But I believe that websites should trim down when all or nearly all of the users who visit the site do not log into the site. These are browsing-only users or readers who should not be bludgeoned with 5 to 10 megabytes or more of bloatware when accessing a single web page.
But many of those websites have "stakeholders" who love to use "analytics" in an attempt to "monetize" their content, instead of prioritizing on designing with empathy for their readers. Maybe respecting the readers by creating a comfortable web-reading experience could lead to more traffic and more revenue, depending upon the business model.
The business model that relies on obnoxious advertising bloatware is probably unsuccessful. I think that more media orgs, especially local newspapers, should create clean, simple, fast-loading websites and charge a fee to read it.
It's obvious that many publishers, website owners, designers, and developers do not care about the people visiting their websites.
Designers with personal sites should experiment with new layout models when they can.
Many people who’ve visited this site since the redesign have commented on the big type. It’s hard to miss. After all, words are practically the only feature I haven’t removed.
This redesign is a response to ebooks, to web type, to mobile, and to wonderful applications like Instapaper and Readability that address the problem of most websites’ pointlessly cluttered interfaces and content-hostile text layouts by actually removing the designer from the equation.
That’s not all these apps do, but it’s one benefit of using them, and it indicates how pathetic much of our web design is when our visitors increasingly turn to third party applications simply to read our sites’ content. It also suggests that those who don’t design for readers might soon not be designing for anyone.
This redesign is deliberately over the top, but new ideas often exaggerate to make a point. It’s over the top but not unusable nor, in my opinion, unbeautiful. How can passages set in Georgia and headlines in Franklin be anything but beautiful? I love seeing my words this big. It encourages me to write better and more often.
We can’t keep designing as we used to if we want people to engage with our content. We can’t keep charging for ads that our layouts train readers to ignore. We can’t focus so much on technology that we forget the web is often, and quite gloriously, a transaction between reader and writer.
I don’t think you will see much type quite this big but I do think you will see more single-column sites with bigger type coming soon to a desktop and device near you. For a certain kind of content, bigger type and a simpler layout just make sense, regardless of screen size.
In today’s monitors and operating systems, yesterday’s classic web fonts—the ones that come with most everyone’s computer—can look pretty danged gorgeous at large sizes. Try tired old Times New Roman. You might be surprised.
The fonts that are most safe to use are:
Arial / Helvetica
Times New Roman / Times
Courier New / Courier
Other options that usually work cross-platform are:
Fonts that work on Windows and MacOS but not Unix+X are:
Comic Sans MS
On my Ubuntu Linux desktop computer, I had to install a font package to get Verdana to function.
February 2017 arstechnica.co.uk - Now sites can fingerprint you online even when you use multiple browsers
Related Hacker News thread
HN comment with my emphasis added:
These are my thoughts (as a webdeveloper):
Cool-looking website? The word "cool" does not mean "useful". If the site promotes a movie or a video game or artwork of some kind, then a cool-looking website would make sense.
But if the site contains mainly text, and if readers access the site mainly to increase knowledge about a subject, then in my opinion, the site needs to lean more toward utility than cool-looking. Is Wikipedia cool-looking? Could be. Maybe it's all in the eye of the beholder. But I consider Wikipedia to be more of a utility than art.
HN comment that was a reply to the above HN comment:
When I work in my small, urban backyard garden, I dig with my hands or a small shovel. I don't need a backhoe. But a construction company that needs to dig the foundation for a home should probably use a backhoe or something similar and not a small hand shovel.
Another HN comment:
HN comment that exemplifies the binary aspect of the debate:
Given that popular uses for the Web today include social networking, e-commerce, web apps, and online access to services like banking, I think the idea that sites should just display static information and should work better without JS and cookies is at least a decade out of date. Pushing for a very limited web is a battle that was lost long ago.
I wish people would qualify the discussion between logged-in, interactive web app sites, like banking, and text-heavy, browsing-only websites, such as newspapers and blogs.
At least that HN commenter finished with:
What needs to stop is the idea that just because JS is useful for interactive aspects of sites, it should also provide access by default to 1,945,255 other features that 99.9999% of sites have no legitimate use for.
That's qualifying the discussion.
But another HN commenter fails to understand the difference:
When geeks can understand the difference, then maybe things will improve.
Thus far in that HN thread, nobody mentioned the GNU IceCat web browser that is a modified Firefox with the following defaults:
The GNU IceCat web browser protects your freedom and your privacy!
- Block privacy trackers
- Request pages in English
- Use system fonts