Re: "Good" Web Pages

Subject: Re: "Good" Web Pages
From: Sanford Carr <spcarr -at- NEBULA -dot- ISPACE -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 30 Jan 1997 10:24:45 -500

On 30 Jan 97 at 8:25, Michael Andrew Uhl wrote:

> What constitutes a "good" Web page varies greatly

> A slow Web server, relative to the traffic it can handle, often has
> more to do with download speed than either the page size or
> bandwidth of the connection. Consideration of the audience's
> bandwidth comes second.

This leads me to exactly the opposite conclusion. A slow server or
congested net connection makes minimizing file sizes even more
important.

> I, for one, do not design Web pages for 14-inch monitors. The
> majority of my audience uses larger monitors with better than VGA
> resolution.

Getting this data reliably is difficult unless you're serving an
internal population.

> Additionally, the designer I work with and I have agreed that we
> should design our pages for what people *will* be using to read them
> rather than what they currently are using.

A mistake, I think. The web changes so rapidly that almost
everything being done today will be outdated in a year (and
unpredictably so). So designing for the future (except in some very
specialized applications) is problematic. I do agree with making
master images at high color depth and resolution, but this is not a
presentation issue.

> Good, but one must know the audience, or at least a good sampling.
> What browser are they using? What kind of monitor and video card are
> they using? The need for this kind of info is why we see cookies
> being used more and more.

Cookies don't provide any of this information - they just serve as a
unique visitor ID. Many browsers will identify themselves and the
platform they're running on, but monitor size and color depth can
only be collected through on-line questionnaires or other surveying
methods. Once the info is collected, you can use cookies to
identify visitors and tailor the presentation to meet the data you've
gathered, but then you're in the position of maintaining multiple
versions of pages.

Sanford Carr
spcarr -at- intermediacy -dot- com

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