Positioning thoughts


I am very much a beginner at web design, I actually need to design a page for a business idea I have, and I’d rather do-it-myself, so that I can do it again if I have other ideas in the future.

I’d just like the thoughts of more experienced designers on positioning. Im sure this has come up before, but I hope you wont be too sick of the subject :wink:

My thoughts at the moment are that em’s seem to be the way to go for practicality, as it allows borders to move if font-size increases, I seem to prefer it over fixed positioning, because some of the websites I visit are fixed at 1280x800, and as I use a 1680x1050 large font display, the text lurches out of the boxes. also, it seems to me that as resolutions increase year after year, sites designed for 1280x800 will soon become much too small for larger resolutions. using ems would allow use the whole of the screen for all ‘resolutions’.

I know (although I dont fully understand yet) that there are different reasons to use the different position systems, but I would be willing to trade off certain luxurys, to use ems I think, for those benefits. I wonder what the more experienced web designers think?

Im going to read Ian Lloyds ‘BYWSTRW’ again over the next two weeks and work on my own site using his examples (I read it about 6 months ago but need a refresher), but I wonder if you think I should skip using fixed positioning and learn to accomodate em’s, or should I really just start with fixed anyway, just to see, and possibly learn something which might help me in other areas?

Im rather confused at the moment, but I learn in a similar way to those old jpgs that suddenly appear on screen pixilated, then slowly come into focus over a few seconds! :inspector:

I actually need to design a page for a business idea I have, and I’d rather do-it-myself, so that I can do it again if I have other ideas in the future.

Since you plan on doing more than one, you will certainly benefit from going all-out and learning this web stuff as if you were going to do it for a living.

Re increasing screen resolutions: for some people, this means their browsers are getting wider and wider (like me). For other people, this means their browsers stay small (even 600x800) and they can simply have more app windows open. I generally still enjoy having my sites fit in 600x800 if I can, and I don’t worry too much about most sites on a 33" screen. Someone might like reading a line of text longer than 2 cubits, and if so, good for them. I expect them to be in the minority though : )

Here are some good reads :slight_smile:


Poodle, you might look up “CSS layouts” and “fluid,” “elastic,” and “fixed.” I agree that fluid/liquid or elastic layouts are far more adaptable to the various devices used to access Web pages nowadays. However, if you’re going that route (I always do!), you’ll want to set a min-width and max-width on your pages, which causes some grief in IE. Paul O’Brien has a nifty JS fix for IE somewhere on his site.

Thanks for the clarification’s and the tips, guys.

I’ve got alot more reading to do :slight_smile:

I’m not sure if you are using the right terminology here. When you say “positioning”, most people will think you are talking about placing elements on the page with position: absolute. Page layout should never be done like that, but I don’t think that’s what you were asking.

I assume you are asking about the differences between sizing elements in ems and pixels? Well yes, ems make the page much more adaptable to screen resolutions. But don’t forget % as well, as these make the page even more readily adaptable to different screen sizes.