[thelist] Multiple column text?

M. Seyon evoltlist at delime.com
Thu Mar 10 09:05:16 CST 2005

Message from ben morrison (3/10/2005 10:27 AM)
> > Not necessarily true. Perhaps the designer is trying to achieve a
> > newspaper or magazine like look. Does it work well for web design? IMHO,
> > not so much. But without knowing the intent of the designer it is hard
> > to make a call.
>As used on the International Herald tribune site:
>At least they give the user the option of reading it as one long
>column or multiple columns.
>IMHO its still tyring to reproduce print on the web, but its the best
>example ive seen yet.

I don't see any harm in reproducing this particular aspect of print on the 
web. Designing for print and designing for web are two quite different 
fields, but that doesn't mean there aren't commonalities between the two.

Studies have established that there's is an ideal width for a line of text, 
and generally it's less wide than a monitor display. The studies are of 
course disputable but I personally find that when reading long documents 
it's easier to narrow my browser window down to about 600px.

This hypothesis may be further borne out by the fact that many sites, 
particularly news sites, set a fixed width for their content container, 
leaving a empty space to the right, which may be quite wide depending on 
the size/resolution of the reader's display. Why not utilise this space 
with a second column? And consequently, as you said, reduce the need to 
scroll vertically.

FWIW, the IHT site doesn't work properly in Opera, but yes it is one of the 
better examples of a multi-columned solution.


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