Re: textured backgrounds

Dave Hollander (
Fri, 20 Jan 95 17:14:35 EST

> I think we are in dangerous ideological territory, and I feel a bit
> schizophrenic about the issue myself.
> Is there a sensible middle ground that allows, ...

True, I have lots of conflicting ideas on this. If we look at the value
that this technique delivers in the print world the perhaps we can come
up with a technique suitable for the web.

I can see the following uses for background control:

1 - publishing entity identity: this is a "XYZ Inc." page

2 - content organization: this page is in the "Editorial" section, or
here is the "intro" portion of this page.

3 - local style sheet: just change the background image(s) and all
nodes have a new "local" feel.

Corporate identity programs are something most companies spend a
lot of money on. While I don't truly understand the value, it appears
that most companies, publishers, and Universities do. Banners are
just not effective enough for this.

Organizing and accessing the content of the web is truly the new frontier.
Most studies that I have seen praise the use of non-content design
elements to help reads quickly identfy where they are and how to
get recongize where on the page to look. Perhaps margin icons will
meet the need, but I suspect that usability studies will lead me
to want more.

Changing the background is a simple and effective method to customize
the look and feel of a page without jepordizing the actual content.
While I have not seen this done, I believe that it will help our
various country organizations particapate in our web efforts. It may
also be good for working with dynamic web nodes. Again, this could
be done for elements of the contents but would be better with more
impact and separation from the content as background would offer.

So, where is the middle ground; or perhaps more appropriate, what
techniques can the web support that provide these features? After
all the notes, I think that control of background should be in the
style sheet and subject to browser overrides.

Dave Hollander