Dane. Designer.

Old Blog

The OS & Fluid Designs

In laying down this new design—Kalamari—I decided to try and go with a fluid-width layout for once. Traditionally I haven’t held it in particularly high regard; but I experiemented with it for a few hours, and ended up somehow finding it a natural fit alongside the ‘book-like’ typography.

What’s interesting about fluid-width designs, is that for me, they actually only make sense under OS X. After all, under OS X, no window can be maximized and locked to the screen. Quite the contrary in fact. Not only are windows rarely sized to fit the full size of the screenThe lack of a maximize button in OS X has been known to drive some people to the brink of madness., but all windows are movable at any time. And the ace in the hole, is that you cannot move the upper edge of a window above the lower edge of the menu bar, and you cannot resize a window to be bigger than the size of your screen.

Combined, these factors are very significant, as they directly influence the way you work your windows.

Contrary, on Windows, un-maximized windows most often differ in size and vertical position from window to window. And without the menu bar blocking vertical movement and the screen-size dictating the size of windows, it isn’t quite that easy to quickly move and resize a window, while retaining a tidy workspace; and so I most often simply maximize all windows.

Hang on, I’m approaching the point.

Because of this, I work much better with OS X’s windows paradigm. Much better. My work environment simply remains more fluid than when I’m working on Windows, and I often find myself resizing windows to fit whatever content they contain.

In turn, because I do thatWell, and because Baskerville looks amazing in Safari on OS X, and Georgia looks like shit in Firefox on Windows, Kalamari felt more natural on OS X, since I find myself resizing the width of the window to where it feels ‘right’. But at work, on Windows, the window was maximized, and… well, it looked almost grotesque actually, because of the vast wasteland of whitespace on either side of the column in a maximized window.

So I have to come up with some way of countering that I suppose.