Doing some research for one of my clients today (a big one with 300,000+employees), I decided to check their web standards and guidelines. On the first page of their standards was the reminder to avoid templates that create horizontal scroll, and to design with 1024 pixel width in mind. Good advice. Too bad they can’t follow their advice themselves though.
Above this tech savvy advice was another example of what not to do on their intranet pages. It was this advice that inspired this post.
The advice itself was unimportant. It was how they gave it that had me chuckling. They used a screenshot to give an example, and that screenshot was 1,250 pixels wide. Being that I was on a tiny 1024 pixel laptop at that moment made me………you can guess here…….horizontal scroll to read the rest of the text.
The template itself was designed fine. Unfortunately though, it appears the content writers had no clue on what it was all about. When inserting a large picture in your site, please make sure it does not create horizontal scroll.
I usually keep a general rule of thumb; limit image width to 800 pixels, and if it’s larger, link to the image all by itself. On this site, I try to limit to just 600 pixels. Anything wider forces surrounding text to be just as wide, and that is something we just don’t want to do. See Giant Image Syndrome.