Resolution vs. browser size vs. fixed or adaptive width

There’s been plenty of talk about screen resolutions and browser window sizes in the last few months, the latest being Cameron Moll’s Optimal width for 1024px resolution? and Should all sites be fluid?. It’s a good (and neverending) discussion to have, and people tend to have a pretty strong opinion on the matter.

More opinions on the same subject:

I personally prefer sites that adapt to my window size. I use large monitors but never maximise my browser window, so sites that use a wide fixed width (A List Apart, The New York Times, and Technorati to name a few) give me a horizontal scrollbar. I don’t like it, especially since I think in most cases it isn’t necessary.

By all means if you want to make your design look its best at a certain width, optimise it for that width. But in most cases there is little reason to lock down the design to a pixel width.

I realise there are cases where fluid or elastic widths are impractical. I’ve been working on a couple of sites lately that have advertising or external content that use a fixed width, and that does make it much harder to use a flexible width. Not impossible, but definitely more work, so in the end we decided to use fixed widths for those sites. Just to let everybody know that I know about having to compromise.

In many cases, however, I feel fixed widths are used for the wrong reason - designer vanity. Come on, you’re designing for the Web, which means it’s your job to let things be flexible when you can. So what if the design isn’t pixel perfect when the user resizes their window or increases text size? Design sites to look “perfect” for the masses and adapt nicely for the rest.

Posted on November 27, 2006 in Accessibility, Usability

Comments

  1. I think that fixed 1024x should be standard.

  2. You use large monitors (and so do I). Why do you think you browse with a smaller window? Is it because you use the screen real estate for something else, or because the majority of sites out there are designed for 800-wide screens?

  3. I’m a huge fan of making sites fluid when it comes to size. It my mind it engages the user more and creates a more personalized experience for each user. Most sites I design are setup for a window size of 750x550 to account for views like address bar etc.

    I have noticed how ever that this does require more work on my end as a designer when it comes to developing for multiple browsers and OS’s. In the long run however I feel it is necessary to provide an adaptable product to a client that can change and grow according to content and size.

    Its ok in my mind to design a site to a maximum size, usually width based, and then design around that for people who like larger screen sizes. I am a big producer of sites that are designed to fit in 800 but that display very nicely and with much greater appeal at 1024.

    My entire feeling on the issue is that if you want a change to occur, i.e. bigger screen sizes/faster connections, then you as a designer need to push that envelope when allowed and still show that one is capable of meeting requirements. New media to me can be explained like the trim levels of a car. The more you open your eyes and wallet, the better and more encompassing your product can be while still being true to the original task at hand.

  4. I started with a fixed width, in the days when my browser window was usually 640px, then chose liquid, as I had access to wider screens.

    Next thing I know, you showed us about elastic, and I now prefer that for the reason that any regular browser window ought to be able to show the whole page, but your readers don’t want too wide a page to “eye-scroll” across.

    Next we’ve got to work on screens that don’t require too many modifications to show up in phones and PDAs, but I for one, haven’t got there yet.

  5. I don’t mean to simply re-type my comment from Cameron Moll’s post, but I’ve been strongly trying to influence the use of site designs that degrade.

    I believe we should approach screen resolution much like we do JavaScript. Best-practice tells us to “degrade, degrade, degrade!!” We should be degrading our layouts for screen resolution just as we do for the technology running our sites. Build them for an optimal width of 1024 but let the layout accommodate a screen resolution width of 800 without a scroll.

    I’ve written my thoughts on this topic: 800x600, should I really care?

  6. I don’t browse with my window full width because I have my Opera panels on the left side. I got so annoyed with sites going fixed at 1024 that I ended up increasing my screen resolution (and that was after I spent ages fooling around with user stylesheets. I’m still annoyed with the sites that insisted on fixed width.)

    As a designer I agree with Nielsen - make it look best at 1024 and flexible within the most common range of resolutions if at all possible. If it must be fixed think long and hard before setting it to 1024. I also agree with Roger’s points about the web being a flexible medium.

  7. Roger. I really share your opinion that web designs should be liquid — flexible — just as web developers must be flexible or die.

    But what I try to focus on is not opinions, but numbers — hard evidence — as to what window size our real users use in real life.

    That’s why I’m excited about Thomas Baekdal’s thorough research on 5 different sites during a 3 month period.

    The report finds, among other things, that the majority of people browse maximized or very close to it. That Mac user have bigger screens, but their browser are the same size as on any other platform. And, in order to support 95% of your visitors, you need to design for a maximum size of 776×424px.

