philsov wrote:Flash isn't much better -- especially if I need to bring up several options from the same menu as flash has the tendancy to close itself after the first link so I need to travel through the tree constantly. It's cumbersome and annoying, but I also tend more toward ergonomics than aesthetics.
Flash is an area I probably have more experience in as an animator than as a web-designer, and I see it as having several crippling flaws when it comes to things like designing a whole webpage in it or having it be your primary interface for navigation throughout your site. However, for some elements its versatility is undeniable in its ability to combine visual effect with other elements.
That's partially why I brought up the "intro page" vs. the "regular use page" thing. I see it as having a lot of potential for individual tailor-made interactions, such as interactive tutorials for instance, with greater visible complexity and versatility than can be easily achieved through other means.
I do, however, particularly agree that flash-based drop down menus in particular are loathsome, but I also usually dislike drop-down menus when it comes to site navigation anyway.
Mystery Meat Navigation
philsov wrote:Regarding buttons, depends on the symbol. If it's something like a webcomic something as basic as a "first", "previous", "next", and "latest" buttoms aren't too difficult. There's no universal "random" buttom which is annoying. Past that, there's some context required to whether or not symbols are good or not. Larger with text is the safer option if you're flying blind.
is a major pet peeve of mine. I was particularly disappointed when sites like Google and Newgrounds adopted elements of it and then tried to justify it by saying that mouse-over alt-text made up for it.
As far as ease on the eyes, how do you feel about contrast, light and dark for readability, subtle partitions vs. bold ones?
Needs context. Either extreme is less ideal than somewhere in the middle.
I'm kind of wondering in a more specific sense.
Take Google, for example (both good and bad): I felt the old contrast settings had really no visibility issues (the white with a couple dark text buttons) but apparently there was sufficient call for greater contrast that they've been playing around with the grey boxes and bars, red image-based buttons, and other similar elements.
However, the contrast with the iconic white field is somewhat jarring visually in my opinion (and I've never been fond of the way they use gradients, the implementation of this in YouTube is even more unpleasant IMO)
This forum, on the other hand, I feel is severely lacking in some necessary visible structure, particularly when it comes to separation of posts, and has kind of an overwhelming amount of white.
What about initial, intuitive use (like a front page) vs. regular, functional use (like an account settings page or a forum page)?
I was really more asking the design implications.
For instance, how one balances out the transition from the unfamiliar usage of the site to regular handling, like with multiple layouts or separate pages, through indicators and help pages, etc.