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SpaceGirl
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      07-30-2005
Andy Dingley wrote:
> On Fri, 29 Jul 2005 08:09:56 +0100, Toby Inkster
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>"if Macromedia were, in the next version, going to remove the
>>visual editor or the code editor from the product, which would go?"

>
>
> Obviously the code editor would go.
>
> - Dreamweaver is sold to those who think that visual design interfaces
> are the way to work.


And they aren't? Are fab web sites about great code, or are they about
user experience? I would think code-only environments would lead to less
experimentation but better code. Visual environments lead to more open
ended "just try that out" design?

I think given the orginal question code view would go, but then, it's
not a realistic question. Macromedia have too much invested in various
languages to cut themselves out of that market. I think the question was
flawed, as it's not going to happen.

> - Dreamweaver is a poor code edtor in comparison to the other, far
> chaper, products.


I dont think so. I think the code editor is pretty good, even against
the likes of Eclipse. You get all that code completion stuff and auto
tags, and I've trained my DW with lots of code snippits and stuff.

> As the ultimate purpose of Dreamweaver is to sell Dreamweaver, not to
> build sites, then the makers would obviously have to play to their
> perceived strengths, not their actual performance.


I'm not 100% sure that's true, as DW is part of a who suite of
interlocking programs. DW should make it easier to use a lot of web
tools, which would perhaps encourage you to buy lots of Macromedia
(Adobe) products.

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SpaceGirl
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      07-30-2005
Toby Inkster wrote:
> SpaceGirl wrote:
>
>
>>Seeing as both parts equally add to the design process, isn't that
>>question daft?

>
>
> It's a hypothetical question. The answers to such a question, although
> they are rarely directly useful, often reveal a lot about the world.
>


Not to mention the person asking the question

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Andy Dingley
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      07-30-2005
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 09:43:15 +0100, SpaceGirl
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> - Dreamweaver is sold to those who think that visual design interfaces
>> are the way to work.

>
>And they aren't?


In 2005, the Web is not a visual medium.

Now the perception of "the web" is obviously visual, but this is a
second-hand perception of it. You can't see the Web, the HTML and HTTP
that is the underlying commonality between site and browser, and more
importantly this HTML can't directly control what your users see. "The
web" and the Web are separated by the user's browsing device. One of
today's most interesting issues is the widespread range of these devices
and their different capabilities.

For today's web user-space, the important issue isn't "what it looks
like" - as this can only ever be a single snapshot of one particular
rendering for one user. The real issue is how robust the block of code
is, so that when it arrives on this variety of user devices it gives a
good range of approximations to our idealised visual look.

We know that controlling the direct visual appearance of the web is a
non-starter. We tried in recent years, with pixel-sized positioning and
with Flash. On the whole it just doesn't work. Adapting between 800 and
1200 wide screens is one thing, particularly when you're a high-res
image viewer, but try extending this to a train-times site viewable from
office desktop or mobile phone - the range of device capabilities is
simply too broad to ever have an _appropriate_ visual design that suits
all of them.

Secondly the ideal visual design may vary between users. Do I want as
much information on my screen as possible, or do I wish to enlarge the
text so that I can read it ? Does that eye-catching button ad make me
want to buy, or make me want to scream?

"Visual design" is a compromise. It's a compromise between forcing
exact pixel compliance onto us and accepting that a single
pixel-compliant view isn't even appropriate, let alone achievable. It's
just not a good thing in usable design to take the view "You must view
this page exactly as my image said you would", even if it were
achievable. In a world where pixel compliance is a fools' errand anyway,
the best results (as happiest users over all their devices) are achieved
by thinking of the code output and its _potential_ renderings as the
designer's target, rather than this single snapshot in one situation.

Doing web design is too often done by taking a Photoshop dump of one
screen image, then replicating in HTML. This is like choosing a pet by
looking in a taxidermist's window and seeing what they look like when
stuffed, immobile and squashed flat.


>Are fab web sites about great code, or are they about
>user experience?


Any time beyond a second visit, they're about content.

The "web site" is dead (and good riddance). There's nothing cool about
the web any more, there's no novelty to it. You can't have a viable site
whose biggest selling point is the fact that "it's a site". It has to
_do_ something, tell you something, sell you something. Visiting web
sites "because they're cool" is like going to shopping malls to look at
the architecture.

Shopping malls are a good analogy. You visit a mall to buy something.
Your teenage daughters might visit it to hang out with their friends.
You'll choose one over another because the floors are cleaner, or the
lighting brighter, or the parking is easier, but fundamentally it's
about shopping. You might drink coffee there too and you might choose
one over another for a whole range of reasons, but without there being
some shopping to be had, then you won't bother going at all.


>Visual environments lead to more open ended "just try that out" design?


And for much the same reasons, 1999s growth in personal grooming
products led to an unfortunate experimentation in Nathan Barley beards
and the Hoxton Fin.

