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Why is Bikeradar narrow........

Bikeradar - wrong!:
http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/2972/bikeradarae0.png

Weightweenies - right!:
http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/5829 ... ieslr6.png

Why don't you design the site so that it fills the screen whatever monitor resolution you use? Most other forums seem to do it that way. It's annoying me like mad that it fills only half the screen.
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  • Gavin WeeksGavin Weeks Posts: 321 Designer/Developer
    I am afraid a site is not "wrong " for not being 100%. That's like saying cars are wrong for not being red.

    As you say a lot of forums are 100% because its simply the default design for the software, however Bikeradar is not a forum, it is a site that happens to have a forum on it. The forums have been styled to match the main site.

    This site is designed in an optimal manner to be visable and usable by 99% of internet users.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    As you say a lot of forums are 100% because its simply the default design for the software, however Bikeradar is not a forum, it is a site that happens to have a forum on it. The forums have been styled to match the main site.

    That's a rather poor argument though, most of the sites/forums I'm comparing bikeradar are not "dedicated forums" but are how you describe bikeradar " a site that happens to have a forum on it".

    It just seems weird that most others can do it, but bikeradar can't........

    I guess the analogy (with this site being about bikes) is a company making only one size of non-adjustable bike.
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  • Gavin WeeksGavin Weeks Posts: 321 Designer/Developer
    I am not suggesting your request for 100% is wrong just simply stating being 1000px isn't wrong.

    It's not a case of that we cannot make it 100%, but with the priority for the site being everything but the forums, the forums simpl had to follow suit. BBC site for example isn't 100% and is one of the most popular sites on the net. In fact there are very few editorial based sites that are 100%.

    I did a lot of this site personally, and with the varied resolutions, operating systems and devices this ticks more boxes. For example, the site on 100% with a 1680x1050 resolution is almost unreadable because everything gets so spaced out (referring to the main site not the forums). So we have to take a "one size fits all" approach. It is the most commonly used technique on the web. Having the site at 1000px and forums at 100% throws consistency out of the window and is generally bad usability.

    There are some experimental techniques we are playing with at the moment however, which is ironically half fixed, half adjustable (known as a flexible layout). have a look at www.smashingmagazine.com and scale your browser down. it will not fill 100% but fills more of the screen than a static 1000px width. However it will never scale lower than 1000px, so content layout is for the most part maintained.

    These methods provides all kinds of design challenges that we have to work on. Balancing content, legibility & design.

    I wish it was simply a case of changing the main wrapper to 100%, but sadly fate isn't prepared to throw me a tasty bone just yet!
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    OK fair enough, I'm not a web designer, so I don't fully understand the complexities of doing a site such as this.

    It just seems a bit weird that cyclingnews.com stretches but bikeradar doesn't even though they often display the same content.

    Although cyclingnews looks a bit dated, and can be a bit of a b!tch to navigate, it just seems easier to use.

    I'm guessing different teams do the two sites?
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  • Gavin WeeksGavin Weeks Posts: 321 Designer/Developer
    Cyclingnews was a site we purchased a few months ago, it is still running on the same system they used before the acquisition. At present its the same team, however because of the sheer scale of CN it is going to take a while to redesign and redevelop. Something we are working on, its also worth noting its the same team that work on all our sites, T3, Techradar, Musicradar, Total Film etc. So we are a busy bunch!!

    CN is mainly focused on news and racing, whereas BRD is focused on reviews and gear. This is a somewhat hard distinction to spot at present but will be made clearer over the next 12 months :)
  • It's not a matter of right and wrong, it's a matter of can people find what they want, and is the end result easy to read.

    One problem with Cyclingnews' layout, for example, is that if you have a very wide screen, you end up with enormous long lines of text, which are hard to read. If you value text readability - rather important on a news-and-reviews website - then keeping the line length sane is worthwhile.

    We had some heated discussions about this when we were setting up BikeRadar, and went with a fixed layout because it was substantially easier to make it look good and work well given all the extra stuff our layouts have compared to CN's.

    Which is not to say CN's is wrong either - the sites are just different.
    John Stevenson
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    This is still majorly annoying, any time someone posts a normal sized photo I have to scroll to view it all.

    I should not have to scroll to view what is actually a small photo.

    It's fine having a fixed width editorial bit, but it just handicaps the forum.
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  • RowCycleRowCycle Posts: 367
    Bikeradar - wrong!:
    http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/2972/bikeradarae0.png

    Weightweenies - right!:
    http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/5829 ... ieslr6.png

    Why don't you design the site so that it fills the screen whatever monitor resolution you use? Most other forums seem to do it that way. It's annoying me like mad that it fills only half the screen.

    I see ads on my right rather than a blank screen (at least at the top)

    Is that not the purpose why it is not 100%, so ads can be fitted in? Makes sense for a website to have these ads.
  • AndyAndy Posts: 8,208
    RowCycle wrote:
    Bikeradar - wrong!:
    http://img92.imageshack.us/img92/2972/bikeradarae0.png

    Weightweenies - right!:
    http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/5829 ... ieslr6.png

    Why don't you design the site so that it fills the screen whatever monitor resolution you use? Most other forums seem to do it that way. It's annoying me like mad that it fills only half the screen.

    I see ads on my right rather than a blank screen (at least at the top)

    Is that not the purpose why it is not 100%, so ads can be fitted in? Makes sense for a website to have these ads.

    The adds are still within the page width. The blank space he is referring to is the areas where the arrows are.
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