...

View Full Version : Pixels or Percentages



Jazz914
10-28-2009, 03:45 PM
I am coding a site, and have pretty much always gone by pixels, but I want to know what other people would prefer...

Would you prefer the layout to take the whole of your screen (a nice "snug" fit)

or

Would you prefer a layout to be centered in the middle of the screen with loads of space even each side of the layout (fixed width) ?

Rowsdower!
10-28-2009, 05:41 PM
Personally, I don't care if it stretches or not as long as it isn't so wide that I have to maximize my browser window to avoid a horizontal scroll. I generally tend to have about 6 programs running and I don't like having to have my web browser maximized. I usually start fixed or min-width pages at 1000px wide which leaves me about 22% of my screen to do other things on. I positively HATE 1280px wide fixed-width web pages for exactly this reason. Most people probably don't do this while web browsing though so my opinion might be worthless. Even so, I think most users have at least 1000px of desktop width so I would keep any static or minimum widths at or below that figure. The rest is just a matter of how you want your content to behave, really, and that's always up to you. I will say that coding a layout for fixed-width sites is a lot easier which probably has more to do with why it is so prevalent in the industry. As a result, users are more used to seeing fixed-width so anything else will be unusual to them. Depending on your treatment of it, this can work for or against you.

So, the roundabout answer is this: most likely it doesn't really matter but if you are going to set a static or minimum width I would recommend that you make it small enough that people don't need to deal with horizontal scrolling.

Is that opinion at all useful? :D

djm0219
10-28-2009, 06:59 PM
Dynamic width depends on the site and whether or not it will look decent if a browser is 2000 pixels wide or 500 pixels wide. Rowsdower! pretty much covered everything and I'm in the fixed size and (usually) centered camp though, again, it depends on the site more than anything. Horizontal scroll should be avoided at all costs IMO.

Apostropartheid
10-28-2009, 10:29 PM
Neither. I like ems. Just so I have the option, you know?

Jazz914
10-28-2009, 10:41 PM
@Rowsdower!
The layouts already coded, and was designed on a 1000px width canvas, as you said is the minimum these days as its very rare to find anyone on a screen resolution below that, i've coded the layout both in percent and pixels and I don't really have a preferance, on one hand its great, you get extra room for the content, on the other it doesn't always seem right. I'm on a 1280 wide screen laptop, so having a layout at center 1000 width is more than perfect for me, but i'm just thinking about those people who have 1280+ width monitors, IMO having that match space at both ends of the site would look kind of silly IMO.

Also coding a layout in percentages would fulfil that "void" of multi-tasking whilst browsing and you can even make it smaller if needed, I know what you mean though, I do multitask whilst browsing sometimes and I to, hate horrizontal bars.

@djm0219
Its design where most things can be repeated across, when I made the percentage version it didn't look half bad, but thats just one mans opinion, the other guy I showed it to (he has a 1680 width moniter -.-) and he said he hates sites which take up the full width of the screen.

@Apostropartheid
EMs is still a form of fixed width, and depends on the font being used.. (correct me if i'm wrong, I don't tend to use ems)

Is it possible to change the poll? I want to add "No Preference" as an option aswell

Rowsdower!
10-28-2009, 10:45 PM
I'm not really sure. Has anyone actually voted in it yet anyway?

Jazz914
10-28-2009, 10:48 PM
I have 1 vote lol
I was hoping for a wide range as it gives me more of a valid answer, if I don't get a wide range of votes, I might provide both as an option, but it won't be a priority..

