For once it’s Firefox is the problem!

I’ve been playing with drop shadows. Read the alistapart item on it and eventually did it my own way (as usual). It involves adding a top, side and bottom graphic image to various divs surrounding this page. Test first in IE (ubiquity compels), then Opera: all looks great. Firefox has a rather strange bit of white overwriting part of the right hand shadow.

I rebuilt a test page one element at a time until I found the offending item. Unfortunately I was no specific tag or malformed piece of css or code. Once the length of the page passed a certain mark the white block appeared and increased in height as the page length increased!

The solution? Having spent so much time finding the problem I had no heart for trying to find out why Firefox does this. Instead I’ve reduced the length of the home page – the only offending item.

As I result I’ve also decided to implement an archives page rather than let users browse from the home page.

Good web design

Try googling for good web design and take a look at the folks that are setting themselves up as authorities on this subject. I know that content is more important than style, but content is only readable if it is laid out correctly. Try reading, for example a manuscript of part of the New Testament. Originally it would have been written without any punctuation or spaces between words. Words that didn’t fit on a line just continued on the next one – no hyphens. It takes hard work to get the meaning from content alone. Bad design is design that makes extracting the content difficult – users just leave.

In today’s world this means that any plain text site will be passed over in favour of the same content placed in a pleasant setting. By that I mean sensible design that helps to make the content stand out: simple graphics that complement; colours slightly softer than plain black for text, whilst still having sufficient contrast to be easily read; well thought out text sizes for titles, headings, body text; a layout that presents the content and links in a meaningful manner, with main links easily viewable and clickable. The sum of the parts must be aesthetically pleasing if it is to allow the user to take in the content.

We deserve web sites purporting to pronounce judgement on good web design that are actually well designed themselves rather than the equally offputting poles of single column, large text size sites and slow loading graphic laden design disasters. Anyone who knows of any genuinely good sites relating to good web design, please get in touch.

PS. Even I have heard of www.alistapart.com

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