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View Poll Results: Do you agree with Zeldman?

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  • Agree

    10 62.50%
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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    agree or disagree with zeldman?

    I'm wondering how many agree with Zeldman's philosophy of webdesign? If you unfamiliar with it, look at his design site A List Apart with IE 5+ or NS 6+ and then look at it with NS 4+.

    How many are designing this way? Has anyone dropped tables 100% on any new designs? Has there been any fallout to going this route?

    I find this approach really intriguing and would love to go this route. I have some users that visit my sites with anything from NS2 to IE 3 & 4. I'm sure they don't have a good experience. But I know my sites function in NS 4+ fine. I'm not sure if I'm ready to give them less of an experience yet.

    Just wanted to know everyone's thoughts...

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    1. People don't embrace change without a reason
    2. Why do 5 times the programming to display the same info?
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Not sure I follow, which side are you taking?

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Sorry. I fully believe that anything which prohibits the expansion of the sharing of knowledge is bad for the web as a whole.

    However, if we don't give these users a reason to upgrade (they may not even know what upgrading is), they probably won't.

    So, I think Zeldman is wrong on this one (in my opinion), even though I generally agree with most of his theories
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  5. #5
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    I agree with him to a certain extent I would love to drop tables for layout and only use CSS, but even in IE5+ and NS6 the support and implentation of various aspects of CSS is inconsistent and still needs workarounds.

    Also every single site I have ever seen designed with CSS only is very boxey (if thats a word?) in style, because with current CSS support even in the newer versions of browsers is far from complete, thus you are limited to this box approach, where as tables (admittedly with workarounds) enable you to create far more individual layouts.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    The idea of s TABLE-less layout is appealing but until HTML can allow us the abilities of a page layout program (Quark, InDesign) then TABLEs are the way to go. I for one would LOVE to be able to tell HTML to wrap text around an image using the white space in the image as the margin. You can fiddle with your code to get this effect now but wouldn't it be great if you could just tell HTML to do that?
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Of course the ideal is great, I'd love to just be able to "Collect for Output" for web from Quark
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  8. #8
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    I don't think I have ever done a page without tables. Well not that I can remember at least.
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard creole's Avatar
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    Then you suck



    A real designer could create the Mona Lisa from just some ascii characters and a PRE tag set.

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  10. #10
    SitePoint Guru nagrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jeremy W.
    I'd love to just be able to "Collect for Output" for web from Quark
    HAHA! I'd love to be able to 'Collect for Output' and actually have everything the printer needs! (like fonts!)

    I must say tables are for the real world still, zeldman's site is for web designers, who always have current browsers.

    There's also the philosophy that we should all always use the newest standards, or they'll never be realities (the O-Reilly 'Learning XML' book says this over and over) but unfortunately it isn't the reality of dealing with clients who barely know how to turn on their computers.

    Just last year, I had a client who had a PowerMac running AOL 3.0!!!

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Jeremy W.'s Avatar
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    Actually, Collect 4 Output does include fonts on teh Mac. Including fonts only takes about 5 minutes anyways, not that much of a biggie considering how much time print work takes anyways
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  12. #12
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    Originally posted by creole
    Then you suck



    A real designer could create the Mona Lisa from just some ascii characters and a PRE tag set.

    Heh I can never figure ascii out.
    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

  13. #13
    Not a post-script error?!! guysmy's Avatar
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    Question

    The web? I thought Zeldman was an ad guy, creative director to be exact or is that the title he gave him self after getting sick of the term copywriter?

    You have to see his ad graveyard, it's the best.
    http://www.zeldman.com/adgraveyard/

  14. #14
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    Agree

    But it is not all or nothing.

    I like table-less design for the presentation of information. I think it works better for that purpose.

    for other purposes, selling products for instance, tables work a lot better. (the old lowest common denominator thing.)

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict five40's Avatar
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    I agree. (BTW, why do I get invalid session error every time I try to vote ??) And this week's edition of
    A List Apart has an article about backward compatability issues. What is more important, the looks of the site or that you get the information you want ? I'm moving towards CSS-only designs all the time.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast Caramel_Cortex's Avatar
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    Cool user understanding: perception=reality

    I don't think any of us have to try too hard to figure out what usually happens when a user comes upon a site their browser can't accomodate: they blame any problems on the site.

    Nifty little redirect messages to the contrary will summarily be ignored by almost all users.

    We're not going to see much of a leap in better browsers until people outright replace their home computers, getting more recent browsers by default.

    Later!
    Last edited by Caramel_Cortex; Dec 8, 2001 at 17:47.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Re: agree or disagree with zeldman?

    Originally posted by bbolte
    I have some users that visit my sites with anything from NS2 to IE 3 & 4. I'm sure they don't have a good experience. But I know my sites function in NS 4+ fine. I'm not sure if I'm ready to give them less of an experience yet.
    How is it any "less of an experience?" Your site will load faster, content will be center stage, and software (browsers, assistive technologies, and search engines) will have an easer time understating the code. Aren't the first two the two things that consistently rank highest with users? Isn't the last one high on a designer's list, too?

    I don't see it as giving your users a lesser experience, unlike writing for 4.0 browsers. With the 4.0 browsers, we had to design pages that were completely and utterly inaccessible to the large majority of previous and existing browsers. With standards, everyone can get something comprehensible, but that isn't so with 4.0. Yet, I don't remember the same reluctance to support all their proprietary "innovations" as there is with these open standards.

    I wonder how much of the fear that users will abandon our sites because they don't "work" is real and how much of it is imagined. You probably can guess where I stand (duh! read what I wrote), but what do you think?