    More info on Justaddwater: Actual Browser Sizes (final) and Baekdal: Actual Browser Sizes

  8. I disagree on you, my mate Peter recently wrote why: http://stud.cmd.hro.nl/0773253/notusable/blog/about-avoiding-fluid-layouts/

  9. I like 990. Fits on a full-screen browser window on 1024 and is easily accommodated in a floating window on a higher resolution.

    And it divides nicely.

  10. Just in terms of readability alone, I’m a big fan of fluid designs and also very rarely have my browser maximised when I’m just casually browsing. Anything to avoid the bad old days of 10px text scrunched up next to some garish advertisement/other graphic which has made content and ad-blocking extensions/tools so popular. If “content is king” why do so many of the big players insist on making their content hellishly difficult to actually read and consume unless you at worst, turn off their stylesheet? That’s a bit of a side-rant though, so back on topic.

    As a developer, I think fixed layouts just seem easier and quicker to design because I find there are less surprises along the way and the ones that are there I’m usually prepared for and can troubleshoot fairly quickly. With the majority of proof of concept/examples out there seeming to stick to the usual 750px-fixed look as well I find it’s all too easy to just fall into a pattern of familiarity with tried-and-tested designs which tragically I’m often loathe to break free from especially when pressed with deadlines, uncaring clients and bosses.

    The most elegant solution for me though still, is the adaptive width layout (I often play with Ctrl + and Ctrl - in FireFox when I’m on 456bereastreet ;-)) To me it feels like it affords you, the developer, both the strength of a fixed and fluid design while retaining the flexibility users may require as well.

  11. In most cases there is little reason to lock down the design to a pixel width

    True statement.

    I’m actually trying to develop a fluid theme for my new site — I’m curious about the result.

  12. I think if you want to have completely fluid site designs that work on a range of screen resolutions, you have to fire your graphic designer and just have a few blocks of colour with a logo; anything more than that at this stage with browser/CSS support, base graphic design skillset and experience etc the way it is is rarely going to work.

    I have lost track of the hours I have spent over the past month working on getting a particular site design to work in a range of browsers (IE 5, 5.5, 6 & 7, FF1.5/2, Opera 8, NS 6/7) in a range of screen resolutions (800x600, 1024x768, 1280x1024) with a range of text sizes (oh how often changing text size breaks a design!).

    PS: I browse windowed only in 1280x1024 and above … and on my laptop at 1600x1024, it’s amazing how many sites break again because the viewing pane is too big! Fixed width background images, masks, reliance on limit on content text block width etc - it’s 800x600 in reverse!

  13. While I still emphasize the importance of taking 800x600 into account (incredible 22 % in October [1], according to TheCounter.com), this also holds true even for “tech sites”:

    For 1024 by 768 screen users, the average available document width was about 890 pixels (see Figure 6). [2]

    Throwing the 800’s out of the window appears to be just plain stupid.

    1. http://www.thecounter.com/stats/2006/October/res.php
    2. http://www.websiteoptimization.com/speed/tweak/clickstream/
  14. It’ll be a long time — if ever — before I stop supporting 800x600 for any fixed-width sites I make. I do like the additional control fixed-width can offer on some trickier designs but I’ll continue to make all sorts of layouts: fixed, fluid/liquid/adaptive, and elastic… all depends on the site.

    The reason I will continue to support 800x600 is that I know of lots of people, personally, who have very modern equipment and large screens, but choose that resolution purposely. Namely my wife, due to her poor eyesight, and my daughter simply because she prefers it (here eyes are young and just fine), and my father for the same reason as my wife… and his wife too. And my mother-in-law. Get the picture, that’s five people just within my immediate circle of family

    I can appreciate that people want to move away from this, some even develop an attitude of “screw those 800x600 users” (I read that in a web dev forum), which I don’t appreciate. But I expect 800x600 will not go away anytime soon. Our webby generation is getting older and the collective eyesight is getting worse. Some people will choose 800x600 simply because it beats magnifying tools and individual site text enlargement hands down; this is what my wife tells me. My eyes are still fine, but I watch my wife using her comp and I can totally understand. At 800x600 everything is nice and big!

  15. I’ve been doing my sites with a width of 60em for 800x600 screens, granted that can get out of control when increasing the font size, but thats why I use max-width : 100%;

    I’ll revise it for larger screens soon.