Apostropartheid
10-29-2009, 12:48 AM
Em isn't fixed because it varies on user preference, much like percentage-based layouts. I believe the term for it is fluid and that of percentages elastic, but it never really occurred to me as something to care about.

oesxyl
10-29-2009, 12:59 AM
I have 1 vote lol
I was hoping for a wide range as it gives me more of a valid answer, if I don't get a wide range of votes, I might provide both as an option, but it won't be a priority..
The poll is confuse. Is like you ask what is better to use for eating, a spoon or a fork, but you don't say what you eat soup or something else. :)

best regards

bazz
10-29-2009, 02:39 AM
do we eat soup?? :D


Just had a thought oesxyl. No criticism of your understanding of english intended. It is a subject discussed amongst english speaking people as to whether we eat or drink soup. I hope I didn't offend!


bazz

oesxyl
10-29-2009, 02:59 AM
do we eat soup?? :D


Just had a thought oesxyl. No criticism of your understanding of english intended. It is a subject discussed amongst english speaking people as to whether we eat or drink soup. I hope I didn't offend!


bazz
I'm not so sensitive, :) Anyway my bad english didn't change the meaning, :)

best regards

rnd me
10-29-2009, 03:12 AM
@Rowsdower!
The layouts already coded, and was designed on a 1000px width canvas, as you said is the minimum these days as its very rare to find anyone on a screen resolution below that...

Actually, screen are getting smaller. More and more people connect with iPhones, Wiis, and netbooks every day.

I'll bet that within 5 years, a third of requests will be to screens smaller than 1024X768.
Plan accordingly.

abduraooft
10-29-2009, 10:14 AM
After reading the article "The Incredible Em & Elastic Layouts with CSS (http://jontangerine.com/log/2007/09/the-incredible-em-and-elastic-layouts-with-css)" (thanks for the link Cyan Light ;)), I've built an elastic layout, which can be resized within limits ,along with changing the text size. I've given 3 buttons for users to "zoom in", "zoom out" and view in "normal size" and I use javascript/php based cookies to save the preference through out the session. (Of course, there can't be much variations in the size of title/logo or any other images for pixelation issues.)

Jazz914
10-29-2009, 12:01 PM
@oesxyl
Its just a general question, like do you like how the codingforums layout takes up the whole screen or would you have preferred it to be a fixed width in the center?

@rnd me
Maybe, but I doubt it. If you look at a site on the ipod/iphone, its not the same as viewing it on a small screen, it would show you the site as it would normally appear just zoomed out, so its not really a BIG issue. Netbooks won't "take over the world" as they are just not that powerful, and was never designed to be powerful as the main goal for them is to last long at doing simple but not TOO simple stuff, like work related stuff; business documents etc.

Granted technology is getting smaller, but they won't put server specs in a notebook, it wouldn't be right, and imagine the heat it would generate, and the battery would run out quicker.

As for the WII comment, people can browse the internet on their WII, but its on a TV, its very unlikely to have a console like that on a screen 1000px below xD Most people i've seen have it on a screen 22"+

oesxyl
10-29-2009, 09:40 PM
@oesxyl
Its just a general question, like do you like how the codingforums layout takes up the whole screen or would you have preferred it to be a fixed width in the center?

yes but still have no meaning. You ask if you prefere pixels or percentages, the general question is if you prefere relative or absolute units. When you talk about relative you must know that are relative to something, screen or specifc elements, font size, width or height. No matter how you split the question the final answer depend of how you design the layout, what kind of layout you like.
How I could answer to this question if I don't know what kind o layout I prefere? But if you ask what kind of layout I prefere, after I answer I must answer to the question how I like to implement it? Fixed width/height in the center of the page or fluid? Then I come back to relative and absolute, :)
I didn't mention here that designing the layout without knowing what is the content is plain stupid( despite the fact that is a very popular habit), :)
Now if I forget what I said, what I should vote? :)

best regards

oesxyl
10-29-2009, 10:02 PM
@rnd me
Maybe, but I doubt it. If you look at a site on the ipod/iphone, its not the same as viewing it on a small screen, it would show you the site as it would normally appear just zoomed out, so its not really a BIG issue.
is not so simple, there are a lot of elements which are not simple zoom in/out in a page. The number of the items on a page is one of them. Try to put a windows where are visible only 2-3 elements on a screen with 200-300 elements. You will be lost on the screen, you don't know what is in the neighborhood of that window and navigation become a nightmare.