    Originally posted by bagpuss
    Also every single site I have ever seen designed with CSS only is very boxey (if thats a word?) in style, because with current CSS support even in the newer versions of browsers is far from complete, thus you are limited to this box approach, where as tables (admittedly with workarounds) enable you to create far more individual layouts.
    O.K. this one annoyed me. :-p Weren't the early designs with tables boxy? Aren't <table>'s inherently just side-by-side boxes? I distinctly remember the cool thing with early <table> designs was to put massive borders (i.e. <hyperbole>border="1000"</hyperbole>) abound the edges! The reason CSS layouts look boxy is not the technology, but the fact that CSS hasn't been fully explored, in my opinion. So explore it! :-)

    ~~That's My 2

  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict five40's Avatar
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    Re: Re: agree or disagree with zeldman?

    Originally posted by Ian Glass
    The reason CSS layouts look boxy is not the technology, but the fact that CSS hasn't been fully explored, in my opinion. So explore it! :-)

    ~~That's My 2
    I agree. People are just starting to explore what the technology has to offer and I think it's much much more than what HTML can give us today.
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Re: Re: agree or disagree with zeldman?

    I don't see it as giving your users a lesser experience, unlike writing for 4.0 browsers. With the 4.0 browsers, we had to design pages that were completely and utterly inaccessible to the large majority of previous and existing browsers. With standards, everyone can get something comprehensible, but that isn't so with 4.0. Yet, I don't remember the same reluctance to support all their proprietary "innovations" as there is with these open standards.

    O.K. this one annoyed me. :-p Weren't the early designs with tables boxy? Aren't <table>'s inherently just side-by-side boxes? I distinctly remember the cool thing with early <table> designs was to put massive borders (i.e. <hyperbole>border="1000"</hyperbole>) abound the edges! The reason CSS layouts look boxy is not the technology, but the fact that CSS hasn't been fully explored, in my opinion. So explore it! :-)
    That's something I need to keep in mind more, tend to get caught up in the design thing too much at times. But let me ask you this: how much do you think users care about design? Try to step out of the designer/developer mode and think like a customer. If you're going to a site using a 4 browser or below, would you be more likely to trust a site designed well with tables or a site that looks like A List Apart (ie: stripped down - content only - very 1995-96)?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Re: Re: Re: agree or disagree with zeldman?

    Originally posted by bbolte
    If you're going to a site using a 4 browser or below, would you be more likely to trust a site designed well with tables or a site that looks like A List Apart (ie: stripped down - content only - very 1995-96)?
    Good Question! But, how many people who have 4.0 browsers buy online (that's not a rhetorical question--I really don't know.)? My theory is that the people who are the most technological savvy (hence, they have current software) buy off the Internet, but I could be wrong.

    I also know, with some degree of certainty, that people who have to use striped-down browsers or assistive technologies are more loyal patrons of companies who accommodate them with easy to navigate and understand designs. It's often impossible to achieve this with <table>s for layout.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast Caramel_Cortex's Avatar
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    Cool Re: Re: Re: agree or disagree with zeldman?

    Originally posted by bbolte


    ...would you be more likely to trust a site designed well with tables or a site that looks like A List Apart (ie: stripped down - content only - very 1995-96)?
    From most users' perspectives, A List Apart viewed through a 4.x browser may not look as polished as other sites that design for the lowest common denominator, but here's the thing: the user won't know why and won't care.

    Users aren't designers. They don't care about our acronym soup! All they know is that the Web site does or doesn't "work".

    We're still in the dark before the dawn of truly user-friendly software that would, for example, auto-self-upgrade during downtime and then inform the user of the new features (in terms they'd understand!) when the app was started again.

    People can't see how their browsers are "breaking down" like they can see their car breaking down. Everything looks fine to them, but some of them there whaddya call 'em... Web sites are badly designed! Sigh...
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  22. #22
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I think in the end all a user is going to care about is content and ease of use. If a regular user finds a site that is old tabled design looking 95-96 with the best content and an excellent new age site with some weak content that doesn't quite work on his trusty old nn4.7 he will return to the ugly sites.

    I don't know the stats but eBay and Yahoo are two of the uglier sites on the net but also two of th most popular.

    I think the trick for now is to create content based sites with good design. (always the trick) but still keep it easy for people using 4.x browsers.
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  23. #23
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    ...but until HTML can allow us the abilities of a page layout program (Quark, InDesign) then TABLEs are the way to go. I for one would LOVE to be able to tell HTML to wrap text around an image using the white space in the image as the margin. You can fiddle with your code to get this effect now but wouldn't it be great if you could just tell HTML to do that?
    I don't think HTML is ever going to be used to do that. That's what CSS is for. (X)HTML for structure, CSS for layout. Isn't that just why CSS was created in the first place?

    I fully believe that anything which prohibits the expansion of the sharing of knowledge is bad for the web as a whole. --- So, I think Zeldman is wrong on this one (in my opinion), even though I generally agree with most of his theories.
    Does Zeldman's philosophy really "prohibit the expansion of the sharing of knowledge"? He's not actually blocking the users with older browsers, is he?

  24. #24
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Adenosine
    Does Zeldman's philosophy really "prohibit the expansion of the sharing of knowledge"? He's not actually blocking the users with older browsers, is he?
    Unlike Microsoft, who did block the vast majority of browsers out there from seeing it's MSN content!

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Adenosine
    Does Zeldman's philosophy really "prohibit the expansion of the sharing of knowledge"? He's not actually blocking the users with older browsers, is he?
    No, ALA doesn't block old browsers, just gives them a really crappy looking page. And that is my original question, how many are going this route?


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