[pmwiki-users] Proposition for a new PmWiki Skin

John Rankin john.rankin at affinity.co.nz
Thu Oct 13 15:04:25 CDT 2011

>> example
>> http://thewebalyst.com/website-readability-what-font-size-line-width-line-height-six-key-website-design-guidelines/
> This and other links to "web design blogs" posted recently appear
> inconsistent. This one says "font size at least 16px", yet they use 14px.
> It says "these lines are 70-80 characters", yet I count >95 characters per
> line...

Indeed so. Buried in the comments on that page is a note that the article
was a guest post -- a case of biting the hand that feeds you. The original
article from which the guidelines are drawn makes it clear that they are
for blogs -- pages designed to be read rather than scanned -- so Petko's
comments still stand.
> I think that with wide monitors, if one wants to use max-width<50em, it
> has to be a great website design (no white emptiness around), or columns.

Yes, I particularly dislike ones that leave all the white space on the
right hand side. And because of the white space, I think a good case can
be made for a right hand side bar, especially for sites designed for
reading. To quote

"The left margin is sacred. It’s how we track text down a page in the
Western world. It’s the “ground” out of which the lines grow (often to
quite different lengths), and it’s the foundation for our eyepath as we
read down the page."

So I would add "right side bar" to these:
> Overall, I do agree that readability is improved with 16px font, limited
> line
> width (<105 characters) and bigger line height.
> Do you know any popular websites that have 45-75 characters per line and
> don't use columns?

You do come across them from time to time, but they are so rare that they
stand out. FWIW, I'd choose equal white space on right and left, plus a
right side bar with a 1:3 or 1:4 side bar to body ratio. That gives 11 em
: 33 em or, for a wider measure, 12 em : 48 em.

John Rankin

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