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I've recently put a limit on the maximum width of my web app (similar to the Stack Exchange sites) to avoid looking ridiculous at very high resolutions and large monitors.

Most pages are limited to 1024px width, as seen here: 1024px fixed width

However, on the sort page, I want users to have the maximum width available, like this: enter image description here

Is this going to confuse people, and should it be avoided?

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Well, while I don't think it will confuse, it certainly is going to be jarring moving to and from the sort page. –  Marjan Venema Jul 30 '12 at 5:50
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As Marjan says, it is likely to be jarring, but it may be useful for your customers. Try some quick and dirty testing with some of them (or random guinea pigs) and you'll get more useful info. –  JohnGB Jul 30 '12 at 8:19
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3 Answers

If this app exist right now with flexing right now, I would say make them all fixed. Changing a portion of pages to have fixed while the others are kept flexible could become confusing for people who had been using the app. Furthermore it can have a fragmented feeling for the overall web app and cause confusion and dislike through that fragmentation.

With that said, if it also really affects usability other then affecting the looks, you could consider a different layout on pages you prefer maximum width, like the sort page in this case.

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I recommend sticking to one layout type. I have used a mixed layout before and it always appeared to look like there was a html-parsing error that caused one element to not close and spread to full width.

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As an alternative, I've put it back to fixed width, but reformatted each ticket to take up two lines.

enter image description here

This takes up more vertical space, but makes it a lot easier to read the ticket subjects.

Perhaps this is a better idea than expanding this one page to the full width?

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