W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > January to March 2002

Re: text as images...

From: Charles F. Munat <chas@munat.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002 16:54:24 -0800
Message-ID: <3C607EC0.6000004@munat.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
gian@stanleymilford.com.au wrote:

> You may be right. In order to do that my designer has said there is no
> other option than to use tables for layout.

If he's insisting on columns or on complex layouts on non-CSS browsers, 
then yes, tables are the only way. But what is wrong with single column 
pages? I've made a couple dozen single-column web sites and I've never 
had a complaint. Most users don't even notice. For the small percentage 
of users with non-CSS browsers, it's unlikely that many will care.

When sites insist on multiple column layouts, I usually find that they 
are cramming way too much information into each page. Why are people so 
afraid of keeping pages simple and short? People don't like to scroll, 
so short pages make sense. And information overload is a real problem. 
I've been to sites where I spent five minutes looking for a link and 
finally gave up, then went back a few days later and saw it right away. 
Too much junk!

Unfortunately, the momentum is on the side of overly busy pages with 
ultra-small type faces and lots of flashy junk. The UW just revamped its 
home page. It shrank the type size, added lots of annoying "news" items 
that few will care about, and then crammed a new banner ad into the 
middle of all this. True, the ads are currently only for the UW and its 
sports teams, but how far off can ads for pizza and shoes be? And they 
did all this *despite doing a large usability study*!

My guess is that their study only asked questions such as, "What do you 
want on the UW home page?" I really doubt that anyone asked, "Would you 
like a banner ad right in the middle of the home page?" That way they 
can say that they did a usability study, while corporatizing the 
university's web site (the new UW logo was designed by Nike without 
anyone asking the students what they thought, and the new web page has a 
tagline under the logo -- "Learning @ the Leading Edge" -- which links 
to a big marketing campaign for the university... sigh).

The page is here:
http://www.washington.edu
if anyone cares.

Charles F. Munat
Seattle, Washington
Received on Tuesday, 5 February 2002 19:56:08 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Monday, 7 December 2009 10:47:18 GMT