Need someone to lead product or development at your software company? I lead product and engineering teams and I'm looking for my next opportunity. Check out my resume and get in touch.

The web isn't print

Freshness Warning
This article is over 17 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

only their customer table doesn’t separate first and last names, and next year when someone has to merge the tables they can’t figure out how to split first and last names after the fact, and eventually your system starts addressing letters to "Mr. Jr."

Painless Data Models

Okay article, lousy formatting. A two column layout is a good way to create shorter line lengths and make things easier to read, and I’m sure the layout looks great on the designer’s 21-inch monitor, but here on my 15-inch laptop screen, the page doesn’t all fit on one screen. After reading one column to the bottom of the page, I have to scroll back to the top of the page to start the next column. Scrolling that way breaks the flow of the text.

Print designers, think of it this way. Imagine laying out a block of text in horizontal columns instead of vertical. The first column spans two pages, and the reader has to turn the page to finish it. The next column starts back on page one, forcing the reader to turn back to where they started in order to continue reading. Turning from page one to two as you read is a completely natural action. Turning from page two back to page one isn’t. It interrupts the reader as they read. It makes them think about what they are doing instead of what they are reading.

I’ve said it before. The web isn’t print. Learn to embrace the medium. Design print pieces in a way that uses the advantages and downplays the limitations of the printed page. Design Web sites to use features that are unique to the Web, not to showcase your print design skils.

Trackback from Scott's place
April 3, 2003 3:46 PM

Write for the medium: web != paper

Excerpt: You often need to think differently when writing for the web. Paragraphs should be shorter. Hell, whole articles should be. Failing that, give people an abstract first and an option to continue reading (if they get bored and don't bother,...


Your comments:

Text only, no HTML. URLs will automatically be converted to links. Your email address is required, but it will not be displayed on the site.

Name:

Not your company or your SEO link. Comments without a real name will be deleted as spam.

Email: (not displayed)

If you don't feel comfortable giving me your real email address, don't expect me to feel comfortable publishing your comment.

Website (optional):

Recently Written

A framework for onboarding new employees (May 15)
There’s no single good way to onboard an employee that works for every role. Here's a framework for creating a process that you can adapt to each situation.
TV hosts as a guide for software managers (May 10)
Software managers can learn a lot from journalists or late night TV hosts and how they interview people.
The Improvement Flywheel (Apr 29)
An incredible flywheel for the improvement of a development team. Fix a few things, and everything starts getting better.
Managers and technical ability (Dec 26)
In technical fields, the closer you are to the actual work being done, the closer your skills need to resemble those of the people doing the work.
Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams (Sep 17)
Whatever you call it, the symptom is that you're measuring your progress by how much you build and deliver instead of measuring success by the amount of customer value you create.
Evaluative and generative product development (Aug 30)
Customers never even talk to the companies that don't fit their needs at all. If the only product ideas you're considering are those that meet the needs of your current customers, then you're only going to find new customers that look exactly like your current customers.
Product Manager Career Ladder (Aug 19)
What are the steps along the product management career path?
Building the Customer-Informed Product (Aug 15)
Strong products aren't composed of a list of features dictated by customers. They are guided by strong visions, and the execution of that vision is the primary focus of product development.

Older...

What I'm Reading

Contact

Adam Kalsey

+1 916 600 2497

Resume

Public Key

© 1999-2020 Adam Kalsey.