Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ignorance of Typesetting on the Web

I'm rapidly becoming more than simply frustrated and annoyed.   Apparently web pages are now being designed by people that know nothing about typsetting and reading.

  • Columns of text are better narrow than wide.  Hasn't anyone ever read a newspaper!  There's a maximum width beyond which text should never go!  Check a typical novel in original book form, or nearly any book,  if this is confusing.
  • Serif fonts are better than sans serif.
  • Fonts shouldn't be too small.

I've been worried about the effects of stupid wide screens.  Wide screens are only good for two things.  (1)   Watching movies and (2)  if the screen is really, really big, you can work on things side by side.

Okay, I could compromise if web designers did the reasonable and correct thing:   Allow the web page to reformat if it's made narrower!!!!   Web pages have worked this way for ages but some people seem to want to force some minimum width.

The monitor I'm using right now is a 17-in CRT at 1024x768 resolution.  Everything is the perfect size for reading but more and more I encounter pages that won't narrow properly.  There's a scroll bar at the bottom and I have to scroll right and left to see all of it.

Honestly, I don't see how people that stretch a window of text out to the limits of their monitor with tiny text can find the beginning of the next line.  How do they do it?

Some sites with half a clue do format their text into columns within the page.  Some even supply a wonderful, refreshing bit of white space, which is like finding water in the desert.  But there still may be that annoying scroll bar at the bottom.

I do offer a huge Thanks!  to the page designers that do get all of this right.  To the rest, please fix your pages!


Yes, if you are reading this on my blog page, you've already probably pointed out that the fonts *are* sans serif.  It's a good point.  It's a default theme that I othewise like.  Maybe I'll take my own advice and change the face.

Post Postscript

I did.