individuals. The days of telling the user what size monitor they must have
> are long past.
I don't browse at 1600x1200, but I do browse at 1280x1024 and I appreciate
those sites that have taken the time to use my browser real-estate
effectively instead of just choosing to support 800x600 as the "lowest
common denominator".

Granted, however, that making a page look good at 800x600 and 1600x1200
and everything in between requires more work/time/money than just
designing to 800x600.  I suspect that part of the reason for this is the
WYSIWYG mindset of some of the web site authoring tools that get used to
generate and maintain these sites.

Given that the page in question is just a proof of concept, the lack of
effective use of my browser real-estate doesn't bother me, so long as the
reason for it is lack of time to do it "right".

I have to agree with W.D. when he said that it is silly to say that
designing only to 800x600 is the "right" thing to do solely because big
corporations do it.  It may be the right thing to do for a given site,
given the time, budget, or knowledge constraints of its authors, but it is
definitely not the "right" thing to do in general.

Warren Smith
warren at wandrsmith.net

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