 
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SpaceGirl
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      07-30-2005
Andy Dingley wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 09:43:15 +0100, SpaceGirl
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>> - Dreamweaver is sold to those who think that visual design interfaces
>>>are the way to work.

>>
>>And they aren't?

>
>
> In 2005, the Web is not a visual medium.


Yeah RIGHT. Rubbish

Not JUST a visual medium. I'll give you that.

>
> Now the perception of "the web" is obviously visual, but this is a
> second-hand perception of it. You can't see the Web, the HTML and HTTP
> that is the underlying commonality between site and browser, and more
> importantly this HTML can't directly control what your users see. "The
> web" and the Web are separated by the user's browsing device. One of
> today's most interesting issues is the widespread range of these devices
> and their different capabilities.


You're playing with semantics. The web (to most people) is web pages.
They don't give a **** about the underlying technologys (ie, the
Internet, the protocols, html etc etc)

>
> For today's web user-space, the important issue isn't "what it looks
> like"


Yes it is. Always has been and always will be. What something looks like
is more and more important - and quite often even at the cost of
functionality. I'm not saying it's *right*, but it's what appeals to
people. Given there are 1000 sites selling exactly the same thing as
perhaps your site, which is the one that sells the best? The one that
has best functionality? The one that has best looks? The one that plays
on brands used in different media? Think about it, if Coke had a plain
web site with no branding on it at all, do you think it would be as
popular as say the Pepsi site?

Image and brand in ALL forms of communication are critical. Often it's
more than about what you say, it's about your image, the experience your
site or product offers the user.

A user might not think the care about the way something looks, but we
all do, in every walk of life. That's why some people drink Coke instead
of Pepsi or some generic cola. It's nothing to do with the physical product.

Even if you choose to ignore these high-end brand things, the "look and
feel" of any web site has a massive effect on your user, and the
perception of your product/company that you give the user when they
visit your site.

> - as this can only ever be a single snapshot of one particular
> rendering for one user.


No - this is why you design for multiple channels. This is why trying to
make one site work for everyone doesn't actually work at all. You end up
producing something that is sub-par for everyone, rather than providing
a streamlined experience for specific types of users. Yes, your PRODUCT
should be accessible, but the way you present this SHOULD be different
for diffent mediums if you want to get the very best from your web
investment. Maybe it's a mistake in a way a lot of designers look at how
web UI's are built; a text browser is a different medium than a rich
media browser. Trying to lump one design to meet both mediums is likely
to result in neither working as well as they could or should.

> The real issue is how robust the block of code
> is, so that when it arrives on this variety of user devices it gives a
> good range of approximations to our idealised visual look.


No it's not. It's about the end users experience, which covers part of
what you are saying.

> We know that controlling the direct visual appearance of the web is a
> non-starter.


You're right and wrong at the same time Yes, web techologies (mostly)
can only suggest the end result (and for most people your suggestion is
what they get). But this does not good negate design. Who said good
design couldn't be flexible? Nothing in DW UI forces inflexible design.

> We tried in recent years, with pixel-sized positioning and
> with Flash. On the whole it just doesn't work.


Yes it does. There are tens of thousands of Flash sites that work
perfectly, that are popular and profitable.

> Adapting between 800 and
> 1200 wide screens is one thing, particularly when you're a high-res
> image viewer, but try extending this to a train-times site viewable from
> office desktop or mobile phone - the range of device capabilities is
> simply too broad to ever have an _appropriate_ visual design that suits
> all of them.


Which goes back to my other point. Why WOULD you try and produce a
single page that works at 160x200 (my cell phone) and 1600x1200 (my
desktop). Our logo wouldn't even fit in that. There are different
physical medium, and it's insane to go down that route. You provide
different channels for different mediums. One of our sites is almost
exclusively Flash, and it is very popular. It contains lots of video and
branding not possible on smaller devices. So we also provide a simple
version ("low" version) for older browsers and narrow band users, and an
XML (RSS) feed. The simple version fits fine on a cell phone, and the
RSS feed works on almost anything. By doing this not only are we able to
push specific content to mobile devices (better market targeting,
streamlined experience for different physical platforms), we were able
to do this with almost no aditional coding (thanks to CSS, XHTML and
database driven content).

> Secondly the ideal visual design may vary between users. Do I want as
> much information on my screen as possible, or do I wish to enlarge the
> text so that I can read it ?


You cannot generalise, so it very much depends on your target audience.

>Does that eye-catching button ad make me
> want to buy, or make me want to scream?


Which is exactly why visual design is so very important.

> "Visual design" is a compromise.


All design is.

> It's a compromise between forcing
> exact pixel compliance onto us and accepting that a single
> pixel-compliant view isn't even appropriate, let alone achievable.


Except that it is appropriate, and very achievable, for the vast
majority of users.

> It's
> just not a good thing in usable design to take the view "You must view
> this page exactly as my image said you would", even if it were
> achievable.