Netbooks won't "take over the world" as they are just not that powerful, and was never designed to be powerful as the main goal for them is to last long at doing simple but not TOO simple stuff, like work related stuff; business documents etc.

Granted technology is getting smaller, but they won't put server specs in a notebook, it wouldn't be right, and imagine the heat it would generate, and the battery would run out quicker.

As for the WII comment, people can browse the internet on their WII, but its on a TV, its very unlikely to have a console like that on a screen 1000px below xD Most people i've seen have it on a screen 22"+
you simplify things too much. A bussiness man, a artist don't need a warkstation in 95% of time but will need fast access the the net. I think rnd me is right.

best regards

Apostropartheid
10-30-2009, 05:33 PM
I am semi-convinced that netbooks will be very successful. No, they're not a main computer and they never will be. The fact is though that they're powerful enough to do things like word processing or browsing the Internet, and small enough to do it wherever you want. My beloved bought one and convinced everyone who came into contact with it that they needed one, because they're just so darn useful. The fact that they're cheap enough that you can supplement your main computer with one just increases the appeal. The inner girl in me also hastens to add that they're cute!

Also, there are devices like the iPhone. I'm not a businessman, at least not in the classical sense, but I still find the phone incredibly useful and use it when I'm on the go, if just to casually browse when I'm waiting for someone. There are many other smartphones like this, and with Android going from strength to strength with release of a cheap-ish phone running it, well...

OT: oesxyl, where are you from?

oesxyl
10-30-2009, 06:58 PM
OT: oesxyl, where are you from?
Romania, :)

best regards

Jazz914
10-30-2009, 11:56 PM
Fair point about not being able to see the whole layout on a device such as an ipod/iphone, I own a ipod touch and it does get a bit anoying having to look around for what I do want, but websites designed specifically for a mobile device never have that interesting feel, its just text and maybe the one or two images.

I own a laptop, and I love it more than a desktop PC, so I get where you are coming from, but my laptop does more than what my mums desktop PC can do and its a lot older than it and on paper my laptop is a lot crapper and yet it still outperforms the desktop PC. I will be getting a propper notebook soon, as my 6th form are giving them out to my year so it will be a new experience. Personally I don't like small screens and most web designers share this point of view, most won't design a layout for a 800 width screen, some won't even design for a 1024 screen, but I don't really agree with that and I have a 1280 wide screen. But it does follow a pattern as how smaller screens are slowly getting phased out.

Devices such as an ipod/iphone do have the potential to make a huge impact in the computing market, but look at the silly limits Apple has put on the device, things like that won't do justice for the device at all.

Businessmen was what my description was aimed at, but as for artist, you have to consider, what type of artist, if its a computer artist they won't design on a netbook (i'm not saying they don't) but most designers like a BIG canvas so a general laptop in my eyes would be way more appropriate. Artist won't just need fast access to the net, they need high performance on the machine, as they will be dealing with intense things, things like photoshop or fireworks and any other graphic editing software are often quite powerful and will either over power a netbook or make the battery die out extremely quickly.

My opinion on netbooks is quite small, as I haven't properly used one before but will do soon, but I don't think they would be much different to a laptop except not as powerful.

Apostropartheid
10-31-2009, 01:28 AM
Fair point about not being able to see the whole layout on a device such as an ipod/iphone, I own a ipod touch and it does get a bit anoying having to look around for what I do want, but websites designed specifically for a mobile device never have that interesting feel, its just text and maybe the one or two images.

It doesn't have to be that way. It's changing now, even as we speak. Have you seen the Mobile Wikipedia site? It's tasteful, clean, and fits perfectly.


I own a laptop, and I love it more than a desktop PC, so I get where you are coming from, but my laptop does more than what my mums desktop PC can do and its a lot older than it and on paper my laptop is a lot crapper and yet it still outperforms the desktop PC.

You seem IT literate, so you probably loot after your laptop a lot more than your mother her desktop. I have a family PC and my own personal laptop, but the laptop is much more powerful because I keep it cleaner and let everyone else ruin the desktop.


