I have been looking at some established, even 'geeky', sites trying to analyze their practices. I understand that that a popular practice is not necessarily a good practice. Still I was taken aback, especially when it comes to branding/search/and navigation areas .. how the container explicit dimensions or explicit height.

Examples: visit Cnet , Facebook , SITEPOINT!??!. These are HUGE sites, right? Now if you set your UA preferences to ZOOM TEXT ONLY and zoom in you will see that the navigation/login areas quickly overflow and become nearly inaccessible. (not to mention it just feels like the layout i essentially broken even if the elements remain in place)

OK at this point I know I am getting quite a few "who the hells zooms text only anyway...you even had to change the prefs for this to happen!" and honestly, I am tempted to agree. With the one caveat that I tend to see this as an bad sign for what could happen if the nav/branding content ever was more than expected.

As an art director who codes I struggle with this from an efficiency point of view. I can create BGs that can tile or fade vertically for this eventually but it does limit the design options and makes both the aesthetics and the code orders of magnitudes more difficult to do. Of course all this extra effort may be moot if few if any users dont have text only zoom enabled.

Is it still bad practice to make a fixed height area ( such as navigation, header or footer) knowing that it will likely overflow if zoomed in with zoom text only enabled ? Is it an accessibly disaster and the mark of a "PS jokey" or is that just a requirement of decades past that is just no longer worth the extra effort?