[thelist] front end design: liquid design

Erika ekm at seastorm.com
Mon Oct 20 19:46:56 CDT 2008

Judah wrote:
> Under that paradigm it becomes easier for a user to scale your design,
> even fixed width, to the size that "works" for them on their monitor.

That's partly why I asked the question, I guess.  I am noticing that 
*some* of the browsers don't break web layout when you zoom like they 
used to...

I've also noticed sites such as ALA have gone to fixed width... and I 
suppose this is the place I should note that my definitions of these 
things is pretty rudimentary.  When I say "liquid," I'm generally 
thinking of flexible-width layout divs and sometimes other elements (I 
realize that people have created lots of sub-genres of fluid, and if I'm 
not fully up on that, my bad). To my mind, it's a ground rule that most 
or all fonts should be resizable.

Fixed-width divs seem to be more appealing to those with print-type 
sensibilities, which doesn't necessarily make it more "right" or "wrong."

I like the point Georg made about column-width being an important thing 
to consider.  (And his detailed notes about how to create a good fluid 

What *I* like about fluid design:

1. it reminds me of the old days, before tables were widely used for layout.

2. I find it fun and playful in a way that fixed-width design is not.  I 
love setting a repeating background on an element and watching it 
stretch or shrink depending on how you size the window.  It's like a 
game of peekaboo. (I need to get a life, I know.)

3. Now that background-attachment works in most browsers, that's kinda 
fun to throw in the mix.

Yep.  For me, it's all about fun. But when deciding whether to design a 
site this way, it's largely about accommodating monitor sizes as well.

I don't think, Joel, that it is "more work" to make a fluid site.  It's 
just a different approach to design.

I appreciate people's willingness to take on an open ended question and 
elaborate.  I learn a lot from you.


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