by "The Wise One!!!" <cardpro(at)>

 Date:  Mon, 3 Aug 1998 17:11:12 -0500
 To:  "Craig T. Harding" <guide(at)>,
"Webmaster" <webmaster(at)>
 Cc:  "Critique List" <hwg-critique(at)>
 In-Reply-To:  ao
  todo: View Thread, Original
> 1. For starters, as others have mentioned, your site gets the horrid
> horizontal scroll at 640x480. This is not something that a professional
> accepts as a design criterion.

I submit that professionals may disagree on this point. It's kinda like
asking a room full of French chefs to agree on the best recipe or
preparation for Cock Au Vin. To each his own (and with 800x600 now the
defacto standard, I say why punish the majority?)

> A professional steps out of the
> constraints of "MS Frontpage" using their knowledge of HTML, designs for
> all resolutions.

This is in no way a constraint of MS Front Page. Front Page will design for
any resolution you choose to set up for.

> I noticed that from page to page at different
> resolutions, your site either blows out at high res or side scrolls at
> low res. Consider fixing this and not just warning the viewer with a
> disclaimer. Nobody adjusts to fit the site.

Sure they do. All the time.

> The site designer is
> supposed to be the professional and is expected to adjust to fit the
> viewer (all possible viewers).

This is an impossibility. All attempts at doing so result in compromise.
(And this is from someone that attempts to do so. You won't see horizontal
scroll bars on my sites at 640x480...nor will you see exactly what others
see at 800x600.)

> 2. Your first page (index) was a whopping 123.7k of images and text.
> Most professional designers try to keep all pages under 50k with the
> first less. I actually attempt to keep it below 35k these days. Try
> using a quality image compression program.

Ah, we agree! I once had a client that wanted a background midi for her home
page where the midi was (by itself!) a whopping 64k! She personally didn't
mind the wait and it wasn't until the site had been up for a few months and
the new had worn off that I could talk her into dumping that little file!

> 3. Your site has no doctype. Proper HTML requires a doctype as well as
> proper validation.

Yep, it sure does! :)

> 4. I attempted validation of the code but your WYSIWYG editor generates
> a lot on extraneous code. I do actually believe in WYSIWYG editors, but
> the designer ought to be able to go in afterward and correct the coding
> mistakes, especially on their commercial site up for critique.

I have come to the view that "validation" is a highly over rated goal. I
have yet to see a large, successful, money making commercial site (,
yahoo, excite, msnbc, etc, etc,...) validate and yet all these sites seem to
be fully accessible.

I test my sites with 3.0 and up browsers and if they work, up they go.

Sometimes, for grins, I run 'em through validation.

The whole validation thing kinda reminds me of the "rules" we all learned in
college. What was that again? The Macmillan Standard Handbook (or something
like that?) Learn the rules and then read all the great authors that broke
'em all...

If you have a non-functional page, then validation may help find out why.
The validators themselves are buggy however.

> 5. I noticed in your Services page that you used MS Front Page themes
> style images to describe choices for your customers to view. I'm not
> sure about the copyright issues here, but would certainly either note
> the use of Front Page/Publisher or change it somewhat. I realize that
> the themes might actually be yours, it's just the possible implications
> and misunderstanding that might arise when you too closely copy other's
> work without notification.

Front Page Themes are free to use.

> 6. IMO, you use to many animation's. After a while it gets to be like
> blink tags. XARA's animator might be fun, but sometimes they need to be
> spread out more.

Again, we agree. Animation's are temptingly cool...until you have to wait
for 'em to download at 28.8. :)


> 9. I notice on the FAQ page references to exactness of code and image
> compression (speed of loading). Consider implementing these things.

It's called "marketing."

> 10. The extensive use of Front Page web extensions cause some problems
> in Netscape. Consider using non-browser specific editing of Front Page
> generated code.

Yepper's, NN doesn't do so well with Frontpage search bots and discussion
groups. Other than that...

> 11. I notice that you offer Web Hosting. I also noticed that your site
> is hosted at NETNATION.COM. IMO, it should be a little clearer, if you
> plan to sell hosting on a server in which you really don't own and are
> just re-selling. Or if you actually have a server, then why are you not
> hosted there?

Strongly disagree. If you are re-selling, the last thing in the world you
want to do is call attention to that fact beforehand. Unless of course you
don't actually want to sell anything.

> All in all, your site really isn't too bad.

Backhanded complement? ;)

> I enjoyed the background
> graphic and some of the others. It just needs some tweaking and
> adjusting to fit other browsers, resolutions and color depths. I would
> also ask you to consider losing the FP/MSIE specific code and consider
> proper validation. This is a design company site, after all.

Surprise! No comment! :)

> All this is just my opinion, and needs to be taken as such.

Ah, now this is refreshing! A person that realizes that their opinion is
just that! I congratulate you and sincerely hope that this condition is
highly contagious.


Alan S. Atwood

"Before the beginning of great brilliance,
     there must be chaos.
Before a brilliant person begins something great,
     they must look foolish to the crowd."
- The I Ching

HTML: hwg-critique mailing list archives, maintained by Webmaster @ IWA