Some thoughts about Gemini UX

Rohan Kumar seirdy at
Mon Feb 22 20:32:46 GMT 2021

On Mon, Feb 22, 2021 at 09:07:20PM +0100, Hans Gerwitz wrote:
>It’s important for users to experience a sense of place as they 
>navigate (as per Luke Emmet’s “cognitive aspects” thread from May 2020) 
>but also important to give content creators some control over the 
>presentation of their text.
>Already we see extensive use of ASCII art. This is retro-cool but I 
>would argue favicons or theme colors are actually *more* minimal, and 
>also more attractive to 21st century users.

I think that the lack of aesthetic branding is one of the best parts of 
the Gemini space. Capsules should be distinguished by content, not 
appearance. Presentation should be up to the user-agent, not the 
authors. If branding is important for a site, then the Web is probably a 
better fit for it than Gemini or Gopher.

>I appreciate the need to avoid spurious network requests, especially 
>across servers. But rules like “user takes action” are impossible to 
>enforce (and scrolling is an action).

Actions equivalent to navigation should work. When navigating to a link 
pointing to an image, displaying that image inline should suffice.

Scrolling isn't sufficient because users can't see what's "below the 
fold" and therefore can't consent to sending a network request to an 
unknown resource. This could also be used for tracking; authors could 
"measure" how far a reader as scrolled by seeing which images got 

Inline images should only be used if they're a necessary part of the 
content and alt-text won't suffice. Readers should be able to decide if 
this is the case from the context and make a decision; the decision 
should not be made by authors.

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