Web Design, Tweaks and Better Business

SXSW Notes

Ah, be honest, I’d love to be there. But I’m no longer young and hip. Not that it matters, just, I don’t fit the demographic. Living in a trailer park downtown had its benefits, for sure: parking wasn’t an issue. Any discussion about design elements on web page has to echo back to my early experiences at SXSW. I stumbled through some rather dated material I had online, about design and usage, which lead to a site, which lead me on merry link frenzy wherein I landed on a web page with the similar motor, and the framework was simple: one column.

Yes, header a the top, and the required disclosures and various fineprint along the bottom, plus, of course, an author bio, as well as contact info. Squeezing all into a 500 pixel wide frame, though — with nothing else — looked rather tasty. Content speaks for itself.

Thinking while writing is problematic. I can conceptualize how to get down to most of a one-column look, but there’s extra stuff I need. I like the sparse look in a site, though. Obviously, I’ve admitted that before. Focus on writing. Or pictures, depending on the site’s content.

As I look at it, though, the single column with just minimal amount of administrative material tucked up in corner, plus, maybe, an ad for amazon, header and footer, and from I can glean, 15 point type against a 23 point “leading,” that should work.

“Leading.” Strange, an anachronistic term. The term refers to the space between the rows of lead type, used on printing presses. More “leading” means more white space. In the early word processor programs, I think it was called leading in one program I used. Term became line space, and that’s how it’s usually described. I still like the term leading, although, I never — ever — used a printing press with metal type.

From research and various threads online, Georgia/Times, at 14 points, with 23 point line spacing, for 500 px-wide column is perfect. That’s the goal, for now.

Next part of the question, what does the website look like on an iPhone?

In the past, this wasn’t much of a question, but now? Important to think along those lines. I’ve addressed this once before. The old site looked fine with its “not responsive but solid” skin. Rolled up perfectly in the first phone browsers.

I tend to shy away from apps for a website as the apps are crippled, with only some of the functions, and most of the apps run ads, or request money. So far, I’m leaving the site the way it is. I am looking at other delivery mechanisms, but nothing yet.

The design issue, after a tweak and blatant theft on my part, gave me the single file look I wanted, maybe.

I’ve used, switched around on a number of my “more experimental” sites, straight layout against a “responsive” theme, which, if I understand correctly, means there’s a slightly skewed version that rolls up on most portable screens, i.e., on an iPhone or Galaxy. The two most common.

Can’t speak to the Galaxy-Android issue, but the iPhone? I can check that right here. What happens with a “responsive” theme is the main content is right underneath the header/headline. The sidebar and footer stuff shows up last. How about that kind of priority for the main site, too?

Give that a spin. Make the regular site look just like a “responsive” site. One size can fit all?

About the author: Born and raised in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel, settled in a South Austin trailer park before trailer parks were cool. He now lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah Smith Mar 7, 2013 @ 10:40

    Yeah, I checked it out on my iPhone, as soon as I read this. It does come out in one column, main content first then sidebar/footer stuff. Very classy; your tweaking and twitching has paid off.

    Of course what I need now is an iPhone case with a magnifying glass built in, speaking of being no longer young and hip.

    After all these years, I still have one pair of hippie jeans left from the glory days, with embroidery down the legs. Old, soft, faded to light blue, but still serviceable. If it made any difference, I’d ask to be buried in them.

  • Kramer Wetzel Mar 7, 2013 @ 11:32

    Sneak Peak:
    First Beta test.

  • Kramer Wetzel Mar 7, 2013 @ 11:34

    I don’t think I’ve got much more than a few t-shirts that have survived. I’m hard on equipment, but you should be asked to be buried in them. I’m going to be toasted and scattered at a favorite fishing spot.

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