[thelist] em's , CSS, aol - etc

Christy Collins ccollins at loudjoy.com
Mon Jul 31 17:33:49 CDT 2006

On Jul 31, 2006, at 6:09 PM, Bob Meetin wrote:

> Shocked describes it - I visited a future client whose office PC is
> running win98 (with a 15" monitor) and connects with dialup through
> AOL.  I had planned on demo-ing some menus, calendars, image  
> galleries,
> etc, but couldn't without offering embarrassing apologies..
> My site (CSS-based) looked awful.  Fonts defined in em's were  
> perhaps 3x
> or 4x proportionate size, columns dropped out of place, CSS flyout  
> menus
> (using csshover.htc), did not work, much more (runtime errors???).   
> I'm
> sure that they must have customized the browser font sizes (the
> resolution was set to 800x600), yet not knowing the AOL browser, I  
> could
> not figure out how to reset the font, and not sure that I should
> anyhow.  This client is in the process of re-outfitting the office, so
> some of this will become moot shortly.
> The question... in general, as a developer/designer, how prepared  
> should
> we be for relatively extreme situations like this?  -Bob

I've had three prospective clients since January with set ups like  
this.  How prepared you are probably depends a lot on your client  
base.  Mine is small, local businesses and artists -- technology is  
on the periphery of what they do and they often don't have a lot of  
money for upgrading their computers.  Do you have a laptop you can  
bring to these kinds of meetings?  I've found that really helpful.

The other thing though is that lots of people (users, not just  
clients) have these kinds of scenarios and you might need to do more  
testing to make sure your own site and the ones you develop for  
clients hold up tolerably well in these environments.  I think people  
with outdated systems/browsers are sort of used to websites not  
looking optimal for them - but it needs to still be usable.

Good Luck,

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