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21 October 2016 @ 07:30 pm
“I’m suffering from design.”  
Technical discussion of how the Web is becoming unreadable
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Sue Burkemount_oregano on October 22nd, 2016 03:20 am (UTC)
Yes, gray type is evil.
Arlie Stephens: pic#6301806ertla on October 22nd, 2016 05:25 pm (UTC)
What people do to "improve" the appearance of their content is generally pretty awful. E.g. a game I play which is perfectly playable without sound - except that information about the game has been almost exclusively offered in the form of videos (no subtitles) for the past year or two. Fortunately I'm not deaf - I merely find videos annoying. But I imagine they've lost any deaf players they previously had.

For that matter, livejournal itself dates to a forgotten past - I can impose my preferred design choices (= style) on pages I read, and the proliferation of glaringly absurd colour choices long ago caused me to set this as my default. Html was originally designed to make this the norm - a page creator would specify things like "emphasis" and "heading", and the browser would interpret this according to its abilities and the user's instructions. So e.g, a colour blind person - or even a blind person - could "consume" the content. That's been "fixed" long ago, and there are precious few old fogey's (like me) whose pages don't use the ability to specifiy font, or colour, or resolution, thereby forcing potentially inappropriate choices on the reader.
Arlie Stephens: pic#6301806ertla on October 22nd, 2016 05:28 pm (UTC)
Hmm, one more thought. Perhaps the real reason for the hard to read presentation is to make the advertisements stand out even more? (Just guessing here; I installed adblock at least a decade ago, so rarely have to see the advertisements. But I long ago noticed that in audio media, the advertisements would frequently be louder than the program.
El Coyote Gordo: coy1supergee on October 22nd, 2016 06:09 pm (UTC)
50 years ago Tom Wolfe pointed out that the text in The New Yorker is designed to be a gray background for the ads.
Violsva: booksladyblank on October 22nd, 2016 06:40 pm (UTC)
If that is the reason (and I'd believe it), it's based on false premises: multiple studies show that users completely ignore most things on a webpage that aren't plain text.
et in Arcadia egoboo: Sacred Chaoapostle_of_eris on October 23rd, 2016 05:56 am (UTC)
I can tell you something else about the poorly produced sites; in their designs, the allocation of space on the screen tends to reflect the distribution of the political power controlling the site. Programmers have a great deal of control, so there are lots of fancy tricks employed... designers control a great deal, so there are elaborate page navigation systems, and elaborate buttons to click on. The result is that content winds up with only a tiny share of the screen, often only 20-30% of the bandwidth! The rest is computer or administrative debris, or over-produced, over-crafted buttons.
-- Edward Tufte
Marionweofodthignen on October 23rd, 2016 01:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think the designers would be surprised at the depth of feeling against their design choices. I'd personally add the preference for floaty stuff that gives no tactile feedback, the hiding of navigation information (I've used news websites where I couldn't find search), the vertigo-inducing bottomless scroll with roller-coaster resets so I have to get RSI constantly trying to go back to where I was looking at ... but perhaps most pertinent is the article you linked to long ago about how ads are now programmed so they suck up browser resources and one has to wait an appalling length of time to be able to read the page because all this shite is trying to load. Feh. If I weren't searching for Wikipedia references and following friends' links, I'd probably read only very few sites.