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  1. #1
    SitePoint Enthusiast gravyflex's Avatar
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    Designing for different resolutions

    The feedback I've been getting on my website is that most viewers find that they have to scroll too much. It seems most people use a 800x600 resolution. I prefer 1024x768 and the challenge for me is to optimise the site for different resolutions. The layout is done with tables. I'm open to suggestions because this problem is driving me up a wall.

    www.binarytones.cjb.net

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    SitePoint Evangelist
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    well the solution is to use liquid columns, or a fixed width(generally about 750px)table that is centered.....

    Currently your content columns are not liquid, only the header.....

    cheers

  3. #3
    SitePoint Enthusiast gravyflex's Avatar
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    I have no idea what you are talking about! Come again?

  4. #4
    . Ruchir's Avatar
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    what mvd has tried to say is that make the layout of your site with the help of a table of 750 width and center that table. that would be equal without horizontal bars in any of the resolutions !!
    Peace.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ruchir
    what mvd has tried to say is that make the layout of your site with the help of a table of 750 width and center that table. that would be equal without horizontal bars in any of the resolutions !!
    Tut tut Ruch. It would at the mentioned resolutions, but not at 640*480, or on any of the rapidly growing pda's, 2.5g phones or 3g (when available).

    The centred 750px table is a fine solution if you're looking to make the site nice for everyone down to 800*600, you have to look at other options if you want to have total optimisation.
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    I go with the opinion of "the needs of the many, out weigh the needs of the few". So basically, if most people are using 800x600, then optimise for that. You can't please everyone.

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    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Originally posted by moonman
    You can't please everyone.
    Aaah, but you can. It just takes more work. My main person to please is the client. If they are aware that the minority will have probs when optimised for 800*600 and have no problem, then neither do I. If they want the site viewable on everything from a 72foot plasma screen to a pda, to a wap device, then it's my mission to please (although for more dollars ).
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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH


    Tut tut Ruch. It would at the mentioned resolutions, but not at 640*480, or on any of the rapidly growing pda's, 2.5g phones or 3g (when available).

    The centred 750px table is a fine solution if you're looking to make the site nice for everyone down to 800*600, you have to look at other options if you want to have total optimisation.
    Hmm... I myself find it quite hard to design a website for a PDA or phone. I usually reserve 100 pixels in width for a menu and the rest of the page is fluid. However, 100 pixels on a PDA or phone is about the entire width (if not more then that). That is why I usually stick to 800x600, but if 640x480 is in reach I go for that one .

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    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH


    Aaah, but you can. It just takes more work. My main person to please is the client. If they are aware that the minority will have probs when optimised for 800*600 and have no problem, then neither do I. If they want the site viewable on everything from a 72foot plasma screen to a pda, to a wap device, then it's my mission to please (although for more dollars ).
    Good job I work for technically ignorant clients

  10. #10
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    Originally posted by moonman


    Good job I work for technically ignorant clients
    I've always wondered this part.

    Isnt it part of your job to educate them partially/fully on the situation and presenting them with possible solutions or alternatives or do you just show them the best possible solution that you/the team believe/s is good for them?

    Anyone wanna put a word on that?

    asT.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast gravyflex's Avatar
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    Is it better to set the table width in px of percentage?

  12. #12
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    if you are going for greater accessibility, then better to set it as a percentage......

    Going to the PDA thing, does anyone know of a site where I can test how my pages will appear on a PDA.....currently I find it hard to build for something on which I cannot test....

    cheers

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    Originally posted by astericks


    I've always wondered this part.

    Isnt it part of your job to educate them partially/fully on the situation and presenting them with possible solutions or alternatives or do you just show them the best possible solution that you/the team believe/s is good for them?

    Anyone wanna put a word on that?

    asT.
    I don't have major experience with clients, but I try to give them a complete picture as possible, stating the possibilities they have and show them why somethings will be good or bad for their project. I then leave it up to the client to decide which way he wants to go.
    I think the extra service you provide in this way will pay itself back by new customers that might be referred to you by that client.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru moonman's Avatar
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    Originally posted by astericks


    I've always wondered this part.

