Kevin Cheng  

#BADFAD

September 26th, 2003 by Kevin Cheng :: see related comic

Lynda Weinman gets the first celebrity mention on OK/C this week. I don’t think she feels like she’s stating anything that a halfway intelligent designer hasn’t already figured out but as we explain, there are some monkeys who don’t know until they are told: the majority aren’t using 256 colours anymore and thus the constraint is no longer applicable. Dithering is a word that’s hardly heard these days except to talk about how irresolute someone is. An experience we’ve all had when deciding what restaurant to eat in with a big group, or deciding what feature to not implement when a release is upon us. Now you have a word for it.

English lessons aside, Lynda also mentions companies which still look at the web-safe palette as a badge of honour. If you should happen upon such a company, smirk at them as I would, laugh really hard inside at how they blindly follow guidelines without any intellectual input of their own into the whys and wherefores of these guidelines, then proceed to find a company that actually hires people with some component of their left brain functional.

You’ll notice our site is still rather bare at the moment. We’re looking into backend solutions to automate our processes and we’ll get there soon. Until then, I do appreciate the notes people have left me about the broken copyright link that was in the footer. As you can see, the fastest way to fix a problem is to eliminate it altogether. Who wants to copy us anyways?

4 Responses to “#BADFAD”
Jean wrote:

Totally agree that designing for 256 is passe.. ok, sucks.

What I have to point out is that there are companies who, as annoying as it sounds, must adhere to palette restrictions as a result of their user base. Large corporations would rather annoy a few HCIs than hundreds of thousands of their ‘behind the times’ customers… you know, the ones they make $ off of? So don’t preach that these places don’t think– they happen to care about their bottom line.

Gary wrote:

yahoo still uses the 216 web safe colors. They must be retarded then.

Kevin Cheng wrote:

Lynda also mentions companies which still look at the web-safe palette as a badge of honour.

I refer to companies that that use the 216 as a hard and fast rule for the sake of the rule. Do I think there are still legitimate companies with legitimate reasons to use 216? Sure. Does Yahoo! have good cause to? Definitely.

But guess what, even they don’t. Photographs from ads, powereed by HP signs - not web safe. Blame that on third parties? OK. Check their icons on the top of main page - not web safe.

Peter Kennard wrote:

I agree that “web safe” should be dead. But I notices when making some photos for a site that when I simply saved them as “.jpg” directly from an app they rendered “noisily” in firefox on a 32 bit display. When I “saved for web” this rendring artifact went away.

What gives? Is Firefox somehow enforcing some sort of special web rendering even when the display has 8,8,8 + capability?


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OK/Cancel is a comic strip collaboration co-written and co-illustrated by Kevin Cheng and Tom Chi. Our subject matter focuses on interfaces, good and bad and the people behind the industry of building interfaces - usability specialists, interaction designers, human-computer interaction (HCI) experts, industrial designers, etc. (Who Links Here) ?