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Author Topic: Where do websites belong?  (Read 2041 times)
Melooon
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« on: May 25, 2023 @34.12 »

I often see people talking about making their site mobile-friendly... and my usual response is, why would you want a website to be mobile? Why would someone want to browse my site on their phone while they are walking down the street??  :drat:

Ahh but maybe that's a simplification, I KNOW some people just like to browse on a phone or don't always have access to a computer.. but recently I started to wonder if maybe Im just outright wrong to assume the kinda space someone should browse my site.

I always assume people are in their computer den, or in their living room - it's always a quiet personal space - it's always a space that is suited to introspection; since the early days of the internet surfing has always been a hobby for introverts.

However I find myself wondering if that's the only space for websites; can a website be designed for surfing while on a bus, or sitting in a park - can a website be designed to be browsed in social groups? Phones are waterproof now, what about a website that's only meant to be browsed while you're swimming?  :omg:

Are these places appropriate places for websites to exist? And I suppose that connects to the wider question of what situations is it appropriate to use web-connected devices. Where do websites belong?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2023 @35.57 by Melooon » Logged


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Melooon
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2023 @127.56 »

EDIT: This post this was responding to seems to have been removed?? But I'm gonna keep this reply here because it was a good post and had some valid questions in it that you can still kinda pick up on in this reply.

EDIT EDIT: I recovered the original post from RSS, I will share it anonymously here because I don't know why the poster removed it!
Quote
Answering only half the question here buuuuuut....

Quote from: Melooon on Today at 01:49:08 am
why would you want a website to be mobile?


Because more than 50% of internet traffic come from mobile 
Such devices are more affordable than a computer on third-world countries like india, brazil, russia, etc and a lot of people live there~ So sometimes being mobile-friendly is not about new-internet-sucks-old-internet-good, it's about legitimately inclusion   

[Source]
( if you click on specific countries you will see that some have as much as 70% mobile users)

If you start to super segregate how your website is accessed... is this not a form of elitism? 🤔 Honest question!

Because more than 50% of internet traffic come from mobile
That definitely true for the wider web; however Iv been collecting device stats on my site for almost 3 years and it only gets 9% of its traffic from mobile users (Id say that's typical for most neocities sites, while the forum and wiki are 19%) - the take away here is that service sites definitely tilt towards mobile, and most of the wider web is now service sites.

However, I'm really thinking about this in the context of web revival sites and general personal and art sites that are not services, but are instead personal expression sites / experience sites.

I suppose I would define a service site as essential - meaning it should be accessible; and an experience site as non-essential - meaning the experience is more important than accessibility. I'd argue that accessibility and creativity cannot always be in agreement and will often conflict.

For the sake of simplicity though; when I'm talking about websites here, what I really mean are personal sites, art sites or other non-essential creative websites (The kind that I make), where accessibility is not a priority. I make this distinction mainly because the whole web design community is very focused on accessibility, I think that is a well-represented issue, however, the creative side of the web (that this forum is focused on) is really very underrepresented  :ohdear:

As for your question! Yes! Everything is a form of elitism to some extent! (Although I don't like the term because it's inflammatory).

All presentation and interaction has a hierarchy; we can control some of that hierarchy and a lot of it we can't. A magic trick would not work if you were on an equal footing as the magician (because then you'd know the trick) although some people do know the trick, and so they will receive a different experience at a magic show! With a website, there is absolutely a hierarchy between the site's creator, the device viewing it, the visitor viewing that device and the visitor's interpretation of the site based on their own context. We can play with that hierarchy, but we can never fully control it.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2023 @605.27 by Melooon » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2023 @221.31 »

This is something I am struggling with recently as well and tried to gather my thoughts about it in my smolpub journal. I understand the accessibility concerns and some arguments for mobile friendliness make sense to me, but I am also not entirely convinced that exclusivity via format or medium is always bad.

I've wondered if the different attitudes are also influenced by the personal goal of that person for the web revival scene. Some don't care what happens to it of course, but some want to grow it, and some want to keep it niche and secret so it won't be flooded by the people of the platforms they fled away from. I understand if the person who wants to get the word out about reclaiming the web wants the sites to be inviting and accessible to become interesting to the masses, who are used to using their phones almost exclusively and have grown accustomed to be catered to always; with a stunning responsive mobile view that works on all devices, and possibly an app to match. They might think if we make it very palatable, more people will switch away from the big social media platforms. But I also get people who maybe don't wanna get the word out or simply use mobile non-responsiveness/unfriendliness to select and filter out the people, so the ones who do make an effort to explore on desktop are more fit for the message and kind of content on the website, and more on board with the core of web revival. Again, that's not to say there isn't a big group of people who doesn't care about that community or ""movement"", but I think some do, and it comes to my mind in regards to mobile.

