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Site Graphics and Multimedia Design Forum

GIFs with Transparency - small screen ugliness
handheld web access will require a change of method

 6:43 pm on Dec 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

With the projected growth of handheld devices accessing the web, it's a good idea to see what those small screens do to our graphics. The new Opera 7.0 beta makes this easy - there's a toggle under "View" for small screen display. Since Opera is a commonly embedded small screen browser, this makes a lot of sense as a reference tool.

I've already made some changes based on what I see there. The biggest issue is GIF graphics with transparent backgrounds.

In order to squeeze the page elements onto a small screen, the browser often just stacks things up in the order they appear in the HTML. This method often ignores the background colors that a transparent image was designed for - leaving a fuzzy, odd looking mess.

The reasons for creating those transparent backgrounds hinged on bad color matching in browsers - something that newer hardware and software has dealt with rather well. So I decided to change those transparent gifs to a true background color.

If someone still sees a square outline around the image, so be it. At least the image communicates - and now it does so on a small screen PDA or mobile phone as well as a regular monitor.

Just getting ready for what tomorrow may bring.



 6:26 pm on Dec 28, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thats a great tip tedster. Graphic design will be changing, and staying on top of the new technics will help us stay competitive.

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