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What width?

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by Stationery Direct, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    As you know we are currently undergoing a complete re-design of the forum, we were initially looking to go with a fluid width site but on reflection it will be much tidier fixed width.

    So my question is, what is the maximum fixed width that you feel we can get away with for the main content area of the forum, do people still use 800x600 monitors? The problem we have is designing to an 800 width restricts some of the functions we want to add, we were thinking 1000 pixels wide for the main content area with a fluid width header and footer, any views on this?
  2. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    960 is a good value. It's used as the foundation for many of the css grids available and allows for a little framing of the content on a 1024 width screen.

    800 is now something to be considered rather than designed for. Devices such as notebooks and smart phones with still often have smaller screens than normal, but try to keep the most important stuff on the left towards the top and supporting stuff on right and further down and everything will be fine :)

  3. dot design

    dot design Member

    Glad Boss has posted this up be interested to hear all you web guys and gals thoughts on this! G
  4. chris_17

    chris_17 Member

    I agree with Doug, 960 gets my vote :icon_thumbup:
  5. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    Cheers Chris :)

    The main value in the 960 width is that it is easily divided into columns for grids (hence it's use in grid framework).
  6. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Basically we were thinking to the right of the forum to have a bar stretching top to bottom that has links to latest posts, maybe some links to some of your posts on twitter etc, just wondering if we will have enough room as to do this the forum needs to be condensed width ways to accommodate if we are to stick to a 960 width....unless we make the forum fluid :icon_dunno:
  7. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    We could save space on the left by condensing the user details box? If the extra 40px would be useful, there's no reason not to use 1000.
  8. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah that would be moved above each post to give more room width ways but it would make threads longer.
  9. DougBarned

    DougBarned Member

    It's entirely up to you guys :)

    I will say one other thing however - having a post box that doesn't get too wide will increase usability by avoiding long line lengths which are harder to read and even harder harder (could of put that better...) to scan.

    (From a useful article)
  10. matobo

    matobo Member

    Please note that I have added links here just for comparison purposes to explain what I am saying - promise, not spamming...

    I have quite a few vB forums that I have designed and only one fixed width one (a community that hates change, so I haven't bothered to change it - link). I find that the biggest problem with fixed width is that it jumps out of shape if anyone posts a link image attachment that throws the width sizing out of wack - there are vB hacks that can be added to reduce them, but they can be a bit quirky at times.

    Most of my 100% ones work well - I do have one with an advertising banner hack down the right side that takes a little while to load with a bit of a jump (link) . It depends on what you want to add though and how user friendly it is. I think if my advertising banners get heavy at some stage, it might end up being a nightmare... and this forum is a much bigger one with more content, so you will have to see what the load time is with your new right hand side column and whether your server can handle that much 'thinking' to process it.

    100% works better if you have the postbit stuff down the side like you have it here, if you use it at the top then the width becomes a bit too much for the eye to cope with.

    Personally I prefer the 100% ones though (another link - this one has 2 different 100% styles - and yet another link) - I have a 70" mac laptop and my husband views things on a much bigger PC monitor - it makes sense to view it on different monitors to see how it works and how comfortable it is on the eye.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2009

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