27 March 2006

Reading on the Web (on the Tree of Life)

light every human branch
over just those spans
when the human was
surfing the Web

the last ten years
show an exponential growth
of who's surfing, where
and how long they surf each day

now place a red star
at each point where the surfer
reads a word

so some surfers
minimise red
while others
maximise it

spans of red
when the costs of continuing reading
outweigh the benefits

each new red star
each additional word read
requires an effort

and those who flee reading
do so because
their costs would be too great

so the first goal of webpage design
should be readability

no flashing ads in the margin
no oversized or undersized print

lines of text neither too wide
nor too narrow
spaced neither too close
nor too far apart

and if the page designer
betrays these rules
the browser should step in
and painlessly reformat

understanding what does and doesn't work
for that individual surfer
in their current state

(i can't tolerate columns at all
and i prefer some margins, to none
but i have no control over this!)