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Home Articles STARK REALITIES About This Site My PGP Public Key

The first version of this Web site went up in early 1995. That was a long time ago. I designed that first iteration to be compatible with both the then-new Netscape Navigator and the older, but still-popular Mosaic browsers. In the intervening 18 months, I concentrated more on adding content to the site than on revamping its look and feel.

Naturally, that meant that it became progressively more outdated-looking as time went along. At the end of June, 1996, my good friend Geoff Nathan finally got around to looking at the site. His critique was devastating.

Worse yet, it was right on the money.

The design, as Geoff put it, "reeked of first-generation Web site". It used now-deprecated Netscape-specific tags. It avoided background graphics, tables and frames. In short, it was..quaint.

At about the same time, Steve Meyer, President of avanti Corporation, asked me to critique avanti's Web site. I liked their design, which used tables to constrain clickable buttons to the left side of the screen, so I stole it to use in the redesign of my own Web site. (I did make several suggestions on improving the site's performance, most of which avanti adopted, so it wasn't entirely a one-way exchange.)

After my visit to avanti's site, I had an inspiration: why not build Web pages that looked like actual pages? Working from that concept, I devoted most of the 1996 4th of July weekend to a complete redesign of this Web site..as filtered through the standard criteria I employ in designing and evaluating my clients' sites.

Then, in 1997 or thereabouts, I added Javascript-based frameproofing to the site, and later that year, (about the time I began publishing my online science fiction novel, A Season in Methven,) I added Javascript-based popup windows to display copyrights and images of the novel's characters and, on my main site, to display my PGP public key.

In 1999, as part of the design of my e-zine, Reality Check, I added rollover buttons -- buttons that change color when your mouse cursor passes over them -- to my bag of Javascript tricks. That exercise also taught me how to integrate multiple Javascript programs into a single page.

Go on to the Design Considerations Page.

Go back to the About This Web Site Page.

(Copyright© 1995/1999 by Thom Stark--all rights reserved)