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Why wouldn't they allow the thing to span full screen. The days of 640 are OVER. Like I want to see two thirds of a screen filled with white space. It makes the content and the site seem small.
But we did a few usability tests 6 months ago, and found that comparatively new users found an uncluttered 640 design more "clickable" and less threatening. We tested two designs the only difference was full screen or constrained and at 800 and 1,200 sizes. More regular users whoever were not as enamoured but still said they liked the "unclutterred look" by a small margin.
Maybe we who are used to navigating sites all day can handle lots of content on a screen at a time and learn the skills of fousing on what we want.
Not convinced that the days of 640 are over... We have half 640 and half 800 and the bosses laptop 1,200. According to our logs, 70% of our hits are from screens with 800 or less.
As traditional publishers too, the use of white space does seem to have a good effect on users, though i agree that once you get to over 1200 screens there may be overkill.
That will be the time to change the page to 800 I think.
Still our audience is very different from yours and IId agree that with a very experienced group like webmasters the white space wont be appreciated.
They used to be the KING of the fast update... Their spiders have been all over my site lately, but no dice on the search results.
A pretty AV interface would be about as appealing as a really *beautiful* inflatable doll right now.
great quote mimox! all face and flash and little substance... the great downfall of 95% of Websites generally (present company exculded of course!). Do Webmasters think Internet users are really that stupid anymore?
Well, if they chaged it, the "changes" certainly didn't involve an update. I submitted a bunch of old (404) page URLs to them a couple weeks ago, along with the new replacement pages... and their amazing update-in-less-than-a-week database maintenance schedule has been offline at least since then.
I think the site is simple, which is good, must say that the last design was confusing...
As for any similarities to Yahoo or LookSmart, I must say that I can hope the new site will give us all new results... isn't that what we're all after?