Design Poll


Staff member
Site Owner
May 30, 2000
Should go to a "fluid width" design layout (i.e., it resizes based on your computers' resolution) vs. a "fixed width" layout, as we use today (i.e., it's 793 pixels wide).

There are pros and cons to each and there are lots of debates in design circles on this but I would welcome your input. Have a look at the attached image for context... :wink:

About 7% of our visitors have an 800x600 pixel resolution.


  • conv_302882.png
    385.1 KB · Views: 78
I much prefer a fixed width design, can't be dong with all that collapsing myself. But I would still use TONMO either way. So far it looks like I am the only fixed width fan who has responded anyway.
I think web sites should be designed to be as agnostic as possible about stuff like this. I am so often hosed by some stupid javascript that tries to figure out "is it IE, firefox on windows, or safari" that can't deal with my firefox on linux and lynx/links and my cell phone, let alone opera or whatever.

As much as I know I'm bucking the trend, I really, really, really think that TONMO, and every web site, should always produce readable HTML on any device that can read html at all. However, I don't object to using more information when it's available, as long as it doesn't cripple the behavior when it's not available: my Xwindows config is broken, and I want to read TONMO from a text-based browser with no javascript or flash, I want it to work, but I don't mind if TONMO can do this "what size am I rendered in" trick without precluding that sort of thing...

Of course, this also raises questions like: will this get screwed up if I change my window size? Will it get hosed by some http proxies that block sending back the answer? Does it assume I'm not using sidebars and tabbed browsing and such? Will it sometimes get confused and force a horizontal scrollbar on me?

p.s. in some sense, this doesn't really match the original poll question (I voted for "whatever" in fact) because what I really care about is that the content should be decoupled as much as possible from the layout. The best way to do this is sometimes to let the browser decide, which is rather fluid, or sometimes to make the simplest assumption (like fixed width). Also, of course, it depends a lot on how well the vBulletin software has implemented this stuff...
You didn't show how this would look filling a wider screen - but I voted for fixed width because it's easier to read text if the line length is shorter.

Thanks for the input!! Sounds like a bit of confusion on this, understandably, I didn't explain very well but I do have an idea of what it *should* look like if it were to be fluid. Whether or not I can easily deliver on that vision is up for grabs, but I will give it a shot this afternoon!

Basically the idea is to let the width match the size of the user's window, based on % of screen as opposed to a fixed pixel width. So if someone had a 648 width resolution, and someone else had 1024 (or whatever), it would basically take up the appropriate %.

Monty I had done a bit of reading on the javascript type solutions that you're alluding to, I wasn't so much thinking of going there. It's not a perfect science and it seems to be a bit of overkill. Re: your comment on content rather than layout, I agree, but I do think a good layout helps accentuate the content, if it works well (and that's the ONLY reason I'm bothering to bring it up... my basic concern is that we have SO MUCH content that this site tends to look squeezed and busy and if we let it stretch out a bit (for the vast majority of users who have higher resolutions), we'd be making this site much easier to consume... just for example, I'm frustrated at how hard it is to get to all of our great smilies when posting. Folks who were here in the days of the old board system (phpBB) may remember that we had much better access to smilies).

I'll give it a shot and see what we think.

Sorceress, no, it wouldn't (shouldn't!) affect your ability to manipulate font sizes.

Nancy, I'm also sensitive to this. A column-type treatment can help this.

Thales, I agree that at least some border, centered is nice. I'm thinking of going with 90%. Here goes nothing! It's probably gonna look messed up while I'm in the process of editing it during this afternoon...
Well, here's centered... I like this, at least... you?

I made it wider, but I found that when making it less than 100%, it becomes quite problematic for those using an 800 wide screen... so probably some smarter treatment IS needed after all... I made it 75% - 85% of the screen which I thought looked great on my browser, but when looking at it in 800 mode, and then the browser shrinks THAT to 75% or 80%, it gets quite messed up. Will kick around a bit more...
Thanks... keeping it 800 wide for now... centering it was a nice enhancement!

The "if it isn't broke..." doesn't always fly in my book... this site wouldn't be here if we'd been led by that philosophy! What is "broke", after all? :?: :hmm:

Shop Amazon

Shop Amazon
Shop Amazon; support TONMO!
Shop Amazon
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.