SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] Faceted classification bro
Re: [Sigia-l] Faceted classification browsing tool
From: Listera (listera_at_rcn.com)
Date: Sat Nov 23 2002 - 00:11:32 EST
"Boniface Lau" wrote:
> While the mentioned page does have additional problems, it doesn't
> change the fact that the giant font is like yelling at users.
As long as you understand that this is "just your opinion, not fact."
> Coming up with a design that works well for a particular font face and
> size is much easier than coming up with a robust design - one that
> works well with various font faces and sizes.
I have no earthly idea what this means. As it is, the number of unique
and/or comparable cross-platform, cross-browser fonts is *extremely*
limited. So let's not belabor the point, one can choose only among just a
handful of fonts, without taking a risk of undesirable substitution.
> Thus, using default font face and size does not mean giving up
> designing. It means doing much more designing.
Not sure what this means, either.
> Isn't a key element of proper design is acknowledging the constraints?
In context. Apparently, 5% of users don't have Flash. Does that mean one
should *never* use Flash? Dogma doesn't trump contextual decision making,
unless of course Macromedia is cutting you a big check.
> Here, the user default font face and size are the constraints.
So are a gazillion other things.
> Of course, ignoring the constraints is so much easier for the
> designers. But I wouldn't say acknowledging the constraints is "naive
> and absurd".
Leaving font face/size determination entirely to user defaults is na´ve
because it assumes the vast majority of users are capable and/or desirous of
speccing their own type. It's absurd because it obviates the role and
responsibilities of the designer.
>> Especially given the fact that very few users know about and fewer
>> understand where and what those defaults are.
> Mind you, what you have stated is just your opinion, not fact.
Like I said, "Absent any proof to the contrary, of course." If you have
compelling counter-evidence, do share.
>> Catering to users begin by understanding that they are not
> But that does not mean ignoring user preferences.
> In fact, a designer ignoring user preferences is hardly a good designer.
OK, let's cut to the chase. The user is given an opportunity to pre-specify
4-5 font faces/sizes for various types, via the browser prefs. I'm betting
the majority don't do this. Let's assume they all do. As a designer what
will you do? Not spec any type whatsoever, lest it might conflict with the
default settings of one of 1/2 billion online users? Why stop there at all?
Just where exactly do you stop? God forbid, by using any one of these you
might be 'ignoring' the mythical 'average' user's wishes and desires. Why
not just send ascii text and a couple of H[1-6] tags? And if the user can't
deal with that just send him a printed brochure in black&white and some
crayons, 'cause you never know how they might want to color the
> Designers need to remember that they are designing for the users, not
> for the designers themselves.
There's a difference between user-friendly design and the complete
abdication of a designer's responsibility and sensibilities with respect to
the content, context and purpose of a site. Designers, like IAs, are paid to
make judgments, not just assemble.
When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
*Plain text, please; NO Attachments
ASIST Annual Meeting:
ASIST SIG IA website: http://www.asis.org/SIG/SIGIA/index.html
Searchable list archive: http://www.info-arch.org/lists/sigia-l/
Sigia-l mailing list -- post to: Sigia-l_at_asis.org
Changes to subscription: http://mail.asis.org/mailman/listinfo/sigia-l
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2
: Sun Nov 23 2003 - 22:55:30 EST