No longer hurting your eyes for 2006

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 3:46AM ET
by Gabe Rivera     Permalink

Since the September launches, I've heard a lot of reactions to the user interface, and the results have been mixed. The usability and functionality are generally appreciated, but the aesthetics are, just a bit too often, reviled.

"It's hurting my eyes" goes the woeful refrain.

While I'm all about having the impact of memeorandum felt, I don't really want to hurt your eyes.

So the redesign you see is aimed at just that. No major functional changes, just a general reduction in rate of eye injury.

Now with rounded corners!

Some may notice the new design incorporates rounded corners of the type common on assorted trendy web sites, particularly so-called Web 2.0 sites. Now I've spurned a great deal of faddish design and navigational elements too silly to even mention here, but I recently came to appreciate rounded corners. Not only are they vaguely pleasing to behold, but rounded corners ironically seem to make for sharper distinctions between the elements they enclose. My guess is we'll be seeing rounded corners on web pages for a very long time.

AJAX too … yep.

[Warning: gratuitous technotwaddle ahead] While I'm at it, I may as well hoist the AJAX flag, lest I miss out on the parade already in progress. AJAX, when used effectively, enables certain clicks and dragging operations to produce instantaneous results, much like when you click "+" to expand "Discussion" on memeorandum. Memeorandum uses a particular variety of AJAX I'll call XML-prefetched, pretranslated (XPP) AJAX, in which [I warned you] the XML data is translated ahead of time into structures already present, but hidden, in the actual document! The fact that XPP-AJAX = XPP-AJAX = J = Javascript is not relevant here. It's AJAX, it rocks, get over it!

Lazyweb request

[Warning: more technical, though less silly epilogue ahead] Attention web design hackers: IE doesn't support "max-width:86em", causing the page to always fill the entire window width in IE, which isn't a disaster, but not ideal. Show me an actual working version of the page with an effective workaround preserving those exact max-width semantics (px widths or non-max widths are no good), and if I use yours, I'll be very grateful, and also include some kind of acknowledgement link for a week on tech.memeorandum. (Woot?)

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