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Opinions on page width.Views: 380
Sep 05, 2007 6:42 pm re: re: re: Opinions on page width.

Laura Wheeler
I DON'T design in flexible width most of the time because of the following reasons:

1. My clients cannot afford the extra time it takes to fuss making it look good all ways. That time can better be used on more critical function.
2. When fluid width pages go very wide, they look very stupid - things just don't stay arranged well. Same when they goo too narrow - stuff gets wrapped that shouldn't (or worse, overlapped!). So you end up with minimum and maximum widths, which is really just another way of doing fixed width, IF you can get it to work across browsers without IE doing something stupid to it.
3. If pages go very wide, the text gets extremely hard to read unless you change the size (and then you lose all that extra space to bigger text). Publishing rules dictate that anything more than the equivalent in text of 3 alphabet lengths should be avoided - and with good reason. It gets too hard to track from one line to the next.

Complete flexibility just isn't possible. There are too many variations. The down-side to having a huge monitor is that everybody else doesn't. So designers won't go out of their way for the few that do. My monitor is large - but I NEVER open the browser window full width. It bugs me if I do. There is just too much width to use effectively with a web page.

We designed for 800pixels until the last year. We widened it to either 900 or 1000. Those widths give us the ability to use more space, while being less of an inconvenience to the 800 pixel crowd (they just get the right sidebar cut off, and we reserve that for less critical info anyway). I don't use right hand sidebars with larger templates.

If you cater to frugal people, seniors, or other people who are likely to own an older computer, then you should keep the page width smaller, because your visitor stats could be quite different than the average.

Mom to Eight
Firelight Business Enterprises, Inc.

Private Reply to Laura Wheeler (new win)

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