Layout graphic ideas

Dave Cuthbert dacut at
Tue Feb 24 06:43:13 PST 2004

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Chris Pressey wrote:
> It's only when they start revisiting pages that they have already
> read, that they might begin to catch on to the fact that it's random.

Heh... I don't think you give the (serious) visitors enough credit. 
Certainly, if they're at all interested in a new BSD, they ought to know 
that web pages can be dynamically generated.  Actually, I'd argue that 
anyone who has had to deal with rotating banner ads would realize this 
(but read on...).

> I'm not sure *why* this
> is my reaction, but I can make a guess - the random text attracts undue
> attention ("watch this space! it could be *anything* next time!") for
> near-zero information gain ("oh, it's just another variation on 'yay
> DragonFly we rock', I guess I shouldn't be surprised".)

Cognitive waste and overload, however, is a greater concern to me -- my 
above comparison to banner ads might not be completely inappropriate...

One thing I've found as I get older is that my patience for reading 
though every detail has decreased; I tend to skim more often than not. 
This can cause me to omit critical details.  (And, yeah, I was the kid 
who hooked up his parents' AV system, computers, etc., and had memorized 
how to operate every mode of the fanciest digital watches.)

I gave up on using My Yahoo because trying to read a news article as it 
wound its way around three animated ads became too annoying.

>>(Which may or may not be the desired/a desirable message to send, but 
>>I'll leave that for others to debate.)
> OK.  Hope this message shed some light on why I'm on the "not desirable"
> side of said debate.

Heh... well, I'm afraid that I'm in the "Dammit, Jim, I'm an engineer, 
not a web designer!" camp.  Meaning that I can't decide whether 
something is excessive or not given a paper definition, but I'll know 
excessive when I see it.

(Oh, and for the record, I'm not *that* old... just something I've 
noticed over the years...)


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