Obviously, mobile friendliness is important as a corporate entity, and less important for personal websites on neocities, but I think the people whose website is personal while also offering a portfolio of their products and services (think artists on neocities) are in a tough spot here and don't want to lose out on potential customers. They know they link that site on other platforms that are mostly used on a smartphone now (Twitter, Insta..) so most of the traffic to that site will be mobile users. In turn, us others who just do this for fun and don't have to worry about building a portfolio for this kind of audience are free to limit the website to desktop, or we might know that basically all of our clicks will probably be from a PC (I know mine are).

What I struggle with the most in regards to mobile compatibility and accessibility is the thought that many of us fled from other platforms not only because of the obvious issues, but also the design restraints on our profiles. I associate the mobile view, the vertical small rectangle of it, as owned by corporations, ads, and the smooth clean surfaces of social media. To make sure that a website has large enough text for most people while accommodating big or clumsy fingers with big buttons and links all on huge or small smartphone screen and browsers is limiting a lot of the design freedom we have on desktop, in my opinion, and I found that when we design for mobile in mind, we can't help replicating a lot of the social media design we were so limited by. A lot can be destroyed about the artistic and visual concept of a website by forcing it to stack vertically somehow. Sure, if your website is made up of a navbar and a main text area and a table, it works to set breakpoints. But what about sites like mine, where stacking doesn't make any sense? The entire room aesthetic would be gone if I first showed the paint window, then the shelf beneath it, and then the desk upon scrolling down further. Cool sites like persephone-'s would also probably not work as well, to name another example.

So I kinda get you - it feels to me as if I had painted a nice landscape on a horizontal canvas, and someone asked me to cut a small vertical rectangle out of it to put it on a small shelf frame, or asked me if I could present it as an embroidery piece instead. You can't always just do that, not everything can be made to fit a smaller (and in some ways, inferior) platform or have its medium exchanged and still have the same effect. It has the cost of asking a lot from the user who wants to access it (deal with a bad mobile view or switch to desktop; an exercise in delayed gratification and if they're really committed to seeing that content, maybe), but that can be fine. It's just a struggle in discussions when choosing not to make mobile-friendliness your priority is viewed as a lack of skill, or disregard for the disabled.

My compromise is offering a button for a minimalist version that is mobile-friendly, removes all design elements and just shows a white background with text. Maybe the horizontal flip for the phone will work one day, too.

So I think to answer the thread question, it really depends on the target audience. Are they consumers of key services? Customers of your online side hustle? Friends? Strangers? Do you wanna attract other neocities (and maybe spacehey) users, or the ones who have never been there and only know Twitter and Instagram? Do you enjoy the aspects of exclusivity more (you gotta do x to enjoy my stuff, the user is part of a self-selected group of people and it makes your site more special to you) or inclusivity (everyone can see it and i want everyone to have access equally). I think it is fair to want to control how people view your stuff, and to a certain extent, where. The thing is, with the existence of laptops, your website can definitely be viewed on a train ride, or in a hotel; people can choose to access it at work. The idea of limiting it to the home in a quiet corner might be an outdated idea of when we all had the family PC room/area.



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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2023 @610.46 »

That definitely true for the wider web; however Iv been collecting device stats on my site for almost 3 years and it only gets 9% of its traffic from mobile users (Id say that's typical for most neocities sites, while the forum and wiki are 19%) - the take away here is that service sites definitely tilt towards mobile, and most of the wider web is now service sites.

See this is really interesting, because I track my stats too, and a full third of my visitors are on smartphones (that doesn't even count tablets!), plus when when I tell people about my site via word of mouth, they always mention that they check it on their phones first, so I've decided to provide mobile versions of my site for that reason. I wonder why there's such a difference? Overall, that's a good example of why it's interesting to bring these topics up here, because we're all targeting different people.

