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Re: headings


From: Chris Heilmann
Date: Feb 18, 2005 2:33PM

>>... Isn't the content of
>>the document more important than the place it resides on? As
>>your visitor, I'd think so.
>In a word, no. If you are looking for information then you need to be able to
>judge the quality of the info. In the print world that means an article in a
>well known journal is more trustworthy than one on a two-page newsletter from
>a small pressure group.
The Sun and the Daily Mail have very many readers indeed, and are widely
known publications.
Should we replicate 1:1 what we read there or check it first by
comparing it with other publications - after all that many readers can't
all be wrong, or?
Can we determine the quality of a web site or how well run the business
is by looking at it or how known it is?
Can we determine if the facts are true and the editorial staff is up to
If the branding of the site is the only indicator, then I very much
doubt we can.
A lot of excellent articles on the web come in a very poor wrapping and
most up-to-date technical information in personal blogs.
The new thing about the web as a media was and is that you can deliver
information without a shiny wrapper and still find readers and spur
discussion - as it is not a one way media.

>If on the other hand you are looking for a product or service, then the first
>thing that you need to know is whether the vendor is reputable enough for
>you. Is it a back-street garage, or a Ford Franchised Dealer?
>There may be other ways to categorise Internet use, but I'll bet that I can
>apply similar logic to them as well.
>In other words, as any marketing person will tell you, it is all about the
And how many marketing people have told us with their advertising words
during the dotcom boom that their site is the most reliable and best and
their brand is the world leader?
How many people got laid of at all the magazines being the best and
newest and most hip reporting about them?
Sorry, but good marketing and brand awareness as an indicator of great
content is like believing the second hand car dealer when he praises
the shiny body that the engine is in pristine condition, too.

>You can use them any way you want to, but they are a tool to
>give the current document a structure. When using the Site
>Name as the main header, you give away one level of that
>structure. You can do that, however it makes more sense to
>keep the structure on a document level rather than mixing
>site structure and document structure.
>Well that is exactly what this discussion is about - the author has split one
>logical document into several physical files. At that point, the site
>structure has already become part of the document structure so your point is
No, that is not the point. The documents in themselves have an internal
structure. The site map and the information architecture of the site
binds them together. If your text does not need a proper structure, it
most probably is not worth an own document.

>>company XYZ
>>About Us
>>Department XYZ
>>What happens when you need four levels in the document of
>>that department?
>You use an H4? H5, H6
That is three levels. How about the fourth one? There is no H7 and you
cannot restart at H1.

>>Why is the site name the most important element? As a
>>visitor, I don't care. An example would be a product page, if
>>I search for an MP3 Player with 256MB I will look for that.
>>If that information is in the H1 of the document I am more
>>likely to find it. That it is a product of ABC is of no
>>signifance for me ...
>It is for everyone else in the world, bar none.
A bold statement. Take CDRs for example. Any online shop will feature
about 30 different brands. When you follow the sales trail back to the
press in China there are about 4 companies left. Is Ritek the brand to
trust or Memorex who print their name on it? Is a pullover better
because of the Nike swoosh or because it is 100% cotton and the seams
are very nicely stitched?

>>... As a user of
>>assitive technology I don't want to hear the name of the site
>>on every page I am on as the first headline, I know already
>>that I am there.
>As a sighted user, I find that most links give very little indication of what
>site they are going to - a decent indication when I get there is important.
That is what a usable navigation is about. The section you are in is

The title of the article is the h1, I don't see

>The same applies to titles of documents, IMHO:
>Little cuddly green frogs at etoys.com
>Makes a lot more sense than
>Etoys.com - all toys - plush toys - frogs
>So you want us all to throw away any semantic meaning in our document titles
>then? While the first example reads more fluently, it gives no indication of
>the site structure, which you have already said you don't want to see in the
>Header structure. (Again, they are not headlines.)
Yes, why should that be in the document title? Can I navigate there?
The site structure should be presented to me as a interactive element of
the page. What good is it to know I am in the plush toys section when I
cannot navigate back up to the toys section or drill further down to the
frogs or giraffes?
The site structure is represented in the navigation - the global one and
aided by tools like a breadcrumb navigation and links to similar content.
You can repeat it, but not at the cost of internal structure of the
current document.