Think Twice Before Using Letterpress Text Effect

CSS3 has loads of new effects to help beef up your designs with less work. Though the new styling features look neat and easy to implement, it does not necessarily mean they should be used all willy nilly. Just like Photoshop default effects, be careful of their use and make sure they are relevant to your design.

One particular CSS3 technique, the letterpress, embossed text effect is so, very cool right now and can be achieved by using the text-shadow property (see Line25’s Tutorial Create a Letterpress Effect with CSS Text-Shadow). I recommend that you keep this effect to headlines and short amount of text because instead of looking cool, it can be visually jarring similar to print text with incorrect registration. Be aware that by limiting and properly using this effect, you can increase readability and decrease eye fatigue.

A Few More Tips To Build Better Links

It’s still annoying surprising that there are plenty out there who insist on creating websites without taking into consideration usability and accessibility, in particular building better links. Smashing Magazine has a very useful article on improving the links in your website. Read The Definitive Guide to Styling Web Links and help make the web a user-friendlier place.

My favourite tips:

  1. Apply padding (Improves usability by increasing the user’s clickable area)
  2. Make anchor text descriptive (Removes the need to read the link’s context before understanding where the link goes)
  3. Don’t open new windows (Let the user decide how they want to interact with your site, unexpected actions are a turnoff)

Exceptions are always applicable, but why bother messing with a good thing?