Fixed vs. Liquid Design

Thursday, February 12, 2004 at 6:26 pm | Comments off

As you may know, I'm in the process of redesigning my business site. The topic of fixed vs. liquid design has been discussed before, and I think most of us will admit there are benefits to both methods. I decided to explore liquid layouts for my new design and I had every intention of creating a liquid layout. Really, I did.

So what happened? I found that with the liquid layout I was trying, I was forced to give up on some aesthetic qualities of the design. As a designer, this bothered me. The longer I looked at what I had mocked up and what the liquid layout was turning out to be, the less I liked what I was seeing. I would definitely testify to the fact that liquid layouts are much harder to keep looking good than a fixed width layout, where you know exactly where everything will be (relatively speaking, of course - we need to account for different text size preferences and the like). Also, with design, I do believe that there are only tradeoffs, and for what I was aiming for, I felt the tradeoffs in aesthetics were big enough to warrant my reverting back to a fixed with layout.

I admire sites such as Stopdesign, and it was a tough decision to drop the liquid layout. I'm not giving up on liquid layouts, but I do think it's safe to say that for this particular design, it will be fixed. Since it will be the primary site that my clients will be seeing and thus gauging my artistic ability on, I could not afford to lose the aspects of design that had to be removed for the liquid layout to work. There are only tradeoffs...

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