If that's what is needed by your audience/clients/customers then there
are way to do it - for better or worse. I'll go either way when it comes
to "fixed" designs, and I always make it clear to clients that not all
designs will appear exactly the same on all machines.

> In a world where pixel compliance is a fools' errand anyway,


Your world. Not the real one. You forget that the Internet is not driven
by nerds and HTML-monkeys. It's driven by consumers. They do care that
things look "right".

It'll be interesting next year to see how things will change when IE
gains Operas' window scaling, and the whole of Windows itself gains
window scaling. Suddenly web sites can be zoomed in and out and it's
totally irrelevant what you do on your page.

> the best results (as happiest users over all their devices) are achieved
> by thinking of the code output and its _potential_ renderings as the
> designer's target, rather than this single snapshot in one situation.


No, not at all. The code has nothing to do with anything. You think
anyone cares what hammer was used to build their apartment?

> Doing web design is too often done by taking a Photoshop dump of one
> screen image, then replicating in HTML.


There's nothing wrong with that if done with some intelligence. If your
particular market demands that, then that's what you give them.

> This is like choosing a pet by
> looking in a taxidermist's window and seeing what they look like when
> stuffed, immobile and squashed flat.


Hehhehe.

>>Are fab web sites about great code, or are they about
>>user experience?

>
> Any time beyond a second visit, they're about content.


Not at all. Are you suggesting you provide a text only version of your
site on a users second visit?

> The "web site" is dead (and good riddance). There's nothing cool about
> the web any more, there's no novelty to it. You can't have a viable site
> whose biggest selling point is the fact that "it's a site". It has to
> _do_ something, tell you something, sell you something. Visiting web
> sites "because they're cool" is like going to shopping malls to look at
> the architecture.


Web sites aren't dead. They've just become "more". Now they maybe
applications, movie theaters, galleries, games. Each of these have
different designs that are more or less applicable, fixed or flexible,
Flash or text. You build what is most appropriate for the audience.

There's nothing to stop "cool" also being functional. The idea is to
find a good balance between the two.

> Shopping malls are a good analogy. You visit a mall to buy something.
> Your teenage daughters might visit it to hang out with their friends.
> You'll choose one over another because the floors are cleaner, or the
> lighting brighter, or the parking is easier, but fundamentally it's
> about shopping. You might drink coffee there too and you might choose


Yes. And if the shop down the road has cleaner floors, nicer colours, a
"feel" that you can relate or resonates psychologically, you'll go there
instead. It's not even an active processes - psychology is so important
when it comes to design. More and more so online.

> one over another for a whole range of reasons, but without there being
> some shopping to be had, then you won't bother going at all.
>
>
>
>>Visual environments lead to more open ended "just try that out" design?

>
>
> And for much the same reasons, 1999s growth in personal grooming
> products led to an unfortunate experimentation in Nathan Barley beards
> and the Hoxton Fin.


LOL


--


x theSpaceGirl (miranda)

# lead designer @ http://www.dhnewmedia.com #
# remove NO SPAM to email, or use form on website #
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Andy Dingley
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      07-30-2005
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 16:08:05 +0100, SpaceGirl
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Yeah RIGHT. Rubbish


Typical bloody usenet deconstructivist sophist. Too quick to pick holes
in a line-by-line critique of the text and too stupid to understand the
underlying point.

 
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Neredbojias
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      07-30-2005
With neither quill nor qualm, Andy Dingley quothed:

> On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 16:08:05 +0100, SpaceGirl
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
> >Yeah RIGHT. Rubbish

>
> Typical bloody usenet deconstructivist sophist. Too quick to pick holes
> in a line-by-line critique of the text and too stupid to understand the
> underlying point.


Or...perhaps she just disagrees with you. Women are quite disagreeable,
you know.

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SpaceGirl
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      07-30-2005
Andy Dingley wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 16:08:05 +0100, SpaceGirl
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>Yeah RIGHT. Rubbish

>
>
> Typical bloody usenet deconstructivist sophist. Too quick to pick holes
> in a line-by-line critique of the text and too stupid to understand the
> underlying point.
>


Aren't you guilty of this? I replied to all your points, which justified
that paragraph. But instead of replying point by point you came back
with this! Hypocritical or what!



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x theSpaceGirl (miranda)

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Andy Dingley
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      07-31-2005
On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 14:21:00 -0700, Neredbojias
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Or...perhaps she just disagrees with you.


No, she didn't even bother reading with sufficient attention to
recognise what she was disagreeing with.
 
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SpaceGirl
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      07-31-2005
Andy Dingley wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Jul 2005 14:21:00 -0700, Neredbojias
> <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>
>>Or...perhaps she just disagrees with you.

>
>
> No, she didn't even bother reading with sufficient attention to
> recognise what she was disagreeing with.


Excuse me? Did you bother reading my reply at all, or did you just
killfile me.

Tosser.



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