Voices That Matter: Web Design Conference

April 27 –29, 2009, in San Francisco conference session:

“Designing CSS Layouts for the Flexible Web”

The Web has been a flexible, user-controlled medium from the beginning, and the use of CSS instead of tables for layout makes that flexibility all the more obvious. Yet, many designers continue to create rigid designs that don’t adapt well to the myriad of user screen resolutions, font sizes, and other unique configurations.

In this session, Zoe Gillenwater explains the characteristics, benefits, and challenges of both liquid and elastic layouts. The bulk of the session teaches you how to design for these types of layouts by presenting numerous visual examples of both real and mocked-up Web sites. You’ll review several interface design conventions that don’t work well for liquid or elastic layouts and learn how to transform each to be more flexible-friendly, while still keeping the aesthetics of the site intact. You’ll learn how to design with CSS and flexibility in mind from the beginning, making the later building process a lot less painful and the resulting site a lot more robust.

You’ll leave the session with a list of things to watch out for while creating your next design comps, as well as ideas for how to tweak the designs of even fixed-width layouts to adapt better to user-controlled font sizes and other flexible Web conditions.