Back then, monitors were growing in width from 640 pixels to 800 to 1024. Back then, much of the debate about width was "how wide can I make it and still fit on a person's desktop monitor".
Instead, many of our concerns about width are focused on the puny width of a cell phone. At what width do we make a responsive site transform from desktop to mobile?
Today, many desktop monitors are so wide that reading long lines across the entire width is difficult for many people.
So, perhaps we need to consider throttling the desktop width to make long-line reading easy for most people. Of course, we could increase font size because huge fonts are easier to read at 2000 pixels wide then the tiny text of wikipedia. But, I don't think that's the answer.
I tend to look at large, extremely popular sites that monetize with ads for my guidance. Here are three of the most common approaches that I have seen
1) Wikipedia is totally responsive. They scale page width to fit your monitor or device and allow long lines to run thousands of pixels across the widest monitor you can find.
2) The New York Times seems to assume that you have a desktop monitor that is about 1000 wide - and their design centers in the middle of your monitor view. It will then respond to narrower monitors, but at about 800 pixels wide they are willing to allow their design to be lost of the right side of the monitor.
3) The Washington Post seems to assume that your monitor is about 1200 pixels wide and centers in the middle of your screen. Then, if your monitor is any less than their max width, it will respond smoothly - by abandoning columns - down to about 300 pixels wide.
My site is a little less than 1000 pixels wide and responds when the screen width gets down to about 500 pixels. Then images and column widths shrink to maintain a single column design.
I am trying to decide what to do with a new site.
What do you think? Have you seen any sites that you think handle different monitor and device widths well?
Edited by EGOL, 29 July 2017 - 08:12 AM.