Explosion of design

With the recent mention that IE7 will have proper alpha-PNG support, I predict that we will see an explosion of creativity in web site designs.

I've been pondering this in some of the recent design work that I've seen come out of the company that I work for. Imagine changing an entire colour scheme of a site without having to change a single image; even ones with feathered edges.

On one of these projects, I had a navigation button layered over a photo and a background. Instead of having to export the navigation for each photo, I used a PNG for the photo and for the button. The button appeared over the photo which appeared over the background. For each subsequent photo, I only had to export the photo. In the end, this saved me time and will save the user bandwidth.

Marko over at Maratz.com makes great use of PNG's at the top and bottom of the page (unless you use the current version of IE). It is effects like these that web designers will see as a real possibility for the masses and I'm sure will inspire a new generation of designs.

Published April 23, 2005 · Updated September 17, 2005
Categorized as HTML and CSS
Short URL: https://snook.ca/s/356

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Rob Mientjes said on April 23, 2005

*cough* Anyone interested?

Anyway, yeah, it's a great prospect. Nazarin does that neatly on Absenter, though I'm there to nag about the use of real images instead of backgrounds.

Marko said on April 23, 2005

I have done a few tests with filter property in IE<7, and it works fine when the two of such layers do not overlap. It's still 'selling potatoes'.

I'm not too enthusiastic about IE7 though, users who wanted better browsing, already switched to FF and the gang. IE7 should be way much better than current browsers, if they want to gain its' popularity.

Jonathan Snook said on April 23, 2005

Marko: I think you fully underestimate how the majority of web users work. They just don't realize that there are other browsers out there. They buy a computer that comes with Windows and IE. As newer versions of IE become available, they're more likely to get installed due to Windows Updates. When IE7 comes out, I fully expect to see a half-decent adoption rate.

Leezig said on November 05, 2006

If Microshaft do go ahead with their intended policy of including IE7 in their automatic updates packages for XP we definitely will see an accelerated adoption rate. They obviously are fully aware that most people don't know about manual browser upgrading and are using that knowledge combined with their unique position as supplier of the world's predominant OS to their best advantage. I hope we will see an explosion of design on the back of this browser upgrade; I'm waiting and watching.

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