Re: Discriminatory Convensions and Aesthetics

On 14/03/2017 21:09, Wayne Dick wrote:

> There are many discriminatory aesthetic conversions on the web, and in
> its predecessor, print. Are small subscripts and superscripts useful or
> necessary, or are they just conversion, habit? Publishers who wanted to
> save paper probably found that books would sell just as well if
> sub/super scripts were reduced in size. That probably saved paper by
> enabling less line separation. Does this conversion really make sense on
> a flexible medium like web content, or is it discriminatory habit?

I would say that these sorts of elements also convey a visual sense of 
hierarchy / importance - de-emphasising certain ancilliary aspects (like 
references to a footnote) to make them less visually obtrusive when 
reading the actual text.

> I  think that the clear active elements SC addresses one of these
> discriminatory aesthetics. When a super / sub script is a link it is
> something completely different than anything that ever existed on paper.
> It is a super script character and a link - a paper impossibility. Why
> do we use paper conversions for this important extension of paper
> capability? I think the answer is habit.

Habit, which also means familiarity for users, who are likely acquainted 
with that particular convention from print and may therefore recognise 
its meaning even in a different / digital context.

Patrick H. Lauke | |
twitter: @patrick_h_lauke | skype: patrick_h_lauke

Received on Wednesday, 15 March 2017 11:10:00 UTC