[thelist] "Web 2.0 sites with the big friendly fonts"

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Wed Feb 21 15:54:05 CST 2007

On Wed, 2007-02-21 at 11:45 -0600, Steven Streight wrote:
> Okay you gentlemen have got me all riled up now. I think it is "incredibly
> rude" and flat out stupid to hate text so much in a design, whether music CD
> cover or web site, that the text is horrible low contrast (eg., light blue
> text on medium blue background) and super tiny.

This is a symptom of a less literate society, unfortunately.

I remember an encounter on a Web site authoring/design-related IRC
channel. There was a URL pasted into the channel and one of the other
participants said something to the effect of "I have no idea what this
company does by looking at their site".

The very first sentence on the page said something along the lines of
"Welcome to FooCorp, we make X type of widgets." I knew *exactly* what
that company did because I actually read the page, and I told him this.

We have people that think text "messes up" a design for many of the same
reasons people feel it is necessary to abbreviate six-, five-, four-,
and even three-letter words. What does it say about a society that cares
so little about its language that people aren't willing to type out
"people" because it's six whole letters? Or "you" because it's three
whole letters?

> If you hate text "messing up" your gorgeous design, then delete the text.
> But if users are supposed to read it, then make it legible, easy to skim and
> scan quickly, as most users are in a hurry, impatient, and multitasking.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I would like to add that having
to guess what an icon stands for, with no text to aid that judgement, is
an incredibly bad idea; hieroglyphics as a form of writing went out of
fashion several thousand years ago.

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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