I have noticed over especially the last year or so that websites’ everything is becoming very large.
Large fonts, large spaces between eg inputs but also everything else. Lots and lots of white space. Huge images.
It’s almost as if there is an assumption that the majority of users are visually challenged. Is there are genuine “design movement” being driven by groups of people as in say architecture where “movements” are started by whoever and then take on a life of their own.
Is it a reaction against tiny almost everything that pervaded the web for many years. Perhaps due to extremely good eyesight by very young developers (I’m serious) who saw no reason for anyone other that a narrow age range to bother with the web.
Is it due to possibly lazy responsive design. Eg the div blocks move under each other vertically for handhelds but the typography remains the same size as for the desktop and so the text is easier to read on those small devices.
It’s almost as if there is an assumption that the majority of users are visually challenged.
If you take a look at Trent Walton’s website, I find it difficult to justify scaling text that large. Scaling typography needs to be taken more seriously than just allowing calculations to run rampant. It seems to be more based on the designer’s preference than users which users who have issues reading have the simple option to zoom. Your responsive website should allow the layout to adjust to this just as it does when you resize the browser window.
That’s a bit much for body copy. Headings though could be that big. No problem there.
The problem is… to me this looks like print design. Not only do you have the skeuomorphic photo made to look like paper, you have almost a brochure style layout. It looks like some sort of handout for an event or a cause.
I’m not necessarily against these things but sometimes I feel like people don’t treat the web as its own medium if that makes sense.
I personally feel that I fall into this trap a lot and I don’t really want to.
It may just be that most of the time in responsive layout the font size of the body is set at 100% which equates to 16px on Windows. That size is used as the text (p) size thus headlines etc are larger to establish hierarchy.
Considering the pervasive ‘abridgement’ of info in society (Twitter’s 140 characters as one example) and what some would say is a more clutter-free approach to design in general and specifically for smaller viewport devices, then the ‘Big Print’ look is no longer something only for library shelves for the elderly.
As for ‘movement’, ‘leaders’, etc., I guess you could point at some names here and there but generally it’s about simplification and disposability.
Personally, I like substantial info on whatever I’m interested in at the time, research it from different angles and if possible discuss it with others who can express themselves beyond twitterisms and facebook ‘likes’. For example, look at this archive.org page for ‘Anacalypsis’:
The PDF for it is 59 MBs and of course the text version page is fairly long. I’ve researched that and other materials of similar length and substance and have appreciated it. But for the many who think that ‘Cliff’s Notes’ is just way too much information, well, Anacalypsis and many other works would be an overload.
So, the same idea applies in the visual sense to website design. But you know, that’s not as disconcerting as the fact that such ‘abridgement’ affects all levels of society. It’s one thing to have a minimal look-minimal content, website or presentation, but when you have that attitude in those who are ‘leading’ society in some form or another then you’re going to have some complications in the long run.
Like many others I too like to ‘keep it simple’, but not to the point of ‘See Spot Run’. :-)