Screen-sized Web Pages?

Subject: Screen-sized Web Pages?
From: "Peter Ring, PRC" <prc -at- PIP -dot- DKNET -dot- DK>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 10:04:59 +1

On 12 Nov Phil Atkinson wrote:

> Peter Ring wrote:

>> I think it's time to stop this nonsense. Why?

>> "Screen sized websites" is a phantom! Whether it is "screen sized"
>> or not depends also a lot on which browser you use, the settings of
>> the browser, and your screen resolution.

> You obviously didn't read the original poster's message and have
> latched on to a rather unsuitable subject line. The original
> request was for methods of structuring a web site in manageable
> chunks that might also minimise scrolling. If we are follow your
> example, we may as well all give up now and go home. The - let's
> not design anything for the web, it can't be done! - attitude
> annoys me intensely and, if in the future, you can't form a more
> constructive reply, please don't bother.

YES, I did read the original poster, and I primarily turned against
the the turn the discussion had taken, trying to explain the real
problem to webdesigners as well as users for increased understanding.

NO, I do NOT think we should give up writing webpages. On the
contrary! But over the last week, I have done a market research on
website content, surfing and evaluating approx. 125 websites from
business-to business companies. I have seen many well designed
websites, and I have seen the most horrible things. The worst one was
a web-designer company's ad for themselves. They used frames, and I
had to change the setting of my browser to read their non-scrolling
top frame with the name and address of the company, only because they
didn't understand the difference between browsers. I am sorry that I
didn't communicate my message clearly enough, so this time I will
more constructive and carve it out:

When designing websites ...

* Test them with different browsers and at different screen
resolutions to see what they look like. (If you use Windows 95 it's
easier with a small programme called QuickRes, downloadable from
Microsoft's homepage as a part of their Krnltoys package.)

* Make sure, that they are at least READABLE with all kinds of
browsers, ranging from Lynx over Mosaic and Netscape 1 to Netscape
3 and MS Explorer 3. The worst problem here is tables. If you don't
want to loose the users below the Netscape 2 level, you may need
to make a clause that you use tables, and make a link to a
no-tables version of the page.

* If you want your webpage to be seen like you designed it: specify
browser, screen resolution, font type, and font size. And live
with, that probably more than 90% of your potential readers can't
or won't see it the way YOU want, no matter what you specify!
That's life. But because you can't reach heaven on the www, it
doesn't mean you've got to give up trying to make nice webpages!

Greetings from Denmark

Peter Ring
PRC (Peter Ring Consultants)
- specialists in user friendly manuals and audits on manuals.
prc -at- pip -dot- dknet -dot- dk
- the "User Friendly Manuals" website with links, bibliography, list

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