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    Blue text, while also a widely recognizable clickable-text indicator, is crass and distracting. Luckily, it is also rendered unnecessary by the use of underlining.

    Not only does removing the blue coloring for links break user’s expectations, but the links are also missing :visited styling. I don’t like the preference of form over function in this instance.

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      I didn’t realise anything underlined was a link until you mentioned this.

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        removing the blue coloring for links break user’s expectations

        Really? I find that almost no websites use blue text with underlines for links anymore. I can only think of a couple and they are very focused on developers who prefer a ‘minimalist web’ aesthetic. Even on lobste.rs, while the article links may be blue, they are not underlined, and all of the other links are shades of gray (and most of those don’t have underlines!)

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          I overwrite website styles in my browser and this also applies to links for which I have a fair bit of contrast (and a different color for visited links). I spot links instantly and feel a clear difference with stock configurations: links are a core aspect of the web, they should be easy to spot and deserve contrast.

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            That’s fair, come to think of it you’re actually right. Still not stoked about the lack of :visited styling though.

            Edit: I’m looking at it other websites and I think that most sites have at least some difference in color between the links and body text. Maybe it’s not blue, but it’s more than a simple underline.

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              Minimalist aesthetic was indeed the key for me when I chose Tufte CSS for my site and the end result has stuck with me, saving me from other-framework envy for the past 3 years. Blue underlines and past visit hints have not (yet) been missed.

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            This project has some interesting ideas.

            I love the way sidenotes work and that this has been achieved with CSS. The way they show up in a mobile view is particularly pleasing (in some articles, I would prefer footnotes to show up like this).

            I enjoyed Edward Tufte’s breakdown of the iPhone’s information resolution/screen design in iPhone Resolution by Edward Tufte

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              I love the way the sidenotes look and work. I’ve had it on my to-do list for a while to make it possible for Littlefoot to generate footnotes that work this way—but on reflection, maybe the Tufte approach already does everything I want? I’d love to be able to use less JavaScript on my blog.

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                I enjoyed Edward Tufte’s breakdown of the iPhone’s information resolution/screen design in iPhone Resolution by Edward Tufte

                I wonder what user interfaces designed by Tufte would be like now…

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                For me, Tufte’s format is a good guide and starting point, but there are a few things I don’t like about it.

                • I find the use of italics for headings somewhat distracting and jarring. I much prefer a matching sans serif font for headings.
                • I definitely like the side notes and agree that they should be close to the text they’re relevant for. I absolutely hates footnotes that take me to the bottom of the screen. But I wish there was a better markup for them. Personally I prefer to use the <aside> tag for the text.
                • I think link color should depend on the color scheme of the rest of the site. It’s possible to have colored links without them being distracting. I also think they should be changed on being visited.
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                  CSS aside, Edward Tufte’s books are very nice. I recently started reading Visual Explanations, which is a joy to read, and very inspirational even though I usually do very little in visualizing data. I think he put a lot of thought into presenting information, which is reflected not only in the content of his books, but also the presentation thereof.

                  I personally quite like how these translate to the web. I agree that marking links with only a black underline may be insufficient, but I also do not like the high contrast blue color of the default browser style. I’ve seen bright underlines on other websites, and I think that they work quite well - as far as my own experience goes, such links are recognizable even though they aren’t the same color they are by default.