So I kinda get you - it feels to me as if I had painted a nice landscape on a horizontal canvas, and someone asked me to cut a small vertical rectangle out of it to put it on a small shelf frame, or asked me if I could present it as an embroidery piece instead. You can't always just do that, not everything can be made to fit a smaller (and in some ways, inferior) platform or have its medium exchanged and still have the same effect.

I hear you on this, but sometimes I also think that restraints are good for creativity and ask you to change your thinking. Some designs really can't be changed, but what if you made your site look like a phone menu screen, for instance? With app icons for menu buttons, or like a smartphone game screen or some such. I think there are ways to make it work, if you ever decide you'd like to go that route.

Ultimately I think it depends on the site and the person. I also highly recommend some basic analytics if you can get them working on your site, because it will tell you what kind of devices your users are on, and where you get most of your visits are from. There are non-Google options too, if that's what you want. I went with a service called Matomo, but there are others if that one doesn't work for you.
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2023 @655.52 »

I definitely do 99% of my "small website browsing" on my computer- and prefer using a computer overall. Part of this is because most people are making and designing their sites on and for computers, but part of it is that I feel like I can focus better compared to a phone, since phones are designed around constantly diverting and capturing your attention. I imagine most people who are invested in small websites lean more towards computers if I had to guess.

My site design is kind of simple- it looks worse on mobile but it's absolutely still readable, so I'm not like, in a huge rush to make it more mobile friendly.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2023 @682.19 »

I'm on my phone most of the time since I work full time and refuse to use my work PC for my personal browsing time... I don't trust whoever is tracking my work PC online activity lol. So mobile friendliness is very relevant to me, bc it's what I have access to most of the time that isn't a highly scrutinized space.
That being said, I don't think sites need to be responsive. It's nice if they are but if your creative vision doesn't work on a tiny rectangle screen restricted by Apple's outdated CSS support then so be it. I'm in the process of making my site mobile friendly as a courtesy (and so I can look at it whenever I want) but I'm not in a big hurry. I just wait until I'm at home on my PC to surf neocities anyway. And I agree with shevek - sometimes art is intended to be viewed a certain way, and I don't think it's right to demand it be designed to fit every form factor.

I'm biased towards creating a PC centric web community. I love that these sites are using desktop format to celebrate the way we used to use the internet before phones took over our lives. I think it's perfectly fine to prioritize a certain format if we are interested in preserving it, or revitalizing its use. Responsive design takes extra work and designing your site to be able to utilize media queries requires compromise. That's not always bad but it might interfere with what you want to do with your site. It can be a productive design challenge or unnecessary restriction. It all depends.

So to answer the question I believe websites broadly belong anywhere you can access them, but not every site needs to be accessible everywhere, especially when you're just having fun with it or it is specifically intended to be viewed on a monitor.
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2023 @698.08 »

It's difficult to categorise my thoughts on this matter in a clear and concise way, but there are a few things I'd like to share regardless.

  • Creative outlets, for me, became so much more fun when I decided to work on them solely under the lens that the only viewer is just myself. As in, sharing my creations online is a cool experience, and one that I definitely enjoy, but only when I'm catering to myself. No longer do I try to craft my work around some assumed viewer, as doing so sucks all of the fun out of creation for me. I don't say this to mean that everyone should view art this way, but this way of creating automatically bleeds into my website design efforts.
  • Like many people, I've grown increasingly aware of just how much time I spend on my phone. I hate the cycle of using it before bed, checking the same 4 apps periodically to see any new updates, wasting my day away playing mobile games. This has only grown even more dire given the fact that I've uninstalled all apps besides facebook (to keep in touch with family) and tumblr (gamedev promotion). If I'm able to eliminate the possibility of viewing my site on my phone, it removes another timewaster for me, and one of my hopes is that it discourages others from wasting time on my site until they actually have free time to view it too. From this, I'm actually glad when a personal site is inaccessible on mobile too. I hate smartphones so much and their endless content that I've been considering moving back to a flip phone, wherein I can only text or call with it lol.
  • I think when it comes to personal websites, as well as a general broader overview of "art", it's good to be selfish. Selfish in a self loving way. Selfishness borne out of a need to only represent yourself. With the understanding that this presentation of self is just that— for you— and not everyone else has to like/agree with that. The expectation for every personal site to be accessible in the same way that corporate sites are is a weird assumption to me. The aim is in the name: personal.

