You should be looking at a redesigned Antimoon, the project I’ve been working on for the past month or so. If it looks wrong, you may have to reload the page to get the newest styles.
If anything seems wrong after you reload the page, please let me know.
Here’s a rundown of the most important changes:
- More readable, better-looking text
- Navigation bar on every page
- Coordinated color scheme
- (articles and blog pages only) Dictionary lookup feature — double-click any word to look it up in the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (includes phonetic transcription, recordings and of course example sentences)
- (articles only) Google Translate link for people who have difficulty reading in English and whose languages are not included in the Translation Wiki.
- (articles and blog pages only) Buttons for sharing an article on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Awesome print stylesheet — if you print an article, it will look almost as good as a page from a book. No ads, no site navigation, just pure text set in a nice font.
Why did you redesign the site?
The goal was to make Antimoon easier to read and more pleasing to the eye. The site contains large amounts of text. I wanted to provide an experience that resembles reading a book. Of course, currently available computer displays cannot match the readability of a book (for one thing, they don’t have enough resolution), but I think I’ve gotten 80% there.
When Antimoon launched in 2001, it had an unusually simple and easy-to-use design for its time. Back then the Web was full of sites that looked like this. I take pride in the fact that I was one of the early followers of Jakob Nielsen’s evangelism. The 2001 design survived for 10 years with some minor tweaks (with the exception of the homepage, which was significantly restyled).
Since 2001, I have learned a lot about typography, graphic design and user experience design. I’ve read books, Web articles, and designed other sites, most notably TypeIt. I wanted to put this knowledge to good use on Antimoon.
Why is the font so big on article pages?
It’s not big. It’s the right size for reading from a screen. When you read from a screen, the screen is typically an arm’s length away from you (it should be, anyway). When you read from a book, the page is much closer. Nobody holds a book at arm’s length. For this reason, the letters displayed on screen should be roughly 60% larger than letters printed on a page to maintain the same level of readability.
If you think 16-pixel Georgia is too big, you are either sitting too close to your screen or you have been conditioned by poorly designed websites. For years, websites have used tiny fonts in an effort to fit as much information as possible on the page. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, as designers begin to realize that there’s no reason why websites should be harder to read than books.