  16. Forgot to add: I can’t stand completely fluid widths because I browse with my windows maximized so as to avoid having lots of “background noise” from a desktop image, other programs or whatever (How can Mac users stand that?). I’d much rather see the background the designer intended that something that most probably will clash with it badly.

  17. The best way of layout, IMO, is to have the readable content in a roughly 600px area (fixed). This is because:

    • It fits in very comfortably in an 800x600 screen.

    • It’s just about the right amount of text per line to be comfortable

    • It lets me show off photos at 500px wide, which is a good balance between filesize and having physical dimensions big enough to see any details.

    • It leaves plenty of real estate on screen for other things… for instance, a text editor, so that I can type while referring to a web page.

    Other stuff can be added to the sides, with the more important staying closer to the main content area.

    Following these guidelines, you get a rather nice ‘anamorphic design’. Important stuff is always visible, and bonus content gets seen the bigger the browser window is.

  18. I think people have to start paying more attention to the line length of their primary content. I do actually know a few people with very wide screens that run maximised, which makes fluid designs turn out rather strangely at times. Entire paragraphs on one line, stuff like that.

    It depends on the site of course, but in any case it seems like a better idea for people start by working out what they want to do with their content. The design can follow.

  19. Yeah Ben, that’s kinda what I was getting at - single line paras at high resolution is the main reason I run windowed at 1280 or above; just so I don’t have to move my eyes through a full 120 degrees when reading, which is just silly.

    I’m not suggesting fluid site designs have a max text block width either - the whitespace between end of text and start of right column or right edge of screen would just be ugly I reckon.

  20. I cannot remember the last time I browsed with my browser maximised. I need the screen real estate for other apps. If I come across a horizontal scrollbar on a site, I use a custom stylesheet to make the design fluid. If that doesn’t work, I turn off styles.

    I don’t care what the designer wants on a website. What is important to me is that I can read (or watch) the information I want and find it easily. If I need to change their site to do so, so be it.

  21. Hi, my site (http://www.naporama.it) use resolution screen and also browser size. If you try to resize browser than the number of photo adapt to new size.

  22. The whole browser maximised/not maximised dichotomy tends to fall along platform lines. Most Windows users browser maximised, most Mac users do not. Why? Because the maximise UI widgets behave differently on each platform. The behaviour of the Windows maximise button encourages full-screen display (for most apps, not just browsers), because its maximised state is exactly that - full screen minus the task bar.

    On the Mac, the maximise button just toggles between the two last-used window sizes. One of those is possibly full-screen, but will generally not extend behind the dock if it’s exposed. I’ve always felt that there really is no such thing as ‘maximised’ on the Mac, given that applications don’t exist in their own visual space, like they do on Windows. You almost always get some part of the desktop exposed on a Mac. It becomes very easy simply to drag the window narrower, whereas on Windows in ‘maximised’ mode, you don’t even have access to the window resize widget.

    I actually mostly use Windows at home, and mostly Mac at work, and I find myself an exponent of this very dichotomy. On Windows, I browser almost exclusively maximised @ 1600x1200. On the Mac, where I sometimes have the luxury of a second 20” screen, it’s almost never completely maximised. Non-maximised apps tend to feel weird on the PC, but I’d expect that’s just me.

    I guess my point is that I don’t think it’s as simple as saying that users do or don’t browse the web with their browsers maximised, and then base design decisions off that ‘onclusion’.

  23. My frustration is font sizes on 1600x1200 pixel 15” laptop screen.

    When you increase font size to a readable size it breaks a lot of fixed width layouts.

    So I have switched to Opera as my principle browser on the laptop so I can page zoom.

    An alternative is to use a fluid elastic design. Build the whole website including image sizes in ems, set the default font size so the site is viewable in an 800x600 browser. Then use javascript to scale the font size, so the website fills the browser screen.

    Disadvantages: Needs bigger than usual images to scale down; Need to use flash instead of gifs; Needs some fancy js so you do not change user’s choosen font sizes.

    Advantages: Always readable line lengths; Design is consistent across all browser window sizes (800px+); Site is readable of high resolution laptops without the user needing to make adjustments.

    My blog is currently a rough proof of concept, what I have learnt in more detail is contained in http://nickcowie.com/2006/elastic-fluid-design-some-notes/

  24. There’s certainly something to be said for fluid layouts. However, I think it is the task of the designer to chose a comfortable reading length.

  25. Of course, my concluding word should have read ‘conclusion’!

  26. Hmmm… IE7 has thrown a spanner in the works - if you use the new zoom feature on a fluid design, IE introduces a horizontal scrollbar onto the page - which can’t be a good thing.

