[thelist] front end design: liquid design

Felix Miata mrmazda at ij.net
Mon Oct 20 00:57:40 CDT 2008

On 2008/10/19 14:01 (GMT-0500) Ben Dyer composed:

> You know, I'm not a fan of liquid designs anymore. For two reasons  
> really:

> 1. Generally, the wider the column of text, the more difficult it is  
> to read naturally.

Wider than what? 5 words? 11 words? 16 words?

Generally I find 10 words wide much easier to read than 3 words wide, and 15
as well.

> 2. I'm noticing that, statistically speaking, monitor resolutions are  
> trending higher and higher. 1024x768 is still the leader, but widths  
> of 1280, 1360 and higher seem to becoming a lot more prevalent of  
> late.

How wide is 1024? How wide is 1280? How wide is 1920? Should it matter? The
answer is it should not matter one iota. It's too bad most designers refuse
to permit it to not matter, as it certainly need not.

> Probably the average user is upgrading their monitors when they  
> upgrade machines.

Is more better? Is more really an upgrade? If so, how?

> Now, I know that many users won't maximize the browser window with a  
> large screen space like that,

How "large" is that? How do you know whether 1680 is more than 1024 or 1440
isn't less than 1280? Are you aware that some people buy larger screens in
order to make things bigger, as opposed to providing more space for "same"
size things?

> but as these numbers keep increasing,
> the problem with point #1 will keep increasing as well.

That's a fallacious assumption. You have no idea whether my 1920 wide screen
is wider than my 1600 wide screen, because you have no idea how wide either
of them are. Of course, if you size in em instead of px, you embrace inherent
web characteristics, making any supposed physical width irrelevant, leaving
only relative width relevant, which is a good thing for web users.

> (66% width content div is still a wide reading space if the window is 1200+  
> pixels wide.)

66% of just right is wrong no matter whether just right is 1200 or 600 or 2400.

> This is, of course, not to say that these concerns can't be mitigated  
> somewhat, but with a liquid design it seems likely that *someone* will  
> have text that will be difficult for them to read.

If it is difficult, it's only because of the designer's imposition of design
element(s) that fail to embrace their host environment. That imposition is
completely unnecessary in most cases. In contrast, with non-liquid design (px
constrained), it's a certainty that some people will find text difficult or
even impossible to read.
"Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and
slow to become angry."		James 1:19 NIV

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://fm.no-ip.com/

More information about the thelist mailing list