This column was published in the Dutch, paper version of Web Designer Magazine. It’s in Dutch. Ik heb een nieuwe baan. Om die baan te kunnen uitvoeren heb ik een laptop nodig en gelukkig kreeg ik die van mijn nieuwe baas. Een prachtig glimmend ding, maar deze mooie laptop was te traag. Het was bijvoorbeeld niet echt mogelijk om twee browsers tegelijk te draaien, dan liep de boel vast. Ik moet dat soort dingen kunnen doen met mijn computer. Gelukkig had ik na een week een nieuwe, supersnelle laptop waarop ik mijn werk gewoon naar behoren kan doen. Ik ben natuurlijk een enorme mazzelpik; de meeste mensen hebben niet zo’n baas.Nee, inderdaad
A few years ago I created the wordpress templates for the first version of Minimalissimo, which was brilliant. Years and years ahead of its time. Maarten, the mastermind behind that site, asked me to fix the weird problem with paginated archive pages: If you scroll to the bottom of a blog, you often see a link to older posts. These pages are often numbered, like /page/1/, /page/2/, etc. The problem with these pages is that the content on these pages changes all the time. The oldest posts are always displayed on the page with the highest number (on this site, at the moment that’s number 12). This makes these pages completely useless. You can’t link to them because next week the content you’re referring to is probably gone. The numbering is the wrong way around.Well, why don’t you fix it?
Today I asked on Twitter
People with a retina screen: do you notice the difference between retina-optimised and normal images on the web?. Immediately people started answering that, sure, heck yes, absolutely, most noticeable with icons, they see the difference. Now I wasn’t really asking about icons because I notice this difference myself. So I rephrased my tweet to
during day to day surfing, do you notice the difference between retina-optimised and normal photos on the web?
I’ve been playing with some random stuff lately. I created billions and billions of random layouts, random rectangles, random triangles, random quadrilaterals, random ducks, random white images of random size, and random blobs. These are all generated images with random dimensions and random colours. Nothing interactive really, and not very dynamic either. I decided to create an animated blob. I wanted to learn how animations work in SVG (weird!), and I wanted to see what dynamic randomness looks like.Dynamic randomness sounds fantastic
How do you describe a colour? Some colours are easy. It might be clear that something is red, blue or yellow. But what do you call something between green and yellow? When is it green? When is it yellow? And how about saturation? When would you call something gray, and when can we say it has a hue? The same with darkness and lightness: There is a point when a color is perceived as white or black.But where is that point?
There are a few serious issues with the
rem unit. The main reason why I dislike the
rem unit is because pixels don’t belong on the web. Yes, that sounds weird, but let me explain. If you define font-sizes with pixels people who use certain browsers can’t increase their font-size. This conflicts with the idea that the user should be able to override styles with their own preferences. I think that idea is one of the things that makes the web such a wonderful place. That’s why I dislike pixels. But what does that have to do with the
This column was published in the Dutch, paper version of Web Designer Magazine. It’s in Dutch. Wie mijn columns het afgelopen jaar een beetje heeft gevolgd, weet dat ik de onbetrouwbare eigenschappen van het web nogal weet te waarderen. Ik heb het regelmatig gehad over het feit dat je geen controle hebt over hoe jouw creatie er uiteindelijk uit komt te zien; je weet niet hoe groot het scherm is van de gebruiker, hoe snel de internetverbinding, hoe snel het apparaat zelf is, hoe goed het beeldscherm, of hoe goed de browser. Al deze vreemde onzekerheden en beperkingen zorgen ervoor dat het web weird is. Het is bizar, maar juist ook erg tof om daarvoor te ontwerpen.Kan het misschien bizarder?
This week there was a very interesting, very off-topic discussion on my blog. I wrote a a little post about the classic articles for web professionals, and in it I wrote some poorly worded sentences that caused a few reactions. There was one comment by Gertjan, a visual designer, that struck me most, because I think it emphasises exactly the core of what I consider to be the problem with web design. He wrote:What?
This morning I had a little discussion with Mallory and Flurin Egger about working with people who are not as good as you are, and in particular, about working with designers and clients who care about unimportant stuff. Mallory gave some examples like
the designer takes a screenshot of the web page, measures text with straight ‘shop lines, requests fixes and
I think the designers I’ve worked for felt they were doing the top of their jobs when measuring px/color perfection. She gave some examples of terrible advice given by the best SEO guy in The Netherlands too. I always thought things were getting better, but it appears that’s not the case everywhere yet.
I’m not a specialist on payment flows, but I am lazy and I often buy stuff on the web. So I think I’m qualified to have an opinion about how a good check-out flow should work. I think the key to a good flow is filling out as few forms fields as possible. And once you’ve achieved that, remove even more form fields. My friend Peet Sneekes told me that Sugru has a
very enjoyable, smart, usable and all together lovely (mobile) ordering flow. I needed a fresh load of Sugru, so I tested the Sugru checkout flow with my iPod Touch.
Today I tweeted a link to a small presentation about the fact that on many devices you can’t see icon-fonts because
@font-face isn’t supported. I also tweeted
The fact that many people can’t see your icon-fonts, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them. Just make sure they still get the message and
It doesn’t have to be perfect. There’s no such thing as perfect on the web. Perfect only exists in theory. But then I thought about the meaning of perfect a little more, and I came to the conclusion that perfect does exist on the web. It just means something else than we’re used to.