    Very often I see fluid sites that are more difficult to actually use - if you design fixed you can importantly gain control of the line length - if it’s fluid, potentially a user can end up viewing stupidly long line lengths. Type on-screen is difficult enough to read as it is.

  27. I work in a web company who make all designs flexible.

    Apart from the general accessibility and usability implications it’s just a really good challenge to the designers! Making things boxed in is way too easy :)

  28. I’m a firm believer in fluid layout. Not only is it friendlier towards the user but it also looks cool when you resize your window and the design morphs to fit it :D As Tom said, it makes for an interesting challenge at the same time.

  29. How are really long line lengths ‘friendly’ to the user? I’ve never understood it - surely making a page easier to read makes it friendlier than allowing an infinitely laterally expandable page… surely the paradigm is that if you need to see more on a page, you scroll down - it’s commonplace across the computing environment, from desktop apps to the web.

    I’m all for making my websites friendlier for users, I’m just questioning that just because we can make sites liquid doesn’t mean that we should.

    Good thread, BTW.

  30. Simon said it. Fluid design does not necessarily mean “unrestricted lined of text”, yet this is the sad reality. I cannot stand long lines, and I do browse with my browser’s window maximized (be it Mac or Windows), so the fluid web looks pretty unfriendly :(

    As I’ve said many times before, I do not believe, that the fact that web is different media should mean it must be uncontrolled media. Neither do I believe that users love to be in control. Sure, there are few, but majority would be just happy to consume content without the need to control anything.

    When I hear “give users the control” there is a question in my head “did they ask for it?”. Yes, give the users the possibility to control. Yet, make things so, that the need for usage of this ability would be as small as possible.

  31. Personally I prefer fixed layout because of one major thing: lack of support for min(max)-width. Some people (like me) use maximized browser window on big screen. Just because of readability it is not good to have 1280px-width line of text…

  32. My current employer’s sites have mostly been standardised at 920px wide. They tend to be fixed width (I’ve not managed to get many designs that would expand well from our design team), and it provides a reasonably good fit for a 728x90 leaderboard with a 160x600 wide skyscraper next to it, with a nice amount of spacing around them.

    The main problem with our content and fluid width layouts is that the line length becomes uncomfortable, and the images start looking lost (especially adverts, but even normal images within pages). We also had the problem that some of our staff were using very low resolutions, and images were causing float problems in fluid widths, while with a fixed width layout, they just get a horizontal scroll bar, which is much neater than float hell!

  33. I love adaptive widths and I agree with Nick Cowie.

    I, in some cases, create liquid layouts with max-width defined. It’s a penalty that IE 6 doesn’t works fine with this.

  34. November 28, 2006 by Jonathan Prins

    I dislike to-the-pixel fixed width designs. Typically if I need to up-size the text with the browser, things break. I dislike most truly fluid designs because on a large monitor it makes paragraphs more difficult to read: the human eye is most comfortable reading an area 3” wide. If you use longer line lengths than that, be sure to increase your line-height so as not to detract from readability ( http://www.webstyleguide.com/type/lines.html ).

    When using fixed width, em is fantastic; instead of locking yourself down to a pixel level design, you design around the text size. The difficult part of this is integrating your user interface, navigation, etc - especially if it’s bitmap based instead of text based (while I wait with baited breath for SVG to become popular). In the meantime you can define image widths with ems - it’s a little bit more counterintuitive, but it works. For now.

    Set your main text column / field as fixed with an em width of around 50-75; this gives you an average line length of 10-14 words per line. This is pretty optimal for readability - and one of the reasons I browse with my window not maximized on a large resolution (fluid designs are easier to read this way).

    My favorite design is probably the semi-fluid drop-column effect, where the main text area is a set width, and the side columns are a set width - but float independently, so as to collapse when the browser window is too narrow to fit them all in.

  35. Who says fluid websites have to be ugly? Liquid Designs would disagree.

  36. I like the idea of a fluid design. Properly executed, it’s nice. In the web standards movement, it seems everyone has jumped on the fluid bandwagon (properly executed or not). I have gripes, though.

    I read somewhere back in the day that the eye likes to travel about two inches while reading. While I think that is quite a bit short of what people are typically expected to do, a bad layout on a maximized monitor could render three-foot-long lines of text. That’s just too long to be expected to read without getting lost at line breaks, and I sure as hell don’t want to adjust my browser size every time I visit a full-fluid site.