I will be getting a propper notebook soon, as my 6th form are giving them out to my year so it will be a new experience.

Interesting. I remember a Latin teacher once saying to me how he wanted to do this. It seems a very good idea to me.


Personally I don't like small screens and most web designers share this point of view, most won't design a layout for a 800 width screen, some won't even design for a 1024 screen, but I don't really agree with that and I have a 1280 wide screen. But it does follow a pattern as how smaller screens are slowly getting phased out.

I design for 900 pixels, personally. I believe this gives the optimal balance between accessibility and space: those on less will be capable of viewing it whilst scrolling, and I don't presume people view things full screen--I don't, at least. I find it distasteful. I like my desktop background, after all.


Devices such as an ipod/iphone do have the potential to make a huge impact in the computing market, but look at the silly limits Apple has put on the device, things like that won't do justice for the device at all.

Despite the limits, it already has. People care about mobile viewing now. It's inspired innovation on other platforms, too. The limits are saddening, I agree; I have my device jailbroken purely for SBSettings, which improves my ability to conserve battery life immensely.


Businessmen was what my description was aimed at, but as for artist, you have to consider, what type of artist, if its a computer artist they won't design on a netbook (i'm not saying they don't) but most designers like a BIG canvas so a general laptop in my eyes would be way more appropriate. Artist won't just need fast access to the net, they need high performance on the machine, as they will be dealing with intense things, things like photoshop or fireworks and any other graphic editing software are often quite powerful and will either over power a netbook or make the battery die out extremely quickly.

They almost certainly don't. Atom isn't really capable of running the appropriate software. Just because it isn't designed on doesn't mean the device shouldn't be catered for, and I personally am annoyed when it isn't.


My opinion on netbooks is quite small, as I haven't properly used one before but will do soon, but I don't think they would be much different to a laptop except not as powerful.

For your schoolwork, it will be very useful. They're small enough to stick in your school bag, so in your frees you might actually get some work done.

rnd me
10-31-2009, 01:42 AM
it's not just netbooks; it's Wiis, kindle2s, HTPCs, phones, and tablets.

i suppose that you could simply disable the main css file if one of these devices is detected.
Then your content would at least flow and fill up the screen.

Yes, iPhone zooms the page and your design looks consistent, but have you tried using a busy, wide page on the iPhone? it can be painful.

Going off topic a bit, we should all stop measurebating our designs.
focus on good content, not good looks.
provide look-free versions of the content, be it RSS, ASCII, no-css, etc...

That way, no matter the screen size or device capabilities, we can all easily consume your awesome information.

oesxyl
10-31-2009, 02:07 AM
the main idea is that we spend more time with communication then working with programs who need desktops and most of the people spent time on road between different places. We like it or not when the number of request in server stats point to such devices we need to design pages for them.
Back to thread, :)
We can't take units out of the general context of the design, that's my opinion, :)

I hate leptops, mobiles,...., :-)

best regards

Jazz914
10-31-2009, 03:57 AM
@Apostropartheid
The mobile wikipedia site was specially designed for.. mobiles :p Thats why when you go to wikipedia if you look at the domain you are redirected to "en.m.wikipedia.org" instead of plain old "en.wikipedia.org", its a shame, my 6th form have the mobile wikipedia blocked for what ever reason, but the normal wikipedia unblocked :/

900 -1000px seems a good widthIMO. I am practicing at designing, and often design on a smaller canvas, like my first few were like at 750px, and then moved up to 800 and now i have just moved off 900, my personal limit was I felt a larger canvas needed more of a interesting look, but my current design is at 1000px nice and simple design and its a "scalable" design, which means it can fit to 800px if I decide to go with percentages over pixels.

Jailbreaking is a good and bad thing, its a good thing because it brings out the best in an ipod/iphone, I mainly jailbroke my ipod just so I could change the overall theme of the ipod (using winterboard). But its against Apple's T&C and they are slowly phasing out jail breaking, and eventually they are going to release a awesome feature for the future OS upgrades that we are going to be tempted to update but bye bye jailbreak xD as they have already almost fixed all jailbreakable flaws in the system.