To try and answer the question posed: websites belong wherever you personally want them to, and the expectation (that some people have, not anyone specifically!) that they must exist everywhere is... I'm not sure what the right phrasing to use here is, but it's an expectation I don't agree with. I like this quote a lot too.
I believe websites broadly belong anywhere you can access them, but not every site needs to be accessible everywhere

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« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2023 @269.46 »

I only use my phone for... ao3, youtube, tumblr and a mobile game. And from these (excluding the mobile game for obvious reasons), ao3 is the only one I don't also use on the computer (I just prefer reading fics while lying in my bed for maximum comfy. Or when I'm not at home and need to wait for something).

I've just always preferred using the computer and I've always spent a lot of time on it and still do. So the idea of browsing Neocities etc sites on mobile just isn't even something I'd consider an option.
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« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2023 @818.77 »

Another interesting discussion.

We're talking personal sites, so what you design for really is up to you. My sites get about about a third of their traffic from mobile users as well. Some people even access the sites from game consoles.

Sometimes I feel out of place here because my personal sites are not at all artsy, but I write a lot and want people to be able to read what I've written on whatever they happen to be browsing on. So even the image galleries I have were made to be mobile friendly.

I've just a very wicked thought cross my mind so my apologies in advance. Just how creative are you if you can't design something even a tiny bit decent for a smaller canvas? That was meant for no one in particular, just something that came into my mind and dismissed.

My own phome use is limited to reading emails and the news, playing mindless games while waiting for something, and very rarely for actually making calls.

Another interesting question is would you actively stop people from viewing your pages? I've only come across this once or twice. I once got myself into an online argument with someone who tested which browser someone was viewing their site on. Any sheeple (you have no idea how much I hate that word), using Internet Explorer from big, bad Microsoft got a rude message instead of viewing their site. Among other things, they also believed The Matrix was real (that shows how long ago it was). A great film but not totally original, the idea has been explored in science fiction since the 1930s.

I thought they were not "quite right" then and when I think of them, still do, but I do wonder if they've moderated their views since then.
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2023 @726.27 »

i originally registered with the goal of responding to this thread (and then didn't, because i was too tired). some of the thoughts here have given me brainworms, and i want to pick at them:

first and foremost, i'm going to define a couple of terms:

mobile-first: a webdesign philosophy that prioritises the monetisation of mobile users (on a very specific mobile) over all other users on all other devices.

typically characterised by that bland, same-y bootstrap feel of a narrow centred column, everything fixed-width and absolutely positioned. twitter, tumblr, instagram, tiktok, et cetera.

mobile-friendly: a webdesign philosophy that doesn't assume all users have a huge monitor. contrary to the name, mobile-friendly design doesn't just help users on mobiles, it's also small-monitor friendly AND huge-monitor friendly. mobile-friendly websites are nearly always better on larger monitors than non-mobile-friendly, but also non-mobile-first websites.

mobile-friendly design generally doesn't use absolute positioning or fixed-width elements, and thus allows the natural state of the web, to adjust elements automatically to the size of the viewport, to make the website relatively easy to use on all devices.


reading some of the replies here, i get the impression that some people think of "mobile-friendly" and "mobile-first" as synonyms, and that they are primarily upset about the prevalence of mobile-first webdesign.

i'd be in agreement with that sentiment: mobile-first webdesign is a pox, even on mobile users, because it is often just as bad for them as it is for desktop users.


i agree that comparing device usage statistics on larger, corporate sites like twitter or tumblr with smaller, private sites such as melonland is simply meaningless.


Iv been collecting device stats on my site for almost 3 years and it only gets 9% of its traffic from mobile users (Id say that's typical for most neocities sites, while the forum and wiki are 19%) - the take away here is that service sites definitely tilt towards mobile, and most of the wider web is now service sites.

I track my stats too, and a full third of my visitors are on smartphones (that doesn't even count tablets!), plus when when I tell people about my site via word of mouth, they always mention that they check it on their phones first, so I've decided to provide mobile versions of my site for that reason. I wonder why there's such a difference?

these data are subject to quite a bit of sampling bias.

pages that aren't mobile-friendly are less likely to be visited by users on mobile devices

are those device stats total or uniques? are you measuring bounce-rate, and can you cross-reference that by device?

i'd be willing to bet that melooon's bounce-rate is much higher on mobile than desktop.

it is statistically unfair to use your low number of mobile users as evidence that you don't need to make your site easier to use on mobile while your site is not mobile-friendly.

the only way to fairly measure that would be to first make your site more mobile-friendly (ideally with media-queries so you aren't altering the desktop experience in any way) and then compare device usage statistics.

i do wonder if those interested in reviving the old web would be more inclined to interact with the web (or at least, with old-web revival sites) on desktop, but i have absolutely no reliable data either way on the matter, and i don't know if anyone does.

