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Re: Standards Freshness

From: Al Abut <aabut@biomail.ucsd.edu>
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 2002 15:31:35 -0700
Message-Id: <5.1.0.14.2.20020718143509.025dfb08@biomail.ucsd.edu>
To: public-evangelist@w3.org

At 02:23 PM 7/18/2002 -0700, Joseph McLean wrote:

>Edited by our fellow list-mate Molly Holzschlag (hi Molly!), "Usability: 
>The Site Speaks for Itself" is a real-world exploration of some big name, 
>big audience sites...
>
>I haven't read it yet (just ordered), but the reviews are universally 
>five-star.

I'm such a schmuck... I have that book, it rocks and I totally devoured it 
recently! I guess it slipped my mind because I was thinking of books on web 
standards and not usability, although the two obviously have some 
overlapping areas. I would love to read a web standards book with that 
format: lots of working examples, not just theory; interviews with the 
creators, hearing about their trials and tribulations.

Also, I totally agree with Molly's approach to hear the site goals from the 
horse's mouth, not from marketing execs or third-party usability 
guns-for-hire, and that's also the strength of the Joe Shepter and Curt 
Cloninger books, albeit with a more artistic bent. After all, what's more 
interesting - listening to some museum tour guide drone on and on about 
pieces they didn't create, or having a conversation with the artist and 
listening to their inspirations, goals and thoughts? Well, depends on the 
artist, but personally, I'd rather take my chances with them.

I guess the first step would be to get a gallery of interesting 
standards-compliant websites, along the lines of the Minimalist Web 
Project: http://www.textbased.com/~minimalist/

Ok, another little rant here about the term HTMinimaList - it seems to have 
very different meanings to people and a bit of clarification is in order. I 
read an article discussing the difference between the styles of 
simple-and-easy-to-use and minimalist-and-not-so-easy-to-use sites (sorry, 
forgot the link! Anyone know?) and how both styles are often lumped under 
HTMinimaList, but there's a third category that I think is woefully 
overlooked: the style of sites that are bandwidth-friendly, have minimal 
amounts of HTML and still manage to look good. Too many sites are a bloated 
mess with regards to file-size, yet are lumped under the terms of "simple" 
and "minimalist" just because of the UI. There's a reason why the 
HTMinimaList chapter in Curt's book discussed not only the clean designs of 
37signals, but the efforts of the 5K design competition ( the5k.org ) to 
get developers to think creatively about bandwidth limitations.

Whew! Am I getting on anyone's nerves yet? I'll keep trying...

Al Abut
Received on Thursday, 18 July 2002 18:31:47 GMT

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