Before I ever read this article, whenever I try to figure out widths of anything the very first thing that pops into my mind is how wide will the content possibly ever get. Making it too small can eventually make the information look weird, if its too big the text to whitespace ratio can just start to look awkward. This is essentially what Reichenstein is talking about. Let the information dictate the interface. Gather your information to find the range you have to work with so you can then figure out what design best facilitates all that information. Save font choices and other nit-picky details for last. Rather, focus on the over-all positioning of the type and let the rest of the smaller details fall into place naturally. I know personally, I get caught up choosing what typeface I want to use and this can end up with two things. Either me never fully figuring out what typeface to go with, or over-analyzing typefaces and not being happy with what I end up choosing. Why do I do this? Because I'm OCD about things and can get nit-picky very easily but this doesn't really facilitate being productive. But, I know this, so I do my best to keep it under control.
i love this list from the follow up reading. this seems like such an amazing list of key points to keep in mind when designing a website:
- Text-background color contrast>
- Lazy handling of titles and subtitles
- Text sizes
- Text blocks that are not split up into enough small, scannable, digestible parts
- Indiscernible links. Visited and non visited links are not discerned
- Text is not treated as an interface but as decoration
- It’s not clear if the text is a navigational element, a link or plain text
- Fancy navigations marking the center of attention (content is the center of attention, content deserves the most love from the designer)
as a final side note, i LOVE what possibilites html5 and css3 have within them to help us with all of these aspects of website design.