HOWEVER, i think it's unfair to say that a low number of mobile users inherently makes the experience of mobile users less valuable.

there's a notion in this thread that everyone has a choice. a lot of people don't own desktops, and are stuck with a tiny screen on their laptop. loads of people don't even own laptops, and their sole method of experiencing the web is via a smartphone!

typically these situations aren't by choice, but are the result of things they can't control.

if you think walled-garden websites bad on desktop, they are much worse on mobile. old-web revival should be deliberately and explicitly inclusive of mobile users who want an alternative to those walled gardens. let them have that choice!


you do have to perform a certain amount of cost/benefit analysis to decide whether it's worth your time, effort, and perhaps money to improve the mobile-friendliness of your site.

but, in most cases, mobile-unfriendly design is also bad webdesign. the web is mobile-friendly by default (largely, some things are a bit awkward). you usually have to put in effort to change that.

if you don't want to change the things you've done to make your site awkward on certain resolutions, i implore you to see how far you can get with a few media-queries. shrink your browser window down so it occupies less than half your monitor in both directions, and then try to make your site less broken and more usable in that state. it's often simpler than you may first expect.

making the site work on a smaller resolution isn't all there is to mobile-friendly design, but it helps a lot. and once you're at that point, it gets easier to see the need for and then implement other mobile-friendly changes, like buttons tallers than 20px (which, once again, isn't an exclusively mobile need: that helps a lot of desktop users too).


yes, even if your website is something you view as a work of art. maybe you can't get the exact same experience on mobile, that's rather the point of this whole thread. but you can get an experience on mobile that bears some resemblance to the original work of art. the mobile view will be transformative, a not-equivalent but still enjoyable version of the original.

based on melooon's portfolio, i would have expected him to understand and even appreciate this fact.

i have a userscript installed that highlights all links the same way, because i can't trust webdevs these days to make it clear what is or isn't a link! in fact, i'm very aggressive about beating the web into shape. between various browser extensions and my selfmade userstyles (and occasional userscripts), i never experience a website the way the developer intended.

and fucking good for me! because i don't think i'd use the web very much, old or new, if i couldn't do that.

simply by viewing any website, i am transforming it. i will sometimes turn one or more extensions off to experience something closer to the creator's vision, either because i feel i can trust that creator to not blind me (for example) or because i am simply interested in how that site was intended to look.

and it's not just me and my 50 extensions. anyone who views a website on a 40k monitor is transforming it. anyone with an old browser that can't support some new feature in html5 is transforming it. anyone whose internet is too slow for images so they literally just didn't load is transforming it. browser hiccups that cause one stylesheet not to load transforms a website.

the web is inherently transformative due to the way it's viewed and the nature of those viewers: that is, humans who want, expect, or need things to look or behave in a certain way in order to understand or appreciate those things. or who just turned off browser updates because the notification was annoying.

you cannot force users to experience your site purely in the exact way you intended. i don't mean it's wrong to try, i mean it is technologically impossible.

so to answer the titular question: websites belong wherever an internet connection exists.

EDIT: i forgot i also wanted to pick at this:

My compromise is offering a button for a minimalist version that is mobile-friendly, removes all design elements and just shows a white background with text.

i was browsing your website yesterday! i clicked that button and was relieved. i'm on desktop.

your site design is cute to look at, but overwhelming to get any information from.

i do think you could find a better middleground between form and function that isn't betterfuckingwebsite basic, still retains much of your creative vision, but also makes the site more generally readable and less overhwelming.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2023 @739.61 by dirtnap » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2023 @822.64 »

so to answer the titular question: websites belong wherever an internet connection exists.

I agree with this 100%. I use mobile frequently because I just cannot be bothered to go to my desk every time. In fact, I read this forum, my own forum, and even spacehey on mobile despite how "incorrect" it sometimes looks. Sometimes I even respond to posts/messages on mobile. I would argue spacehey is pretty mobile-friendly despite its issues and I have little doubt it's because the dude who runs it consciously made a choice to make it even slightly more accessible than the original myspace. However, this does not diminish the fact that I'm a huge lover of the indie web that is "meant" to be viewed on desktop.

i do wonder if those interested in reviving the old web would be more inclined to interact with the web (or at least, with old-web revival sites) on desktop, but i have absolutely no reliable data either way on the matter, and i don't know if anyone does.

