RE: Netscape, HTML, and Designers

Wed, 19 Oct 1994 00:55:40 +0100

>From: CONNOLLY @ SMTP (Mark Connolly) {}
>Date: Tuesday, October 18, 1994 4:42PM
>I'd like to make a few comment from this graphic designer's perspective.
>I understand and appreciate that HTML is intended for _logical structure_
>markup. It seems to me, though, that more and more Web sites are being set
>up as if HTML were being used to do _page layout_ markup. As a designer,
>the latter is how I'm accustomed to presenting information on a printed
>page, and I'm sure many other designers would take the same approach.

The problem, as I see it, is that companies are bringing in (or turning to)
page_designers for web documents. Its perhaps unfortunate that the term
'page' was used to describe the basic unit of web 'deliverable'. It really
isn't a 'page' as the layout folks understand the term - a very static piece
of paper which will always have the same size and structure, appear in the
same colors, fonts, etc. There's a new paradigm, a dynamic page,
configurable by the user for his convenience. Imagine, for a moment, that
you can push a button, and your Wall Stret Journal is now a tabloid, for
easier reading on the subway. Or your Reader's Digest is now 11 X 14, with
bigger fonts because your eyes don't work as well as they did 20 years ago.

There's no reason why the *concept* can't be delivered so that the emphasis,
flow and _style_ were still present, even on a dynamic page. But the
designer needs to re-think the design.

Companies that make the paradigm shift will gain the gratitude (and
business) of the public; those that don't, won't. Very similar to the
automobile business during the seventies, when the Japanese gave the
consumer the product that the public wanted, while Detroit still tried to do
it "the way its always been done".