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May 16, 2008

If I was a an Actual Designer...

James Whittaker has a nice article on vertical rhythm posted to his blog that reminded me of just how little attention I get to pay to the niceties of design at work. A quick summary of the article would be "maintaining a consistent amount of vertical spacing around textual elements on a web page will markedly increase the attractiveness of the page." James goes on to explain the basics of elastic layout using CSS rules, and even provides a calculator for creating your own CSS vertical rhythm rules.

One of the really wonderful things about the YUI library is that these CSS rules are already taken care of. All fonts are specified relative to a base size, with appropriately scaled padding automatically applied. The problem that I have at work is in internationalization, where we end up needing extra padding on text for some locales (Greece and Thailand, I'm givin' you a real angry look) that will throw off the rest of the elements on the page.

So far we haven't found a solution better than hand-coding CSS rules for troublesome locales. It's slow, and more costly to maintain, but the results are so much better than re-using generic CSS inappropriately that it seems worth the effort.

Posted by ashusta at May 16, 2008 10:36 PM