If I were back in my graduate psychology program, I would hypothesize there is a unidirectional relationship here (i.e., the more interested in web revival, the more interested in using desktop). However, I also suspect it's more complicated than we think just because of the world we live in. My own anecdotal evidence could contradict this hypothesis.

@dirtnap brought up a lot of other really good points that resonate with my own experience. I used to work at a nonprofit that served "at-risk" queer and trans youth (ages 24 and younger). A majority of the youth I worked with directly were/are experiencing intense housing instability and do not have consistent access to a computer and Wi-Fi. In that world, other staff and I had numerous conversations about those who "slip through the cracks" in the system. And I think this is pertinent to this conversation here as well-- At least for those of us who take an overt political/social justice lens to our websites. I think about this population of youth every time I create a website, especially when I created 🆂🅿🅰🅲🅴👽🅱🅰🆁. For me, what is the point of this specific form of my art if my own community cannot access it, let alone engage with it? Or, as I like how @dirtnap put it, if they cannot transform it in a way that is meaningful to them.

That isn't to say my website is the most mobile-friendly in its current iteration, mostly due to my lacking coding skills at the moment. But I try to visit my websites several times on mobile just to see if it is functional enough to get content across. At the same time, I am aware that not everyone has the same intentions when building a website.

I will also mention there have been times, on my laptop, that I have come across websites that were designed for very large monitors. I don't feel any negativity about it. But I think the message that can come across is that "this wasn't built for me." And it probably wasn't lol and that's not to say those people are morally BAD for not addressing everything. But when I think of my own projects, this is a message I definitely do not want to send to very specific populations.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2023 @896.61 »

I've been lurking for a while, tried to write some other posts in other threads but never worked up the courage.

I'm someone with a smaller laptop. For many sites I come across on Neocities and the like, they just don't... look right on my screen size. Overlapping elements, horizontal scrollbars, etc. I don't necessarily feel entitled to their websites, their space - that's their space, after all, and I'm a mere visitor. But it does feel restrictive, in a sense - exclusionary - by nature to shut out a subsection of users. It's something I personally do want to avoid.

And, in the same vein, my girlfriend exclusively uses her phone to navigate the web. We cannot afford another computer, and she finds typing on computers difficult after years and years of basically only being able to use a phone. I want my website to work for her; I value her input on it and the ease in which she can check information on it. Someone in another thread said something along the lines of - why care about making your site mobile friendly? And I just think of my partner, and how much I value her being able to easily access what I make. When I posted my site on another social media-esque space I am on, the only reply was from another mobile user (who had a helpful critique, even, regarding an image's size). How many more quiet mobile users are out there, enjoying what I create? I'm flattered that they're looking at my stuff at all. I want to make it easy for them to enjoy it.

I view a website as a vehicle for information, a way to convey something (primarily my art and writing) I want others to see. If I didn't want others to engage with it, I would write a diary or a journal instead, or draw something and keep it to myself. And I recognize that doesn't mean I have to necessarily convey that information to an audience of "everyone", but I don't think there's a harm in trying to cast my net wide. I make my website and its contents primarily for myself, but I also welcome and accept the idea that other people will see it. I have a drive to make it somewhat presentable in that fashion; I like linking pages together almost like a Wikipedia article, making sure if a word is unfamiliar or a term strange that there's an explanation right there, easy to access. You can always dive deeper, sort of thing.

The idea of a computer den is almost foreign to me. I don't even have a living room! I sit in my bed and browse on my laptop or I sit at my drawing desk (next to the bed, actually) and... well I mostly use it for drawing, but sometimes I browse for inspiration over there. Honestly, the idea of a website "meant to be browsed" in a specific place is strange to me... how would you even begin to execute that kind of control over a viewer? I think there's some magic in the idea that your site could be connecting to someone anywhere, anytime, in any stage of their life. Maybe seeing your site update is keeping them afloat in a dark place, or has become part of their routine to check weekly (like a webcomic...!). I want to give my site to those people wholly, without expectation from them. I don't want to ask for things or vibes from my viewers. I hope they take from my site, my writing, my art what they need in whatever moment they share with it.

so to answer the titular question: websites belong wherever an internet connection exists.

