truelove: an orange tabby cat looking down, to the left, away from the camera (Default)
So I work at a software company. The software we make, we also support. I am one of the support monkeys.

We, the support monkeys, need to get into the databases of our clients on a regular basis and so I have acquired a working knowledge of SQL queries and update statements. This has in turn led to me acquiring a working knowledge of our databases's structure. Those of you who know programming probably can see where this is headed, generally.

For the rest of the class, first, you have to understand, the records we create in our software have two attributes. Call them zuzzles and miffle-snargs. Zuzzles can have associated to them a default miffle-snarg so that when you choose your zuzzle, the miffle-snarg is automatically filled in. The miffle-snarg can be changed, as it happens; the default is just, well, the default.

So here's the beautiful thing about our database. The table that contains all the zuzzles is named mifflesnarg. The table that contains the miffles-snargs is named trouslesnargs.

Yes, they really did call the zuzzle database table the *same thing* as an entirely different attribute which in turn is named something else in the database. And yes, the lack of consistency in pluralization I portrayed above is accurate.

You see why it is probably a good thing that I do not have access to a time machine. It would end poorly for our database's architect(s).
truelove: an orange tabby cat looking down, to the left, away from the camera (Default)
I can't actually tell how much my hatred of horizontal design online is an actual accessibility issue vs. how much this me being a grumpy, opinionated bitch with some idiosyncratic neurological quirks. But the fact remains that if you put your blog into a horizontal design, I will -- probably not read it. Not even if you've got an RSS feed.

An example of the kind of horizontal design I'm talking about can be found here. I followed a link declaring this to be an awesome blog by an awesome person, and I'm honestly sure that it is. I just can't deal with that design long enough to find out. Genuine accessibility issue or just my idiosyncrasies, it doesn't really matter: I'm out of there, either way. And that is why design still matters.

Technology continues to develop to allow the reader to have greater and greater control their environment and the display of information. But that first impression still matters because while RSS means that I can access your content without dealing with your design, I'm certainly not going to subscribe to your RSS feed until I poke around a bit and see if you really do interest me. And if your design means I don't feel comfortable going to that much trouble then, well, you've lost a reader.

And, frankly, if your design is unwelcoming enough to my aesthetic and quirks, then I'm probably going be ill-disposed towards you, anyway.

So, dear reader, I ask you: what's your philosophy on webdesign? What do you think violates all good sense? What rules do you hold dear?

Mine are pretty simple: don't, for the love of little green apples, bring a print aesthetic onto the computer screen. Keep it simple, stupid. Keep the colour contrast high and the kibble low (kibble includes fonts, colours, pretty pictures and other shiny). Remember what your content is. (In most cases it's text. Do not attempt to deliver text in a graphical, shiny environment because it will just be fucking annoying.)

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