Importance Of Flexible Layouts

A few years ago, making fixed width designs was a fashion, rather a norm because it was more convenient. As time passed and people started using internet on their cell phones and net books, the fashion of going width a fixed width design seems outdated. A flexible layout is one that is proportional with the dimensions of the largest and the smallest devices they may be used on.

Importance Of Flexible Layouts

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We can understand the advantages of flexible layouts, but there are many advantages of fixed sheet layouts too. To start with, fixed sheets layouts are easier and faster to design. The content does not overflow and the sheets don’t break. Even though fixed width layouts may have a number of advantages, flexible layouts are set to be a trend in the near future.

Every year new devices are launched and trends are changed. In 20120 when iPad was launched, it became a craze and designers understood the necessity of designing layouts that are suitable for the iPad. In future we would see new devices and customizing each fixed sheet layout to fit the new screen is going to be an uphill task. This is when the advantages of a flexible layout come in. Break points can be created in flexible layouts for the most popular screen sizes.

Another reason for using flexible layouts is the rapidly changing laptop and computer screen sizes. While 10 years back about 4% users had a screen size larger than 1024×768, the figure now sits at above 80%. Having flexible layouts would do away with the hassles of changing the fixed style layouts for the rapidly changing screen sizes as one layout would be suitable for all or at least most of the sizes. A flexible design allows the minimization of white space and the optimization of font sizes. A flexible layout would be suitable for most of the net books and most of the computer screen sizes without compromising on design principles.

Many users do not use their browsers at the maximised screen. There are many reasons for this practice which include the comfortable snap feature available in Windows 7 which allows two WebPages to be placed together. There are many more such features in different operating systems because of which users do not use their browsers at maximised size. It is important that the websites can fit into the reduced sizes without compromising on the clarity, which is possible with flexible layouts.

Touch screens are becoming more and more popular with the day. While designers have realised that the scroll feature needs to be eliminated if the web pages are to be browsed on the mobile screens, there is one more fundamental feature that needs to be introduced if the web pages are to be made suitable for touch screens, that is simplicity. Flexible layouts are suitable in this case as the web pages can be optimized as the screen sizes become smaller.

In the past few years we have seen many new devices being launched and as this explosion of new devices continues, it will become even more important to accommodate all the screen sizes being launched, something that can be achieved with the help of flexible layouts.


Written by Nikhil Malhotra

Hi! I am Nikhil Malhotra, a Web/UI designer and Front End developer. This is the area of my website where I share my knowledge in form of tutorials and articles.

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