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From: Jeff Garland (jeff_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-04-04 22:15:28

On Mon, 04 Apr 2005 16:43:30 -0400, Miro Jurisic wrote

> > The assertion that the site is hard to read for the 'majority of users'
> > really isn't backed up by any facts. You're assumming everyone has a wide
> > display, small font sizes, etc. Not everyone does. I say the site is
> > perferctly readable and that a non-fixed design allows users easy control the
> > parameters.
> It's backed by my understanding of the issues involved in designing
> for readability, which I continue to think should be more important
> than spatial efficiency. Your assertion that the site is perfectly
> readable at arbitrary widths disagrees with what I believe is
> credible research on this topic.

I was just using myself as an example and stating my preference. I didn't
really want to start a research war here, but if you want to go that way see:
Designing Web Usability, Jakob Nielson p 174. Key quotes under the topic How
Wide Should the Page Be: "you shouldn't design for any standard width...Users
who have large screens should be allowed to benefit from their investment".

It's not just about me and my big monitor, it's about the small monitors and
resolutions too. This issue is much more complex than a single study. Nielson
is an acknowledged expert in usability and web design. I'm sure he is fully
aware of the research you cite. Take a gandor at his site Tell me what you find regarding resizeability and use
of space. Look at an article on the site:

Note that the lines take the entire width of the browser. Also note most
violated home page guideline #2:

"2. Use a liquid layout that lets users adjust the homepage size
  Compliance rate: 28%
  Guideline number in Homepage Usability book: 67

 Fighting frozen layouts seems a lost battle, but it's worth repeating:
 different users have different monitor sizes. People with big monitors
 want to be able to resize their browsers to view multiple windows
 simultaneously. You can't assume that everyone's window width is
 800 pixels: it's too much for some users and too little for others. "

> A survey is not necessarily relevant, unless you are willing to (IMO
> wrongly) assume that preference for a layout is correlated to its
> adequacy. HCI studies find time and time again that people don't
> know what's good for them.

So we should do the opposite of what "we" useful and pleasing because of some
HCI studies? That's ridiculous. Maybe we should make the home page look like
some ugly site -- say slashdot ( -- any takers? I think
the Boost community is fully capable of discussing and choosing wisely.


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