Message-Id: <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 21 Oct 1996 17:29:48 -0500 To: "Jason O'Brien" <firstname.lastname@example.org> From: email@example.com (Murray Altheim) Subject: Good Design: [Was: The Netscape / Microsoft / Future Quagmire] Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Jason O'Brien <email@example.com> writes: >http://www.mindspring.com/~jaobrien/ > >The main page hooks them in through appearance and the rest is pure >content -- a plainly designed main page wouldn't bring anybody in -- Well, you asked... Might I recommend validating this page. The comment directly before </HEAD> should start with "<!--" and end with "-->", not as you have it now "<!! -- your comment -- !!>". You also need to quote attribute value literals that have plus signs in them, such as "+4". ABSCENTER is unknown to me, and you have several other small errors (well, about 30, but due to only a few problems such as CENTER closing your paragraphs -- try align=center attributes instead). I don't really mean to be hard on you, but do you really have the rights to all of those photos? In terms of good design, there's a lot of inconsistencies in font size, the buttons are overly large, you have red text on black background, your graphics are overly pixelated, etc. Black backgrounds are considered rather out-of-style now. If you had used hypertext links rather than graphic buttons (which don't have ALT attributes, so handicapped users can't navigate them), it'd probably look better, load faster, and be easier to maintain. And if your pages are truly browseable with older browser versions, why are you telling people to upgrade? I take it (with your left-leaning politics) that you might mind playing the corporate pawn, providing free advertising to large corporate interests? If people are interested in your content, they will be interested in your content regardless of how you spruce it up. Look at the Green Party: hardly a pretentious lot, are they? Glitz might turn off your readers. Your page is about 8.5K of HTML followed by 34 images files (155K) taking up about 320K of space in my cache. One of your 8.5K HTML pages is taking up 1/3MB on my hard disk! I don't need to tell you how long that would take to load on a modem. Note that the favorable comments you receive are by nature biased. You only hear from those who care enough to comment, and then only those motivated to bother writing. It's a terrible but widely used choice for filters of public opinion. Jason, I'm really not trying to hammer on you, but good design isn't glitzy. Look at how clean most advertising is nowadays; compare that with a goofy carpet or auto-dealer ad on VHF television. What do you aspire to? Murray ``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````` Murray Altheim, Program Manager Spyglass, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts email: <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org> http: <http://www.cambridge.spyglass.com/murray/murray.html> "Give a monkey the tools and he'll eventually build a typewriter."