    While fluid is good, responsibility should be put on the designer to make sure the site is readable. For example, this site is 1/2 fluid. There is a max-width set. When the browser is smaller than the max-width, it acts fluid. When the browser is above, it acts elastic. I think hybrid solutions like this are the most elegant.

  37. “Come on, you’re designing for the Web, which means it’s your job to let things be flexible when you can”

    Scary statement!

    On the subject of “flexibility” why stop at site width? I think that’s a generalization as far as flexibility is concerned. This goes for many other other things. For instance, ideally one shouldn’t specify a font-family with that mentality.

    The point is after carefully studying (IA & UI analysis) the requirements and the goals of a site, one can then cater what the site owner needs. In this sense, there are no stone written rules as long as a site meets its requirements and goals.

  38. November 28, 2006 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Jason:

    Why do you think you browse with a smaller window? Is it because you use the screen real estate for something else, or because the majority of sites out there are designed for 800-wide screens?

    I personally use the screen real estate for other apps.

    Ben:

    I do actually know a few people with very wide screens that run maximised, which makes fluid designs turn out rather strangely at times.

    Yes, if you use a fully fluid design you really need to be careful not to let lines get too long. Setting a max-width on the inner container or using percentage margins are two possible approaches to dealing with that problem.

  39. It seems a difficult point to understand, but screen rez just doesn’t matter[1]. What matters is the browser window size. I can’t imagine wasting a large screen’s real estate with a single app that’s too wide to read comfortably, anyway. But, that’s just me.

    When developing a page, there will always be some size that is more optimal than others. Two points are important: The text should be limited to a sane column width for ease of reading; and the page should stand up to reasonable window width and font size changes.

    How you do this depends on the content and on your view of how the presentation should appear. Fixed, elastic or liquid widths are only design tools to be chosen without prejudice.

    cheers,

    gary

    [1] Nick Cowie’s issue is due to making a poor choice upon screen setup. A 1600px width on a 15” screen means the rez is about 145px per inch. That 16px/12pt default font assumes a 96px per inch rez on Windows (Linux usually defaults to 100px per inch fonts). He’ll need a 22-24px font size to give the expected size of 12pt. The screen should be reset to 1024×768px to get expected (actual) font sizes. —gt

  40. This issue seems to generate a heated debate every time it’s mentioned (see also). I imagine one could pen an article with the headline “Fluid or fixed?” and nothing else, and yet dozens of comments would inevitably appear.

  41. GT - I made the right choice on screen setup for what I want to do on a 4 year old Dell labtop rescued from the scrapheap. Except when it comes to browsing websites, is that my fault or the designers of those websites.

    More people are using laptops as their main computers, laptop screens increasing higher native resolutions, eg 1920x1200 on a 15.4” widescreen. Yet most web designers seem to be worrying is it 800x600 or 1024x768 browser size, than worrying is it 72ppi (pixels per inch), 96ppi or 150ppi resolution monitor that their web site will be displayed in.

  42. I know this isn’t new to the debate, but I appreciate the control fluid designs give me as a user. Konqueror can occupy a small space and function just fine as my file manager, ftp client, CD ripper and terminal, but if I use is as a web browser, I have to change my normally efficient desktop to serve the needs of a website instead of my own.

  43. I think the biggest problem people have is that they are stuck on pixels, not percentages, or even ems for that matter. Based on that fact alone, the majority of websites out there are bogged by pixels, which can severely limit some users’ ability to interact with the site.

    Consider NYTimes.com; they have a great layout, but it doesn’t scale with it’s content. It also does not span the browser width. It’s a risk most designers take without thinking twice about. If it looks good to them, it must look good for everyone else.

    The biggest positive note I have about IE7 is that it allows for min and max widths. Combined with Firefox, which supports that and much more, the ability to create more dynamic, yet controlled, layouts should be on the rise.

    Unfortunately, still many people don’t know about these design techniques, nor would they consider them under normal circumstances.

  44. At the time I set out to write this comment, my browser width was at 1138 pixels. This number changes quite frequently as I shuffle windows, resize to get more screen real estate, etc.

    When using OS X, application windows (i.e. browser) are subject to frequent resizing. In a Windows environment, on my laptop, with a resolution width of 1200px, the OS and I tend to prefer application windows in full width.

    With Vista on the horizon (which, from my understanding, favors a more organic approach to windows akin to OS X) and with screen sizes increasing (making window shuffling / resizing more prominent), it would appear that the magical numbers of “1024” or “800” start to loose meaning. In reality, the browser width is most likely to be somewhere between 800 and 1200.

