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What is a good content width?

Especially for widescreen Notebooks



8:03 pm on May 20, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I like to use defined CSS in the middle part.

Is this the best options for all resolutions like Notebook...27'' display...

#middle_mainpart {
margin: 0 auto;
max-width: 1350px;
min-width: 1008px;
position: relative;
width: 90%;



12:17 am on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Hi toplisek, another interesting question :)

To me, the issue is still whether the content is "readable" for users. There have been quite a few studies identifying that long line lengths make reading content (especially text) quite difficult.

There is also the issue of how much of your target market has wider screens, and whether they will be surfing with their viewports maximised even if they are.


6:54 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

We have now technology of display:
Notebooks: 1280x800 (Best COST-BENEFIT)
Monitors: 17''-27'' for usual users.

1. long line lengths: MIN-MAX will do in correct way in my opinion:
min-width: 1008px;
max-width: 1350px;

2. how much of your target market has wider screens

Updated technology does not need anymore issue with detecting users resolutions.

We are in the end of display resolution. Prices drop down 50% each year and 0 price is closer than ever for 17''.

Issue is 27''. How big can go industry for the usual demand...Display length is not needed anymore.

IBM-Lenovo alliance: Notebooks are in the end of the business cycle. Where are going monitors? To 0 loop.
Where is the price closer and closer to 0 it will be new technology. Demand is covered by new technology.
LED display and TV market brings internet to TV. Maybe LED technology will be replaced by function.

That is my opinion from the market view. Apple follows this line.


10:13 pm on May 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

As long as one is also dealing with font size as well as width, I don't see any problems... but fixed fonts on wider screens (and no min-width) makes for difficult reading... and or a lot of zooming on the user's browser just to read what's there.


6:26 pm on May 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Hi topilesk, wasn't suggesting to sniff for user resolutions or viewport widths - eeeek! But you could be in a company intranet with known hardware, and some analytics programmes report some information. I'd be wary about assuming users will upgrade to wider screens based on price: Many are still trying to recover from the recession and some users only upgrade when old hardware ceases to function - so new computer hardware is a low priority, regardless of how cheap it is.

I think your question highlights the lack of recent research about user behaviour given screen sizes have increased dramatically. We only suspect most narrow the browser viewport. A lost opportunity because studying the width selected by choice might tell us the widths users prefer. Also, there has been little done on different types of content and layout: Lines of full-width text are different to a 2-3 col layout, especially when further broken by images etc.

However, comfortable reading length for lines of text is determined by the physiology of the eye - which hasn't changed - so earlier studies are still relevant. Most suggest 45-75 (maximum 80) characters per line, frequently translated to 25-30em. I haven't yet found anything in WCAG 2.0, except an indirect reference to about 80.

I've personally thought lines on screen could be longer, but as tangor highlights that's influenced by font-size, and I'd also include letter and word-spacing, line-height and colour contrast, as well as workspace lighting etc.

So I agree setting a min/max and width is the "best" technique, but the question is the length of the widths. For me, lines of text at 1350px is far too long to read comfortably, and when the viewport is narrowed, require too much horizontal scroll. But if #middle_mainpart is the wrapper for columns that mean line-lengths are shorter, then that width might be fine.

Or am I not understanding the question you are asking?

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