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View Poll Results: What do you prefer a fixed website or 100% width one ?

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  • Fixed width

    8 38.10%
  • 100% width

    7 33.33%
  • other width ?

    6 28.57%
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Thread: Fixed or not ?

  1. #1
    Non-Member Siltrince's Avatar
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    Arrow Fixed or not ?

    I know this has been done a few (many?) times but I havn't seen any recent polls about it so I decided to start one myself.

    The mean reason I started this poll is because more and more people are starting to use higher resolutions from 1024 x ... to 1600 x ... and unless your website is fixed it probably won't look good at 100% width on a 1600 x ... resolution.Way to much whitespace, complete story's on 1 or 2 lines ... you know what I mean.

    So what do you prefer and why?
    Last edited by Siltrince; Aug 13, 2002 at 07:17.

  2. #2
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    I much prefer fluid sites to fixed ones, probably because I have a much larger than average monitor and a high resolution. Sites that are fixed at 800x600 look awful in large resolutions. Granted fixed sites are easier to make, but to be honest, it's not that hard to make a fluid design look good.
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I chose "other width" because I always go for fluid but I don't always gof ro 100%. Personally I think the argument that higher resolutions require fixed width sites is flawed - all the people I know who surf at a high resolution do so partly so they don't need to keep their windows maximised. As a result they are much more likely to resize their browser window (since it isn't maximised in the first place) if a site is an uncomfortable dimension for them. The number of people surfing full screen at 1600x1200 is probably quite low, although obviously I don't have any figures to back that up

  4. #4
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Oh, no way, not ever!

    Browsing at full screen would do my head in - and my eyes which are already bad enough!

    My browser window is set to around 1024x768, but even in that, sites fixed at 800x600 don't look anywhere near as good as those that are fluid.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I think that depends on the way they're constructed Saz. The human eye comfortably spans around 9 words per line of text, any more than that and it gets "tired". If you set your text to fluid tables you can end up with nasty 30+ word long lines which are uncomfortable to read. You can of course avoid this by having a fluid site with fixed width text areas...
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    ...and have tons of white space and nine clicks on the scroll bar for a single paragraph (as they'd increase the font size to compensate for the ungainly tiny print at higher resolutions). :-p

    I do think there comes a point when we have to trust that the guy lookin' at our pages will look out for himself and resize the browser window accordingly. Anyway, I choose "Other" for the reasons Skunk highlighted. :-)

    ~~Ian

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard
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    I chose 100%, since most sites I made were 100% in width. However, I do agree with Skunk on the matter of other widths.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    100% gives the user more choices about display.
    Fixed puts the choice in your hands.
    Controlled flexibility is a good compromise... like a web page that'll stretch from 800px to 1000px but no furthur in either direction.
    Using your unpaid time to add free content to SitePoint Pty Ltd's portfolio?

  9. #9
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH
    I think that depends on the way they're constructed Saz. The human eye comfortably spans around 9 words per line of text, any more than that and it gets "tired".
    True, but if the site is flexible, then the user has the opportunity to adjust the browser width according to what he/she is comfortable with. If the site is fixed in width, or even just the column with the text in it, users are forced to accept the designer's preferances.

    Plus, flexible sites are suited better to those who need the text size slightly larger than the norm. There are countless sites out there where the layout is thrown into complete disarray if the browser's font size is increased. This has come about because the designer has created a fixed width site with all the font sizes matching to his or her own computer settings and no allowances have been made for differing needs.

    Admittedly, if you're making a site that you only expect to appeal to a niche market, then considerations such as browser resolutions and font sizes probably don't matter so much, but personally I will always take the flexible option.
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    9 words per line of text,
    I vaguly remember from a class geared towards newspaper editing that the figure was 52 characters (the alphabet twice) - a more percise way of saying the same thing as 9 words. Of course, that's for print and based on studies that were current 5 years ago. I believe they gave people selections to read with various formatting and the people with the shorter lines read faster and remembered more.

    abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
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  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Ian Glass
    ...and have tons of white space and nine clicks on the scroll bar for a single paragraph (as they'd increase the font size to compensate for the ungainly tiny print at higher resolutions). :-p

