Before, the tricks that one had to resort to in order to make simple things work, - white space control or positioning of elements -, were unacceptable in the long run. Now, style sheets and positioning finally give the designer an adequate framework in which he regains control over elementary things.
Forget about gif dots and table tricks. That's the past. It won't take long before DHTML will become commonplace on the web, so don't hesitate to start using it now. If you have time, give people alternate pages viewable by older browsers. I don't have the time to do it, so I doubt something will come up for the DHTML impaired. Sorry about that.
Have you noticed that if you put your mouse on a link without moving, the cell will throb, as if it's impatient to burst? Anyway, I hope you like the animation, which represents an ovulation, and enjoy the randomness of it. But as everything, you will get tired of it. For this, I devised two solutions. One simply consists of a key press to turn it on or off. The other solution consists of giving control to the user on the type of interface used. I plan to design several interfaces for the core page, and you will be able to load the one you like the best.
If you want to have an idea on how this works, press 'C' on your keyboard at the core page (the menu page). A counter will appear. Press 'H' and it hides again.
Unfortunately, downloadable fonts don't perform well on pages that contain many layers (FYI - on the core page there are two parent layers with each ten child layers). Because I insisted on not using Roman or Helvetica, I decided to use the system font. The system font is a font that generally doesn't get mentioned in operating system's font listings, but it's there, hidden. I liked the idea of using and abusing it, but I had to suffer the drawbacks: no control over the weight of the font and limited scalability. Additionally, the system font on the Mac looks aweful. So I finally opted for Verdana, Arial, Helvetica and sans-serif.
Foreground and background
Unlike the print world, colors on the web are free. Also, because the computer screen bears its own light source, colors on screen are more reliable than colors on paper. This is why colors are so important. And indeed, web publishing is primarily about color publishing. But finding right colors to match is not always easy and demands much experimenting. I decided to go for a ton-sur-ton approach. If you do it well, it will produce a dynamic and modern layout, and additionally, it will give you three levels of contrast, rather than the usual two.
But don't forget the readability issue, which always remains priority number one. I check my pages locally for readability, but even then, I'm quite sure people will complain about the lack of contrast on some pages. If I get too many complaints on a specific page, no doubt I will correct the problem and resort to better contrasts.
I picked so many ideas from David Siegel (the guy who made the Tekton font) that I can't even tell what's him and what's me. He's a great source for information on web design. He has written a popular book on web design, but he also shares his insight for free on his homepage. You should check him out. His diary is also worth a detour. You will find the link taking you there on the exit page.