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6:8 Use Fluid Layouts

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6:8 Use Fluid Layouts

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 3 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 3 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Page Structure - General


Use a fluid layout that automatically adjusts the page size to monitor resolution settings that are 1024x768 pixels or higher.


When web page layouts are fixed either to the left or centered, much of the available screen space is not used. It is best to take advantage of as much of the screen space as possible because this will help move more information above the fold. There has been no degradation in user performance when using the non-fluid layouts. However, most users prefer the fluid layout. One 2003 study reported a compliance rate for this guideline of twenty-eight percent, and a 2001 study found that only twenty-three percent of top Web sites used a fluid layout. Keep in mind that large monitors and higher pixel resolutions allow viewing of more than one window at a time.


  • Bernard, M. & Larsen, L. (2001). What is the best layout for multiple-column Web pages? Usability News, 3.2.
  • Nielsen, J. (2003, November 10). The ten most violated homepage design guidelines. Alertbox. Retrieved November 2005, from

Good Example:

Flexible, or liquid, layouts allow users to adjust Web pages to fit their screen space.



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