It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of fixed-width layout. What most of you don’t know is why?
It simply comes down to readability. How easy is the content on the eyes?
Newspapers and magazines display text in fixed-width columns because it makes reading so much easier on the eyes. The smaller the reading area the easier it is to consume.
Readability is important because it indirectly has an affect on revenue and conversion rate.
If the content is easy to read you have:
- A reader who is satisfied.
- A reader that will visit many pages (Pageviews).
- A reader that will stay online longer (Avg. Time on Site).
- A reader that will take action. ie. register, upgrade membership, create a post, etc
Past discussions on layout type (fixed vs liquid) always focused on appearance. You never hear anyone talking about how it can affect revenue.
Until now – My goal with this article is to have a conversation about your choice of layout type.
What’s your favorite layout type? Why? Did you consider readability, revenue, audience, etc before making your choice?
I’m going to try to explain my choice below…
Imagine 2 rooms
In Room 1, $ 20,000 is scattered throughout the floor. You have 1 minute to grab as much as you can. One minute later you walk out with $ 10,000.
Now imagine a room twice as big – Room 2 – $ 20,000 is scattered throughout the room. You have 1 minute to grab as much as you can. How much will you walk out with?
Less than $ 5,000 – half the amount you walked away with in Room 1.
There’s double the space to cover which takes more time and energy to move from one area to the next.
In many ways, a liquid layout is similar to the above. The bigger the layout the more work one has to accomplish a task.
I’m sure you agree that the space between objects is potentially larger in a liquid layout. The farther apart objects are to the primary area the less attention it will get.
There lies the problem. To make money, you need eyes on ads (directly or peripherally).