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Safari Books - bad redesign

November 4 2009 : posted under design rant

I’ve had an account with O’Reilly’s Safari books on and off for years

I’ve cancelled it before because of design issues that rendered it unworkable for me.

This time they have “upgraded” the site from an AJAX based layout which allowed me to choose between “print fidelity” and “HTML view”.

The new layout uses Flash to render the pages as they look in print in a scrollable window.

I hate this because

  • I work on a widescreen laptop with development toolbars and tabs in my browser - this layout of a tall thin view just doesn’t fit on my screen.
  • I can’t scroll the Safari menu and banner off-screen
  • Most of the time I don’t care too much about formatting I just want to read it and HTML is easier to read
  • The scrolling doesn’t respond to my mousewheel
  • I like to get a nice big page of text on-screen and the use the browsers search to quickly home in on the bit I want to read. Oh well - back to books for now and another incentive to try and get the perfect e-reader…