[thelist] front end design: liquid design

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis bhawkeslewis at googlemail.com
Sun Oct 19 14:11:52 CDT 2008

Ben Dyer wrote:
> 1. Generally, the wider the column of text, the more difficult it is  
> to read naturally.
> 2. I'm noticing that, statistically speaking, monitor resolutions are  
> trending higher and higher. 1024x768 is still the leader, but widths  
> of 1280, 1360 and higher seem to becoming a lot more prevalent of  
> late. Probably the average user is upgrading their monitors when they  
> upgrade machines.
> Now, I know that many users won't maximize the browser window with a  
> large screen space like that, but as these numbers keep increasing,  
> the problem with point #1 will keep increasing as well. (66% width  
> content div is still a wide reading space if the window is 1200+  
> pixels wide.)

Alastair Campbell has an interesting critique of font-based layout at:


You can limit the liquidity of designs with max-width to mitigate the 
problem of layouts becoming too wide according to some arbitrary criterion.

Sometimes visual communication requires pixel precision, for example, in 
a TV schedule where pixels represent minutes. But em, ex, and percentage 
errors widths can introduce rounding errors, which (worse still) differ 
between browsers. This makes them less than practical for such applications.

Benjamin Hawkes-Lewis

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