In essence - this.
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« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2023 @902.87 »

It sounds like you guys have a very different outlook on web revival sites to me  :omg: Of course there's no right or wrong outlook and there's no specific definition of a web revival site exactly, but it's interesting to see!

reviving the old web
First off; I'm not into reviving any form of old web - When I say web revival, I mean a constant revival - reviving today, and then again reviving tomorrow :grin: With bits of old and bits of new all in the mix!

the only way to fairly measure that would be to first make your site more mobile-friendly
I'm no expert on analytics, but it sounds like you're dead right, but only if your goal is to figure out how many people want to view your site on different platforms. For me that's not the goal! I don't want to grow visitor numbers deliberately, I want people to have to put effort into enjoying my site - scaring off mobile users is the goal! So when Im looking at analytics, Im interested in the people who are willing to put in that effort to get the experience that's intended.

you cannot force users to experience your site purely in the exact way you intended. i don't mean it's wrong to try, i mean it is technologically impossible.
I suppose an analogy that comes to mind is a beach buggy technically it can drive anywhere, it's a totally transformative experience depending on where you drive it... but the most enjoyable place to drive it will always be a beach in California; if you try to make it adapt to other places (like adding a roof for rain).. then it misses the point of a beach buggy :eyes:

The thing about a personal site is that it's personal; it's a selfish project (and I mean selfish in a positive way, it's a space for the self). The radical and exciting thing about creating my site was that I could make it how I wanted, for me - screw everyone else - screw every rule of good design - they are not the point or the goal! I'm not a service provider, a company, some web guru, or on a moral quest to help or save anyone - I just wanna have fun! :ok:

Im sure that mentality will annoy a lot of people :grin: But know that when I say fun, I mean it in an unusually profound way that I can only describe through the sites I make!

HOWEVER; all that is just to try and explain how I think as a comparison to what you're saying! (Though feel free to ask if you wanna discuss anything said here)

Getting back to the topic!

There is an angle that hasn't been brought up yet, but this seems like a good time; that's the importance of craft in the web revival sites. Regardless of your definition of web revival; I don't think anyone can deny that a true web revival experience involves making your own site as much as browsing others. It's a craft experience; you snoop code, steal images, get layout ideas, improve your HTML skills, ask questions and invent code snippets.

It's as much about dismantling other people's sites as it is about browsing them, and to do that you need the right tools. Those tools are code inspectors, a web editor, a keyboard, a good screen, a way to save and edit images, a way to test your site etc. (On the point of mobiles and chrome books - these things don't tend to fit well - although I did painfully make a site on an iPad once!)

It seems like maybe if we are discussing the kinda of spaces web revival sites are designed for, we should include the process of creating them as much as the process of browsing them  :defrag:
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2023 @11.41 »

lots of interesting points here

i've been considering how to address this post for a while now, because i've got a lot to say
(but i don't want to ramble!)

i'll start with addressing my own website.
my site is designed to share information in the form of words.
i used to have CSS, but i dropped it because i want my site to be lightweight
and highly customizable for accessibility.
there's no "one shoe fits all" for website design:
for every accessibility issue you address, another one pops up.
similarly, my approach is flawed. i provide resources that i think are helpful
on a resources page, but i know that not all visitors have the knowledge or
inclination to add custom CSS to their experience of my site.
i haven't found a clear-cut solution in my time hosting websites,
though the compromise raised by shevek sounds promising.

i think the same is true when trying to optimise for every device.
all you can offer is however much you're willing to offer.
it is exhausting to cater for every device; all of which have their own
browsers, fonts, locales, extensions etc.
while my approach is flawed, it is primary customizable.
any device and browser can access it (barring devices that don't support SSL,
but i plan on removing that soon), download the text from each page and then
see what i have to offer.
it's then the client's job to format what i provide in a manner that suits them,
even if this is innately a bad idea because it presumes people have the knowledge to do this,
or more, plan on learning - then surely we should be providing simple resources and
incentivizing non-techy folks to edit websites, not just build them, so that a front-end
developer has to spend less time making a site mobile-friendly?
that's hard to do, but dirtnap has suggested several ideas i resonate with.
my experience of almost every site i visit is far different from what the webowner often intended.
i use the links browser for 90 percent of my web experience;
and i use the tinycore operating system, which is bare bones
and lacks things like locales and unicode for emojis.
ironically, the author of the post after dirtnap's reply name looks something like this to me:

