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  1. #1
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    Fixed layouts at 1024

    I've recently switched to 1024x768 for fixed layout designs, but wondered what the concensus is on the viewable area for these.

    The majority of Google results seem to list 955x600 - not that that's necessarily the best way to get the answer.

    Some of the most popular sites seem to be a fair bit wider than that...

    BBC - 994px
    Times Online - 996px
    Sky News - 996px
    CNN - 984px

    Have all these big high-profile organisations got it wrong?

    For those who have decided to go fixed rather than fluid, is 955 the best width for 1024 users, or is it ok to go a bit wider?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Addict joaquin_win's Avatar
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    When I do fixed width layouts I usually leave 20px on each side so the 984px from CNN seem about right to me. That allows enough space on both sides even when scrollbars are visible.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for replying Joaquin.

    If 955 really is the safe area for 1024 users but we go for a 984px(-ish) design - in other words, allowing left and right padding to act as the buffer - I guess the problem I would have with that is twofold (and I may be wrong on this)...

    1) people on 1024x768 could end up seeing the content, the logo, and everything else butted right up to the left and right edges of their browser window, which means the site doesn't look too good for those users. The 20px padding (breathing space) either side is only really appreciated by users of higher resolutions.

    2) the issue of horizontal scrollbars appearing if any of the stuff within that 20px padding either side is inline HTML like an actual image.

    Ideally I'm thinking that 20px left and right padding that you suggest should really be within the minimum width of 955 if we're going to give 1024 users a decent layout.

    But then I look at CNN et al and think, if the really big guys are also taking the approach you suggest, it can't be that bad... (with no offence to you, obviously )

  4. #4
    SitePoint Addict joaquin_win's Avatar
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    Haha, no offense taken :P

    Also remember that a reported 1024px screen resolution doesn't really mean you actually have the whole space for yourself.

    An open sidebar in the browser or a window not maximized means the horizontal scrollbar will show up. So design to have your main content visible in those cases also.

  5. #5
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Good point, Joaquin.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict joaquin_win's Avatar
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    Thanks Dan.

    5tevooo take a look at http://www.alistapart.com/ and resize to 800X600 they do a great work on making the third sidebar become hidden and the horizontal scrollbar goes almost unnoticed (at least for me) because the content stays whole.


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