When it comes to website design, the way you lay out the elements on a page makes a big difference for user experience. Two of the most popular styles of layouts are full-width and boxed design. Each web design style has its own list of advantages and disadvantages, as highlighted below.
In order to figure out which type of design is right for your website, you have to weigh the pros and cons of each website design and understand how each would fit the purpose of your website.
Full-width web designs flow nicely because many elements, such as columns and sidebars, are the same width (straightforward enough, right?). Main content areas, however, change width, which allows images and text to flow to different areas of the webpage. A brochure site tends to benefit from a fixed width because the site adapts to browser size.
One disadvantage of this type of web design is that designers need a lot of experience to master this type of website. They have to vary widths of photos and videos to make sure they look good on every type of screen they’re viewed on. This type of website looks good on mobile phones, tablets and computers, so whichever way consumers reach the website they’ll have a visually positive experience.
Boxed Design Layouts
Boxed layouts offer the same widths for everything on the page. Boxed designs are clean and provide a uniform website design that suits many different purposes. One of the biggest advantages is that it can be viewed at different screen resolutions without destroying the quality and readability of the layout. Boxed designs simplify the user experience and guide users on where they need to go.
A disadvantage of this type of website design is that boxed layouts tend to allow either too much or too little white space depending on the size of the screen. Although information is readable, it may gather in the middle of the page or hang off the page, creating a negative visual experience for the user. That’s why it’s important to know how your visitors access your site and from what types of devices (i.e. on a computer or a mobile device).
Which Web Design Layout is Best for You?
Determining how to lay out your website depends heavily on the overall message you’re trying to convey with your website design, the type of media you’re including on your site, and whether or not you want the site to be mobile friendly. Once you’ve read about the advantages and disadvantages of each, it’s time to choose between the two. The nice thing about website design is that if a certain layout ends up not working for what you need, it is possible to rebuild your website the way you want it to be, although it will take some time and work.