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Better Website

Someone linked me this:

Still the same Google Analytics hawking, tracking, completely-misses-the-point bull.

People look at this and go “oh wow yeah this looks so clean & stripped down from all the bloated pages out there” but that’s not what this is. This is a tear down of browser defaults. This is a screed against minimalism, a “you coulda done at least this much, ya primitive screwheads”. (And “at least this much” includes track & spy apparently.)

And it’s wrong.

Not everyone wants a line height so gaping you could drive a 70s trucker movie through.

Text all dimmed down and squint-o-riffic.

Huge picture-book letters.

I know there’s this trend of “Increasing reading speed with fewer fixations is a ‘myth’ so we might as well jam up line height and font-size” and that trend can go jump in a lake for all I care. It’s not a myth for me. Books laid out this way (I have one; the Dark Horse / Wrightson edition of Frankenstein) that forces me to step through the words one at a time like Sesame Street are painful to read.

That Frankenstein book is also marred by overly long lines (which exacerbates the aforementioned problems); the line-width thing is the only thing the self-proclaimed “better website” got right. I love narrow columns, tight lines (not overtight, but, the default of ×1.0 is actually perfect, and letters as small as possible but where I can still see ‘em.

Listen, please don’t conflate what I’m saying above with trying to exclude people with reading trouble. You don’t throw someone in the deep end of the pool and a unicycle when what they need is a rowboat. (Thankfully we live in the world of digital so there can be reader apps and reader modes and user CSS.)

But you don’t throw a rowboat on a bird, either.

The number one rule of CSS is: the browser-default font size is a beautiful thing.

Don’t mess with perfection.

If you wanna see how I do CSS, just view source on this 🐝 right here.