Last week, while I was looking at some layouts for websites my students presented, it occurred to me that a layout for a webpage should be compared to a sculpture, and not to a painting. There is a very big difference between how you see a poster, or the cover of a book, and how you see a webpage. A poster is seen as a whole, and should have a single, striking composition. Whereas a webpage is viewed in stages, while scrolling. Which means that it doesn’t have one single composition. This also means that it’s much harder to make the layout of a webpage look balanced, wherever you are on a page.
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I call it blogging via e-mail. And it reminds me of spam. And I want the things I write to have a URL. I’m not a huge fan of e-mail newsletters. But it turns out not everybody dislikes them. So if you’re one of those, and you want to stay up to date about some of the things I do — all related to design, the web, education and random stuff, I won’t bore you too much with my private life — and if you don’t mind an occasional e-mail, you can join the 28 early adopters here.
But I don’t like email!
Van de week had ik een mooie discussie met een collega van mij over de navigatie van een website. We hadden het er over of we studenten die een hamburgermenu gebruiken moesten laten slagen voor een toets. Mijn collega vindt van niet. De navigatie, zo zegt hij, is essentieel voor de gebruikers en voor de eigenaar van de site. Dat is dus niet iets wat je mag verbergen. Sterker nog, je moet er voor zorgen dat de navigatie altijd goed zichtbaar is, op elk scherm direct toegankelijk. Óók op een klein scherm. Natuurlijk heeft mijn collega hier groot gelijk in. En tóch ben ik het ook met hem oneens.
I’m always amazed by the incredible amount of possibilities that SVG offers. So many things that I coulnd’t imagine I’d ever need are in there. But once I know they exist, I can make better stuff. Take for instance the
preserveAspectRatio attribute. I only knew its
none value, but it’s much more powerful than that. In this post Joni Trythall touches the surface of what’s possible with preserveAspectRatio. When you’re done reading his blog post you probably want to go ahead and read his Pocket Guide to Writing SVG as well.
Last week I showed my class a diagram that shows the difference between mixing colours with light, and mixing colours with paint. If you mix light, you work with red, blue and green, and when you mix them all together you get white. And of course, the absence of colour is black. Paint works differently. Here the primary colours are red, blue and yellow. And if you mix them, theoretically, you get black. And the absence of pigment results in white paint. This made me wonder, if Piet Mondriaan worked with light instead of with paint, what would his works look like?
I copied this service worker script and added it to my site. This means that when you’re offline you can still visit the pages you visited before — if you use a browser that supports Service Workers. I was really excited when I first tested it. It works! And five clicks later it felt completely normal. It occurred to me that yes sure, this is fantastic, but it shouldn’t be: this should be how the browser cache works. So I’m happy it can be done, but I’m not happy at all that I need to add a script to my site to do it.