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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 17 Apr 2006 11:20:49 -0500
Sam Spicer <[log in to unmask]>
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Sam Spicer <[log in to unmask]>
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That's a good comment. My consulting firm has been slowly trying to get
clients to jump on the 1024x768 optimal screen resolution train. With so
many large consumer sites going wider (ESPN,CNET,American Express,CNN) it's
starting to become a very compelling case.

As for fluid design. That's a toughie. Fluid design can be simply harder,
both to implement, and to plan content for. It can become especially
difficult when that content is dynamic, and you might not always understand
the various places a "content posting" may be used.

As for whether it should or not? Well, again, that's tough. For more complex
sites, I'd argue that even if you could plan for, and pull it off, visual
mapping and layout could become an issue. If things start shifting and
moving around, using the CSS "float" property for example, can users get
flustered by widgets shifting positions?
Even if the site is text heavy, where fluid design might be easier, will the
line length get to be too long as the resolutions increase? Does scanning
copy then become laborious as they move from line to line?

I guess I'm ok with fixed width, both as a designer and user, heck, at this
point, as an IA/implementer, I'd just love to have 1024x768!
Of course, I'll fall back on the old mantra, "every site is different and
has different requirements." Ultimately, it depends on the user set, and the
content, but I don't think that fluid, by default, means better design. 

My .02

Sam Spicer
c: (773) 680-7707
e: [log in to unmask]
-----Original Message-----
From: ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jim Griesemer
Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 10:29 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: DISCUSS: What ever happened to fluid design?


With the recent focus on using CSS for positioning, I
have noticed more and more sites falling back into a
set screen width, usually the common denominator of
accommodating 800 x 600. Yet, computer manufacturers
are pushing new "media" machines, with a common width
of 1280. On these machines, non-fluid sites are
displaying huge open spaces while still forcing the
user into a long vertical scroll. This strikes me as
unnecessarily hiding information below the fold and
not very usable.

In recent years, I have proceeded with designing fluid
sites as a given requirement. Do you all feel that
sites *should* be fluid and expand with the browser
window? Or, do you feel this is not important enough
to warrant the extra effort? Does it make a difference
for the user?

Jim Griesemer 

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