bestkungfu weblog

Panel: CSS and high design

Filed in: design, SXSW2004, Web, Mon, Mar 15 2004 17:04 PT

Chris Schmitt was the moderator of a panel on CSS and high design. All of the cool kids were in attendance in this session.

Dave Shea: There are only a few CSS-based sites: ESPN and Wired. And they were well-designed. But not the artistic free-form design that design geeks could get down with. Designers wanted to play, without worrying about page weight, etc. Et puis, voilà: CSS Zen Garden. There are 200 different styles just laid over simple semantic HTML. “The benefits of CSS have been proven again and again”: lower cost, easier to manage, all the stuff you’ve heard before, but still need to listen to if you’re not on CSS.

Dan Cederholm showed off a demo of “accessible tabs with CSS” using image replacement. He does confess that current image-replacement techniques are not yet perfect, such that screen readers don’t work with them. And readability is problem for people with low vision. But he uses “accessible” to mean usable by more browsers, which is unfortunate to people like me, who use it to mean usable by people with disabilities.

Doug Bowman explained that changing color schemes shoudl be “as easy as flipping a switch.” Wired has eight color schemes, one for every day of the week, one for the weekend, and two of what hockey teams would call their “third” schemes. Likewise, stopdesign. He showed off “sliding doors,” as seen on A List Apart. (Doug’s SXSW slides)

What do we do with Internet Explorer and its broken CSS implementation? Dave Shea: “We’re stuck with IE for five, ten years.” Doug says, at least it’s stable, we know what its bugs are, and can design around it. All agreed that most of their new clients don’t even have to be sold on CSS, since the case makes itself nowadays.

Question: Since customers keep asking, what about Flash? Chris said Flash has made great strides in accessibility (true), and that you can make good apps now in Flash that are accessible (mostly false). Doug said “Flash is evil.” (Small cheer.) CSS can create a lot of the same sexiness of Flash, while still being more flexible.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress (RSS 2.0, Atom)