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Hacker News mini Redesign [Unofficial] (vcarrer.com)
25 points by vladocar on Mar 30, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments



One of the things I really like about the current HN is that it is easily skimmable. I think a combination of smallish fonts, fairly small font-size range, and the user of a non-serif (if I've got that right) font enables that.

The redesign you have done makes each article pop more, but for me, that isn't a concern. I want the 'pop' from the content, not the design.

I also think that the Verdana or any other non-serif font has a cleaner edgier look which fits HN well.


I like the color changes, but I also dislike the typographic changes. Verdana seems more readable than Georgia. A Calibri / helvetica / arial font stack looks better to me, like so: http://gist.github.com/349177 (although you might prefer slightly bigger fonts, depending on your screen's DPI)


Wow, I love it! I hope you don't mind, but I made a GreaseMonkey script out of your gist: http://gist.github.com/349227


Go right ahead.


Calibri is very good font, I didn't use it because is Windows Vista only, also Cambria like serif font can work very well on screen.


I didn't use it because is Windows Vista only

That's why there's a helvetica/arial fallback in the font stack.


On MacOS X, there's got to be something better than Helvetica/Arial to fall back on. And, I'm sure that Adobe CS users have some very nice fonts too. I would love to know what the Apple and Adobe counterparts to the MS ClearType Fonts (C* fonts) are.


If I interpreted what you said right, I prefer Lucida Grande for OSX with Lucida Sans Unicode for Windows as the fallback. It's really a great font for the web.


I't all depends of what OS have HN users. If for example 80% use XP then they all will see Arial, Mac users will see Helvetica. I don't think that Arial/Helvetica works well for HN.


Not necessarily. If they installed a newer Office or Microsoft Word Viewer or other stuff, they will have the C* fonts also.

later edit:

Found this survey, Calibri has a 57% penetration on Windows http://www.codestyle.org/css/font-family/sampler-CombinedRes...


I'm with you on the sans-serif (it's french!). A lot of designers dislike Verdana, but I (as a programmer) have never been exactly sure why. Maybe someone can explain? I find it's readable and neat, even when small.

The Georgia font seems cheesier to me, but (once again), I'm not a designer.


> A lot of designers dislike Verdana, but I (as a programmer) have never been exactly sure why

* Verdana isn't designed for ClearType, and it tends to look bold when ClearType is on.

* Verdana has no small caps.

* Verdana has unusual (some say backwards) quotes: "''". (The HN comments aren't in Verdana, at least on my system, so the previous quotes probably don't look bad).

* Verdana has a large x-height that requires extra leading, and each character is unusually wide compared to other faces. If you use Verdana then your properly-set document will be noticably larger in area. This makes it unusable when you need to show lots of information in a small area. It also reduces online readability somewhat, because it increases the amount of scrolling the user needs to do.

* Because of Verdana's unusual metrics, you cannot nicely mix it (inline) with anything except Tahoma, Georgia, and Consolas.

* Verdana doesn't implement all the dashes (en, em, minus, etc.) well. At least one of them is missing, and the ones that are there don't look that great. In particular, IIRC, the em-dash looks a lot like an en-dash, which is exactly what you don't want.

* Verdana only has lining figures; there are no old-style figures.

* It was designed for on-screen use, not for print use. IMO, the x-height and character width impairs readability on the printed page. (However, I remember some study that said that term papers printed in Georgia tended to get higher grades than those printed in Times New Roman, so...)

Microsoft's ClearType Font Collection (the C* fonts) are much better in almost every way that I can think of, including the above areas. The main problems I've found with the C* fonts are: (1) they don't mix well with the default Thai font on Windows which is bold like Verdana when ClearType is on, and (2) they don't mix well with Consolas, because Consolas has a similar x-height to Verdana, Tahoma, and Georgia.


That was excellent. Thanks.


Verdana is designed for small type on monitors, so above about ~12px it becomes quite ugly and the kerning doesn't work as well.


> I think a combination of smallish fonts, fairly small font-size range, and the user of a non-serif (if I've got that right) font enables that.

Arguably, serifs are actually more readable. There is some dispute with this when you throw windows ClearType into the mix, because many serif fonts do not fare well under that treatment.

> The redesign you have done makes each article pop more, but for me, that isn't a concern. I want the 'pop' from the content, not the design.

These are two entirely separate kinds of “pop”.


You're right.

The biggest problem with the redesign, in my opinion, is that the space (margin) between the links is much less (relatively) than the original HN, so this design seems very crowded.


I agree with his decision to go with a serif font, and Georgia is not a terrible decision. But I can't help but feel like Georgia is the wrong voice for hackernews.

Something that is cleaner and slightly more geometric seems to me to be useful. Something like Athelas or Adelle for headlines. If we want to keep that classic cut-journalism feel, there are still other options.

And yes, these fonts are available for inexpensive licensing as a font-face.


The titles stand out more from the rest of the details. Although I usually do two scans of the page. First for the titles and second for the points, often a title I skip over has high points and I go back and read it. This seems to make my first scan easier and my second harder.


the funny thing is the font definition is

  font-family:Verdana;
which obviously reverts to serif without verdana. So if you are running linux without ms fonts installed thats what I thought hacker news looked like for over a year




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