Code
🅲🆁🅸🆂

my point being that it is extremely difficult to what software is interacting with anything at
any given time.
i understand that i'm disregarding creative and artistic sites here, because they are a whole
can of worms in themselves which warrant their own discussion separate from the points i'm
making here.

i've often considered transitioning to Gemini, which is an entirely text-based protocol.
like HTTP, but everything's written in Markdown and easily parsed as plaintext for your
browser.
the only issue with this is i don't expect to get the same traffic for my resources
if i jump ship.
i need to stay on the WWW so that i get the maximum number of people sharing what i link.

i think one of the pessimistic angles i could take to Melon's most recent point is that i
know plenty of folks who haven't learnt HTML; instead they've simply copied bits of
markup from sites they've found and plugged them into their own site without trying to learn.
ironically, that's one of the reason's i'm currently hosting a code jam, and why i've
mentioned it on the forums before:
i'm more than happy to help folks with learning HTML, CSS and JS because it's super important
to me that folks learn the fundamentals of something when sharing something,
so that they can in turn make and subsequently distribute resources helping others learn
how to do what they've done.
programming is such a gatekept field with learning, especially when it comes to learning
more than just the syntax of a language.
whilst it isn't the job of a front-end developer to know about networking and
the fundamentals of a browser - it's definitely good to know so you can contribute to
a pool of free, independent and federated resources that can help others.

i think i failed when it came to not rambling, but i think that makes a tl;dr even
more appropriate:

- i can, and often do, disagree and outright contradict myself here - both conceptually
  and in practice, evidenced in stuff that i make
- i know no solution that accounts for accessibility and creativity simultaneously
- in my idyllic world: everyone that uses and creates on the web should learn about
  the processes involved in using it
- most perceptions towards what the web revival should be, and how people should use
  the technology available to them, are valid as long as they are respectful to the
  limitations of the technology and the people using it

i'm certain i'll come back to edit this, but i'll keep the authenticity of an
unedited draft here for now.
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« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2023 @43.89 »

Phew, now this is a tough nut to crack, and I believe I might have to sleep on this one a couple of times. With the very interesting and valid points by @dirtnap I do feel like we are throwing all kinds of philosophies on art and design into one pot. It leaves me with the dilemma of dust! Why would I clean an apartment when dust will come either way? Why would I design my site, as it is, just for someone to transform it however they like? What if said apartment isn't mine? What if I get paid to clean it? It's all unique reasoning that depends on my personal circumstances. It's not really about the dust, but the social structures making me clean it up, and my, and my guests' well-being.

I keep coming back to websites that I may "view as a work of art", and how people could provide alternatives that embrace the transformative aspect of web. While I believe that the term art is misplaced in this argument because the simplest blogs can and can't be a work of art, I wonder if all new media should adhere to the transformative nature of screen resolutions! Should every game always strive to be playable on every screen? Should videos be conceptualized with responsiveness in mind? Those are completely different topics, I get that. Yet I still am unsure whether every site that identifies itself with the web revival wants to even be seen on a mobile device. What if this is a deliberate artistic choice? What if the site is only meant to be viewed on a pocket watch? While I agree that informational websites serving a social purpose to inform should be as accessible as can be, I am unsure whether all artists are ready to re-think their deliberately mobile-unfriendly concepts.

To me personally, it still depends on the audience I want to entertain with my website. I will do everything but look at numbers to adjust my creative outlet. It's why I fled from my social media addiction. I also find no reason in telling people how to solve their problems with redesigning their site to be mobile-friendly unprompted. Letting them figure it out while failing over and over again is the art of it all, and what makes web design good.

The only thing that I certainly would like to achieve with a website now, is to be the cause of the 51st extension of dirtnap's browser.  :tongue::dive:

Websites belong on carpets. Get stitching, everyone. :ozwomp:

EDIT: Dodge posted while I was busy thinking about spelling mistakes. I want to live in the very same idyllic world. And as with every binary discussion leading to the conclusion that it is a spectrum that we can barely comprehend, approaching this topic with respect to all of our limitations is of utmost importance in places like this. We won't find a clear solution to the problem, but we will definitely be able to find like-minded people who share our design philosophy.
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