Monday, August 2, 2010

Frozen Layouts with Fixed Page Widths

Complaints here fell into two categories:

  • On big monitors, websites are difficult to use if they don’t resize with the window. Conversely, if users have a small window and a page doesn’t use a liquid layout, it triggers insufferable horizontal scrolling.

  • The rightmost part of a page is cut off when printing a frozen page. This is especially true for Europeans, who use narrower paper (A4) than Americans.
Font sizes are a related issue. Assuming a site doesn’t commit mistake #1 and freeze the fonts, users with high-resolution monitors often bump up the font size. However, if they also want to bump up the window size to make the bigger text more readable, a frozen layout thwarts their efforts.

The very worst offenders are sites that freeze both the width and height of the viewport when displaying information in a pop-up window. Pop-ups are a mistake in their own right. If you must use them, don’t force users to read in a tiny peephole. At an absolute minimum, let users resize any new windows.

In this tutorial:
  1. Top Ten Web Design Mistakes
  2. Non-Standard Links
  3. Flash
  4. Content That's Not Written for the Web 
  5. Bad Search 
  6. Browser Incompatibility 
  7. Cumbersome Forms 
  8. No Contact Information or Other Company Info 
  9. Frozen Layouts with Fixed Page Widths 
  10. Inadequate Photo Enlargement

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