I thought that was true :O I guess its preferance then, when I was getting taught art in school I was always told to use a larger canvas and most computer designers I know always design on a large canvas (900-1000px for webdesign) depending on what they are doing.

I agree, and that was the whole concept of getting the netbooks for the year, I am allowed to bring my own in, but the battery life expired and I don't want to buy a new one as its really expensive :/ So i'm fine with just leaving it on charge and taking it off occasionally for like an hour or so ^_^

@rnd me
Agreed; Content is the most important part, but design does play a huge part in it, whether you notice or not. For example your not going to be tempted to come back to this place: http://havenworks.com/ Where as if you went to this place: http://www.morphix.si/ this might be a bit biased, but you would obviously prefer to return to the second one rather than the first.

IMO its important to have a balance, flooding a page with content is not always a good thing, the text must be nicely placed and easy to read and this is all down to looks.

Personally I quite like ASCII, I think its quite organised xD I don't tend to use RSS, I don't see the point, as if you can access an RSS feed you have an internet connection and you are able to view the site normally anyway, I know there's more to RSS than that but thats the main reason I don't use it.

@oesxyl
I don't understand what you mean? :S

tejas
10-31-2009, 08:29 PM
Usually I suggest layouts to be done fixed width with spaces on either side, but one needs to consider the diversity of screen sizes for the target audience.

I agree that sites which don't work effectively on mobile browsers may be losing visitors, customers and $$$ over their competitor. While that can be a small amount now, it is cause for concern for the future, as the mobile surfers keep increasing. It is a good idea to have a separate site for mobiles.

Electricspace
10-31-2009, 08:54 PM
Hi,

For my day job I practically build only static width websites (pixels), but I personally like the resizing effect of percentage so that the website morphs itself to the space it has. What I don't like are long lines of texts because of their poor of usability. I know that users can resize their browser, but I think that the developer should prevent that in order to save time and effort on the side of the user. That's why I always use a max-width.

I don't use a min-width so that a website is still usable on devices like iPhones although I'm convinced that most web designs are not suitable for small screens. That's because pages with large amounts of information is ok on a 1208x1024, but not on a 300x200.

@Apostropartheid: I don't like to use em's for widths since that could mean that you could get horizontal scrolling or am I wrong with that?


This is my first post by the way.

Jazz914
10-31-2009, 09:44 PM
I don't agree that websites not designed for mobiles are losing visitors. Because when you visit a site on a normal phone (nothing like a iphone/ipod) but a general phone, it usually looks like most sites do, even ones specifically made for a mobile device.

As for viewing sites on a mobile device such as an ipod, I honestly don't mind zooming in or whatever, as I only use my ipod to browse the internet when I have no access to a PC and have nothing to do, it actually isn't much trouble moving the screen around as you can general pick up where to go quite easily.

bazz
11-01-2009, 12:06 AM
I think the issue of whether to use % or pixels is totally different from how to design for mobiles and desktops.

I use em's and % for my web design and print design.
I find my sites look the same (but smaller), on mobiles and those I have spoken to, would prefer the mobile site to be designed specifically for the mobile. Not necessarily a text only view but designed such that there is less scrolling sideways and less zooming in/out. I suppose how each one caters for mobiles (ipods and such), is a subjective matter and it must, surely, be based on the audience of the domain.

so to answer the question, I would recommend percentages and the css attribute 'max-width'. which reminds me to ask: does IE support max-width yet?

bazz

Electricspace
11-01-2009, 09:59 PM
@bazz:
Sure it does. Since IE7 and I'm loving it :)

@Jazz914:
If a website is not usable it will lose eventually from websites that do. I don't have an iPhone, but I used it once and I was instantly irritated about the fact that I had to zoom in after every page load.

Jazz914
11-07-2009, 05:28 PM
I think IE 8 does, it does seem to support quite a lot of stuff now..



EZ Archive Ads Plugin for vBulletin Copyright 2006 Computer Help Forum