The lack of adequate margins for content and the adbar is visually
appalling. We might as well remove all evidence of space such that all text
and images are touching all other elements, edges, containers and each other
so that we maximize screen estate and return-per-square-inch if that's the
(wrong) direction we're going. =(
There are only a few occasions that warrant margin minimization, e.g.
printing borderless photos on paper. The standard rule of thumb for text on
screen is 0.5 inches (apparent). At least line up the left edge of the
content text with the Gentoo logo. If you do, you'll notice that the Gentoo
logo is lined up with the text and lined up with the credit logo at the
bottom (the way it's intended). From there, logic dictates that whatever
margin's on the left should be mirrored on the right (unless you're
Picasso). Margin on top and bottom should be at least as large as the ones
on the side. As for the adbar, all I can say is, you fit the furniture into
the house, not the house onto the furniture. Ads are secondary or way down
the list, why are we compromising the main objectives of the site over
Turning margins back on would be a good idea... ;)
P.S. Might also be a good idea to strategically position (code/structure
wise) the nav/content/ad/footer/etc. areas. To see what I mean, try viewing
the reference pages (i.e. main and guidepage) in links/lynx. Positioning in
graphical browsers should be determined via CSS, while text browsers that
can't do CSS will still render the page in a logical layout. The current
site at wwwredesign when viewed through a text browser such as Links, the
main page starts with navigation (ok), then the 4 boxes and search (but no
headings so they look like a giant run on), then a half page of ads, then
content (not labelled as news / lack of heading), then jump pads (all 3
appears as 1 giant list with no headings/divisions).
Sven mentioned something about text browsers links/lynx and I think he's
absolutely right in that they should not be forgotten. Don't know what the
current LiveCD comes with, but the ones I've had only had text-only links
and I remember how hard it was to use the old Gentoo site while I was
browsing the installations docs etc. E.g. the commands and crucial steps
are not highlighted in anyway and appears as normal text within a sentence
or due to spacing issues appear as part of a paragraph. I remember I've
wasted a lot of time when important things were overlooked.
In this new site, I tried to make it text-only friendly, hence the
deprecated <b> and <i> tags (which I used CSS to cancel out for modern
browsers), because whatever Links I had (0.9.4?) only lighted those tags
(<b> was white and <i> was teal - couldn't specify these values, <a> was
specified fuscia - closest to purple that Links could recognize - and stands
out a whole lot too). While it may seem superflous for modern browsers, it
doesn't affect them in any way at all, while on the other hand it
significantly enhances the browsing experience for text-only browsers. I
noticed that a few text-friendly artifacts were left behind when all the
text-friendly features were stripped during implementation, if we're
disregarding text browsers we should remove those artifacts as to not
confuse anyone. E.g. the ", Gentoo's main site" bit which was used to
describe the site indicator (which now no longer functions/appears as
originally intend), and makes no sense as it current appears at wwwredesign.
The search box seems a little incomplete without a "Go"/"Find" button.
Personally, I don't really care for such a button, but how many
(well-designed) sites with a search function do you find without a
complementary "Go" button of some sort? Again, we're trying to be intuitive
since empirical evidence suggests that such buttons haven't become obsolete
because they do add value, i.e. there are people who'll freak out without
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Curtis Napier [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 13, 2005 6:12 PM
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Re: [www-redesign] status of http://wwwredesign.gentoo.org
> > Xavier Neys wrote:
> >> Curtis Napier wrote:
> >>> Xavier Neys wrote:
> >>>> Links to GWN RSS feeds are not properly displayed:
> >>>> http://wwwredesign.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/gwn.xml
> >>>> http://www.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/gwn.xml
> >>> I forgot to copy over the image. fixed.
> >> The xml image is underlined and it's darn ugly IMHO.
> > It's even worse on printable pages:
> > http://wwwredesign.gentoo.org/news/en/gwn/gwn.xml?style=printable
> Is it OK now?
> > Xavier Neys wrote:
> > I prefer a list of links to older news just like on the
> current site,
> > but obviously not crammed in the left margin anymore.
> > I you choose the "more news" approach, fair enough, but why use an
> > extra /main/en/morenews.xml file with an extra ID that has to be
> > defined in the DTD even though those IDs are not use
> anymore and extra
> > logic in the xsl?
> > All you need is a "?newsitemcount=20" link.
> I went with the newsitemcount solution. Why didn't I think of
> that? Oh well, it's fixed now.
> >> 2. This design/layout does not lend itself very well to
> font resizing.
> > Fair enough. It feels weird that some much emphasis has been put on
> > accessibility but a site that does not allow
> visually-impaired users
> > to grow their fonts is OK.
> I'm working on this one. I think after the past year of this
> I have started to lose sight of a few major principals and
> have gotten sidetracked. I stepped back today and really
> looked at everything and I made some major changes to the
> underlying structure in the content area that will improve
> the way it handles increased font sizes/small windows.
> I'm still working on the menu but I should have it done by tomorrow.
> More about this at the end of this mail.
> >> 4.2 The nav bar is within the /xsl/handbook.xsl file. I
> was told not
> >> to touch that file. I take your suggestion to change the
> nav bar as
> >> permission to touch it now. Swift, if you still want me to
> not touch
> >> the handbook let me know and I'll drop in the unchanged
> one. I have
> >> started experimenting with how to make that nav bar
> better, if anyone
> >> has any ideas let me know.
> > Improving could be done, simply removing the <hr>'s is not
> an improvement.
> > Anyway, this should not be a requirement to more on with
> this project IMO.
> I'm still working on the handbook menu, anybody have any
> ideas? I'm going to try the green arrows somehow or other
> unless someone can come up with something better.
> > 2nd & 3rd level title look better.
> > I can't say as much of the top titles :(
> How are the titles now?
> > BTW, numbered chapters in the handbook index would be better IMO
> > (http://wwwredesign.gentoo.org/doc/en/handbook/handbook-x86.xml)
> > Besides, guides start with an unordered list, book chapters
> start with
> > a numbered list. Neither has any "Content" title.
> I made all the content lists numbered/lettered and added
> "Content:" to them. Look at the Handbook (the main handbook
> index AND the content) and a guide and see what you think. Is
> this good?
> I made a major change to the content area. I did this to
> address the problem of "Dead Space" under the ad bar that
> several people have complained about and to help make the
> site degrade properly when fonts are increased or the window is small.
> Doing this caused a problem with block items overlapping the
> ads. This is because in order to get text to wrap under it
> (ad bar) I had to float it instead of absolutely positioning
> it. Items like: warning, important, note and codetables had
> to change the way the title is done from a div to a span to
> keep the background color from stretching across the page and
> overlapping the ads. The bottom part of them is now a <p>
> instead of a div for the same reason. The header will now
> only have a colored background directly under the text
> instead of a banner that goes across the page. Other than
> that it still looks the same.
> Look for this in the next few days: I'm going to be making a
> change to the way the menu works (not the way it looks, only
> the HTML that renders it). The change will make it degrade
> more gracefully with larger fonts or in small windows. As
> usual IE is giving me lots of headaches or I would already
> have it done.
> Thanks for bringing this up neysx. You are right, if I am
> going to focus on accessibility I need to apply it everywhere
> and not selectivly.
> It's all coming together now thanks to the excellent
> feedback. Keep it coming people! :-)
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