    Isnt it part of your job to educate them partially/fully on the situation and presenting them with possible solutions or alternatives or do you just show them the best possible solution that you/the team believe/s is good for them?
    If they were my clients, I would. But seeing as they're clients of my company, I do what my boss tells me, which in some cases is "Get in, do it simple, get out". If we had the time and resources to devoted major time to peoples websites, then it would be different, but we don't.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mvd
    if you are going for greater accessibility, then better to set it as a percentage......

    Going to the PDA thing, does anyone know of a site where I can test how my pages will appear on a PDA.....currently I find it hard to build for something on which I cannot test....

    cheers

    I lost my original list, but after a little investigation, right click the following and save as favourites (or bookmarks, depending on browser).

    Note, the following won't work to get them to work either edit out the http:// added by vb, and the space after "java". Alternatively, use the link in the next post


    800*600
    640*480
    Web TV
    Sony Clie
    Hand Held PC / Ipaq
    Palm / PDA
    Mobile
    Last edited by TheOriginalH; Aug 1, 2002 at 04:08.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    aaargh, that didn't work. Mmmmk, go here
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot pony's Avatar
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    Top link Original H, cheers - I had the two most popular ones bookmarked but not the others.

    Jeez! Is WebTV really that bad!!??
    the bottoms of my shoes are clean from walking in the rain

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    . Ruchir's Avatar
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    640x480 ?? do people still use it . maybe they doo. rather do what H says/... try to design for every resolutioon to satisfy everyone. but i dont think i would ever keep the design for the pda's or phones.. cause i dont think many people will find much sites in PDA's and see through them !! its still a long way to go !!
    Peace.

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    SitePoint Wizard
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    A question out of general interest. Is it possible do design a website that looks good on a mobile or PDA as well as on a pc?

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    That's where trusty old (well, reletively new really..) xml comes in. I'm looking into it at the moment, but I think that a combination of sophisticated user agent sniffing, xml and xslt and maybe a couple of custom doctype definitions (doesn't look too hard ), and you could have yourself a site that is viewable and browsable on anything.
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  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH
    That's where trusty old (well, reletively new really..) xml comes in. I'm looking into it at the moment, but I think that a combination of sophisticated user agent sniffing, xml and xslt and maybe a couple of custom doctype definitions (doesn't look too hard ), and you could have yourself a site that is viewable and browsable on anything.
    how about just sticking with a nice css/(x)html design and using the different media agents built into css

    to give some sort of example, all i have to do is remove the css completely from my site and i have a site that will be readable on any device. be it palm/wap/aural ect ect as it contains no tables ect ect.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Yep, would work nicely for display, but I'm hoping to try some funky stuff with data and syndication - little ambitious for me really, but gotta get your hands dirty
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  23. #23
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    Don't make the users think approach

    Why not lay your tables out at 100%. This way it will work on whatever resolution users have. Browsers/customers don't want to be bothered with sites that work best at "X" resolution. This is the approach used by Amazon, and many others (including my site).

    You can write a javascript to track the screen resolutions, and add it to the URL. Then with your log analysis tool you can determine the most popular resolutions and design the pages in that resolutions.

    It should look good for most customers, and at least work for everyone else. Just as an FYI here are my users stats as of last month

    800 - 54%
    1024 - 38%
    1152 - 3%
    640 - 2%
    540 - 1.5%
    1200 - 1%
    1600 - 0.5%

  24. #24
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mark T.
    A question out of general interest. Is it possible do design a website that looks good on a mobile or PDA as well as on a pc?
    You bet it is - mark pages up using only structural XHTML and keep all of the visual presentation code tucked away in a CSS file. Mobile devices can then render the information in the most suitable way for the platform, without getting thrown by nasty table tags and single-pixel-gifs.

  25. #25
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Hey, that means a website using DIV's and CSS for position in a seperate .css file actually can be displayed on smaller resolutions. Neat .


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