Wow. There is some chaos going on when you shrink your browser window. The behaviour actually seems much more correct in Safari 4 Beta than Firefox 3 on the Mac. More on the motivation in this A List Apart article on Fluid grids.
More importantly, there are two odd design decisions which affect you when you’re not goofing around with your browser size:
- The contextual left nav shows on the homepage, but disappears on all other landing pages, only to reappear when you click through from a landing page to other content within the section. I get that the landing page has pretty icons which point you to the sub nav sections, but that’s no reason to force people to find the link they’re looking for in the main body, particularly on subsequent visits. Inconsistent menu behaviour is simply frustrating as hell. Especially with the homepage defaulting to show the Standards sub nav, which is way out of context at that point. Just leave the left nav on the landing pages instead of jumping on and off the screen.
- Also, I’m getting used to the Talks, Events, News content sub-sub menu on each of the Standards section sub pages, but I was initially surprised at the lack of method to visually identify this content which shows further down on each sub page (showing in two columns, same text formatting, with Events buried under Talks). Never mind that there’s a whole section of key info underneath the Talk, Events, News menu that isn’t categorized. (So what’s this stuff? Size and hierarchy says it’s more important, but you’ve got to read through to the links after each of the descriptions to figure out what you’re clicking on. This section should be prominently labelled in the Talks, Events, News menu, no? Say, called Specifications.
Finally, is there really no line spacing support in mobile browsing, because the mobile view is illegible. One line of text is literally sitting on top of the next. Maybe line spacing is set on the mobile browser itself and, as a non-mobile browser, I should quit making assumptions about mobile line spacing. Either way, mobile browsing is clearly broken.