    I do think there comes a point when we have to trust that the guy lookin' at our pages will look out for himself and resize the browser window accordingly. Anyway, I choose "Other" for the reasons Skunk highlighted. :-)

    ~~Ian
    Not neccesarily (I can NEVER spell that word ). http://www.jungle.com/ is a reasonable example of what I mean...
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  12. #12
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheOriginalH
    Not neccesarily (I can NEVER spell that word ).
    New Eggs Come Every Saturday Sunday And R Yellow for 'necessary' and then just change the ending to 'ily'

    With regard to the Jungle site, the middle column which houses the main content expands according to the width of the browser. What you mentioned before was having the text area a fixed width.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Check out http://www.jungle.com/webapp/wcs/sto...tegoryId=90000

    Should bring up no results. The text in the middle remains a max of 11 words, although the borders expand. Although the site isn't perfect, I love the way the've handled readability/resolution change issues.
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    PS, thanks for the tip on eggs
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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  15. #15
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    That's only because there are only 11 words in that sentence and the text is aligned to centre!

    Look here. This sentence "Summer Sale. Was 79.00 Now 69.00. Save over 10%. While stocks last! A 1.3 Megapixel Digital Camera for less than 70! Credit card sized and feat... Read more" is all on one line if I go to full screen.
    Last edited by Saz249; Aug 14, 2002 at 07:11.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    <-- Takes stupid hat off.

    Mmk. I thought they'd done it like so (without looking at the code - perhaps I should have done).

    [fixed menu] [expand/collapse spacer] [fixed content] [e/c spacer] [fixed sidebar].

    You're quite right of course, they haven't, I'm going loopy - and the above solution would of course mean that the combined fixed table content value should not exceed 600 ish pixels. I'm going back to sleep now
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  17. #17
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    First Mark T. and now you, H. Looks like being Blonde is coming into fashion at SitePoint!

    On a more serious note though, if you do manage to find a site that does what you were explaining, can you please post the url and I'm interested in seeing if I do actually find them more appealing to the eye.
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  18. #18
    Non-Member Siltrince's Avatar
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    Ok expandable versus fixed at high res (1600x...)

    Maybe I belong to a little group but I allways surf fullscreen, my current res is 1152 (can't go higher for the moment).
    But when I will switch to 1600 it won't make me change my browsing habbits, if the site looks bad fullscreen at 1600x... then you lose me as a visitor.

    I don't think it should be the surfer who adjusts his browser window, who are we to tell how the visitor has to view the site.

    It's like telling people :
    min resolution to view the site correct : 800x...
    max resolution to view the site correct : 1152x...

    A fixed design can "waste" a lot of space but at least all the content stays where it's supossed to be without resizing the browserwindow.

  19. #19
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Siltrince
    A fixed design can "waste" a lot of space but at least all the content stays where it's supossed to be without resizing the browserwindow.
    So you think that a 800x600 fixed site looks ok full screen when the resolution is much higher?

    Also, if you don't mind looking at 800x600 fixed sites, why browse full screen?
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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    Don't mind me, I'm having a BLONDE moment!

  20. #20
    Non-Member Siltrince's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Saz249

    So you think that a 800x600 fixed site looks ok full screen when the resolution is much higher?
    Yes I do.


    Also, if you don't mind looking at 800x600 fixed sites, why browse full screen?
    I dunno maybe I'm an exception but I hate non-fullscreen-browsing.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    There is a beautifully simple solution to the problem of liquid layouts resulting in long text lines at high resolutions. It's called the CSS max-width property. Unfortunately browser support for it is practically non existant at the moment but it should be wide spread in a few years time, at which point we'll be able to design beautiful variable width layouts without potentially compromising the readability of our sites

  22. #22
    Bimbo With A Brain! silver trophy Saz's Avatar
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    Now isn't that typical. The perfect solution at our finger tips but the majority of browsers won't support it!
    Saz: Naturally Blonde, Naturally Dizzy!
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  23. #23
    Non-Member Siltrince's Avatar
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    Yeah that's to bad , guess we'll have to wait then ...

  24. #24
    Proud Mac User templates911's Avatar
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    Liquid Webdesign is what 100% width is refered to sometimes.

    http://www.4templates.com is a great example.

    I prefer designs like that. But sometimes you cant get something to do that.


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