The Personal Blog Of Steffi Lewis

Founder & creator of YourPCM ...


I had a demo go horribly wrong last week

Something I hadn't considered before ...


Posted by Steffi Lewis on 13/06/2023 @ 8:00AM

I was coding on Sunday. Mostly around fonts, sizes and faces for the main YourPCM database, and this was because I had a demonstration go horribly wrong ...

When demos go wrong, you need to think about why and fix it so it doesn't happen again!

When demos go wrong, you need to think about why and fix it so it doesn't happen again!

created by leonardo ai

One of the people on the call was colour-blind and struggled to see what I was showing them on screen, which really put them off. He didn't get any value from it and had to leave the meeting early as his eyes were hurting. I know they're not coming back, and that really disappointed me.

"I'd never come across this before!"

I needed to do something about it as I didn't want it to happen again. Firstly, I created a purely black-and-white theme, then reverse the process and created one that was mostly black, but with white text. Other themes will follow, but this was a start.

We've been able to change font sizes for a while now, but they only went up and down by 1pt each time. I needed to spread them out a little, so we now have 11pt (as standard) and 13pt, 15pt and 18pt available in the expanded views. This also meant I needed to check column widths and ensure that things like phone numbers fitted correctly.

I added four other font faces too. Raleway is my standard font, and I've been using this throughout YourPCM since I created it, but again, vision issues for certain subscribers, so I've added in a choice of Cairo, Arial, Merriweather and Cormorant, the last two being serif fonts. Different people can see different fonts better, so it was certainly a good idea to put them in.

Now, subscribers get a choice of themes, widths, font sizes and faces too. Fingers crossed that all this should accommodate the vast majority of people, but I've put it out there that custom colour schemes are available if someone has a particular type of colour blindness!

I realised I had some extra time on Sunday to get a bit more coding done. I didn't need to consult the feature request list as I already knew what it was I wanted to do. I'd recently added Rich Text Format into the mailer editor and it was working great, although it has a few little foibles that I always tell subscribers about. Because of this, I was recommending people open the editor and the viewer side by side and refresh the view when they update the editor.

This was a complete pain in the proverbial for them to do (popup windows would keep disappearing beneath other popups) so I decided to embed the viewer into the editor which solved the problem. Now, as soon as they update the mailer, they can see the effect it will have via the embedded viewer to the side of this. I've already had some great feedback from subscribers about how easy this makes it.

"I'm really happy with the mailer system now!"

So, all in all, and excellent day of coding on Sunday. I promised a few networkers I saw on Friday that I would take Saturday off and just relax because I've been pushing it recently, so just compressed everything into one day.

And I won't be working at all next weekend as I'll be sunning myself at the beach instead.

Love, light and logic ...



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About Steffi Lewis ...


Foodie, sci-fi nut, cat lover, brain aneurysm & cancer survivor, countryside dweller, SaaS entrepreneur, developer and networker.

Published my first website in 1993 for the Open University and am highly experienced with Windows Servers, SQL Server, HTML, Classic ASP, JavaScript, and CSS.

I've also worked as a professional photographer in Los Angeles, USA and been a vision mixer and producer for live television in my time.

I live in a village north of Milton Keynes with my two cats, Baggins and Gimley, and a large planted aquarium full of unruly tropical fish.


01908 875991