    The ability of the design to adapt to the environment is a virtue to be pursued. However, the decision to go with fluid, static, elastic, 1024-optimzed, 800-optimized, etc. is completely tied to the context of the site being implemented.

    It seems there is always some push to synthesize a universal truth. This type of approach usually results in a dogmatic commitment to a specific solution that tackles a generic problem.

    “Heuristics For Website Width Optimization in 2007” is coming soon to a blog near you. Shotgun.

  45. I’ve been playing with em based widths lately. It works best for readability if the main content is about 45em - 60em wide. Obviously you set max-width to 100% or less.

    Dan Cederholm has recently used this technique too on his Simplebits redesign.

  46. As a designer, developer, and user I’m fond of fixed layouts or elastic - I rarely enjoy fluid layouts for all the reasons already stated, unless it is a site simply jam-packed with content.

    I am a PC user with MAC envy. I’ve even gone so far as to disguise my Dell with round, white, apple stickers over the logo. ;~)

    The one thing that holds me back from making the switch to a Mac is that you can’t maximise windows with a click as you can on a PC. I, personally, can’t stand the clutter of seeing my desktop and other applications sticking out here and there and all over the place behind my browser or main application window. It drives me so crazy that when I work on a Mac I spend ridiculous amounts of time dragging the resize handle to mimick the fully maximized window. It’s an insane waste of time, but my mind doesn’t function with all that clutter in front of me.

  47. It all comes down to this: Use semantic HTML and you don’t need to worry about browser width.

    Personally - though - I prefer pixel-based, fixed designs until we stop using low-dpi, pixel-based images and really get into scalable vector graphics. I’ll be starting on the second half this year, but still continue mainly doing the first half.

    Just as a sidenote - according to public Mail.ru stats (Alexa Rank #31) - 30% of all users now use 1280+ screen width, 90% use 1024+, and 98% use 800+. I think we’re all moving towards 1280 HD width. And if you have 1280x720 HD content like my new Bluebird.TV will have, I think people will be happy to move to full-screen browsing.

    So. 1280x720 HDTV resolution for the win, while semantical HTML will ensure backwards compatibility and a fixed 800px width design can keep your old-school users happy.

    Summary:

    1. Low-end design with semantic HTML and “mobile” CSS for colors, fonts, and relative sizes (such as em and percentages).
    2. Mid-end design for 800px width (including scrollbar and outer padding.)
    3. High-end design for 1280px width.

    At least, I think that’s a pretty good recommendation..

  48. When it comes to resolution, everybody is always talking about the maximum resolution of the viewers screen. But as people go to bigger screens (I run 1680x1050) they also tend not to run full screen browser windows. Do I really want to view a web site that goes fluid to fill my 1680 x 1050 screen?

    As screens get bigger we need to consider the fact that people don’t necessarily want to browse with a maximized browser.

  49. February 3, 2007 by ReaderX

    Is there some recommendation about how to handle this 120 DPI setting of Windows? Many laptops now come with this set by default and I thought Vista would come with that setting in many instances as well.

    The problem seems to be that several CSS designs break under this 120 DPI condition. In addition, images often appear very pixelated.

    The only information I’ve found after a week of searching is to “set your DPI back to 96” which is a non-starter.

    What are we designers/developers doing wrong that creates this situations? I ask because many old non-CSS tabled-HTML sites appear ‘just fine’ under 120 DPI.

  50. I have the same issue with the 120dpi setting completely throws off the webpage

  51. My screen size is 1152x768 (PowerBook), and yet my preferred browser window width is 512px — just enought to display 80 columns of 9pt Monaco (monospaced font). That is optimal for my eyes, so that I can leverage peripheral vision to reduce eye (and neck) strain. “If a page don’t fit, it ain’t worth readin’.” I do not maximize. I prefer seeing multiple app’s window at once — it’s called multitasking (I am a Gemini…). The Web was designed to be device independent, and that obviously means browser-width independent. I mean, duh!

  52. I design sites to fit the 776px… but I make them to look good on 1024x768 screens… hope that makes sense… all I care regarding 800x600 screens is to not have horizontal scrolling… but I make graphics and set font sizes for 1024 screens. I make them fixed width not fluid…

  53. April 12, 2007 by Adrian Edmundson

    I have a manager who is always preaching ADA compliance. He is convinced that fixed width pages are the only way to be “ADA compliant”.

    I have tried so many times to design flexible width pages only to be slammed with “agency standards”. Should I fight the good fight or give in to the ignorance?

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