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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Fluid design, is it really the best design?

    I asked for reviews on my site in a couple of different forums including sitepoint and many suggested that my site lacks balance somewhat. I optimized my site for the width 800 and centered it. But once that's done, a couple of people suggested to apply a fluid design like http://www.thenoodleincident.com/tut...on/basic4.html. While I continue making modifications here and there, I am thinking about making another major design change, but ... is it really the best design? Fluid design? I'm asking because i) I personally don't feel it's the best design not always but often and ii) Some of most popular sites on the net such as Yahoo http://www.yahoo.com/, EBay http://www.ebay.com/ and AOL http://www.aol.com/ (except for the navigation bar) have fixed width. I'd appreciate any input.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Member
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    There is no 'best' design.

    Know thy user!
    In short consider the sites you listed. What/who are the primary & secondary target audiences of those sites?

    I.e. The Noodle Incident is geared towards Information Architects, Web Designers, etc. People who generally have better equipment than the general public. So most of "us" keep our screen size larger, and sites that don't fill the screen often times doesn't look as good.

    While, Yahoo, Ebay, AOL are targeted for the Mass Public and use the rule of general accepted standards, which in this case 800x600.

    So, design your site for whomever the "Target Audience" is, and your answers will lie within that info.
    Last edited by Anim8d Life; Nov 1, 2003 at 08:19.

  3. #3
    Huh? What now? tntcheats's Avatar
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    I often design websites to look best on 800 by 600,
    but also have the important stuff (aka nav bar) on the left side. And just affiliate links and skyscraper ads on the right.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    The beauty of fluid designs is that it takes into account that not everybody uses the same resolution, font size, and browser window width. A fluid design keeps your site consistent no matter what your visitors are using, thus they see what you see, except it can be stretched, or the font can be enlarged or made smaller. It's a good idea to go with a fluid design, that way you get less complaints, and know that your visitors are getting a better experience all around. If you do go with a fixed-width, at least use relative font sizes, like small, x-small, x-large, medium, etc.
    Matt Burris
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