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I'm in the research and planning phase of a new website for a company that consists on 2 persons with different areas of expertise. I was thinking about designing a split layout inspired by this blueprint (a more robust and complete thing a whit a very different design overall) but I've noticed that a lot of websites that were using this sort of split layout changed their entire layouts and abandoned this whole split idea, which led me to thing that probably this wasn't working very well.

What I want to know is why doesn't this work for users? if that's the case. And, if not, what are the pros and cons of split screen layout for web pages?

Is it too unusual or unpractical for the average web user to understand it's navigation?

  • Couldn't they abandoned this layout because of bad "implementation" of it? The might have navigational issues, trouble adding another persona, used the split on places, where they actually need to convey one strong message etc. If possible, I would be curious about some website examples you mentioned that left this way of laying out information. – digsrafik Mar 28 '15 at 9:12
  • @digsrafik check here line25.com/articles/…, after the first 2 examples they state there, there are 3 that abandoned this layout and if you look further down there are more and some others that keep it but I can see why they might should change (The Dewey's pizza one, for example, I think it just makes the page really confusing) – FabioG Apr 1 '15 at 14:14
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Split layouts are great visually, however, when it comes to content, split layout are tough. The one you posted doesn't allow for scrolling the page = you have to place all content within that split layout. If will of course work better when there is not much content to start with. However, keep in mind that websites usually grow in size and content. Hence, this might actually be more of a strategy question than a plain UX one. If you keep content small, and navigation easy to spot and use, split layouts can do work. If done well, you can paint a smile on users' faces.

In terms of RWD, you will most likely end up with a "normal" site structure on mobile. So, have a think whether the effort is worth to do for desktop.

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I think split screen looks great as an idea, but is very difficult to implement in reality. So that's why you don't see them very often.

For example, many sites are designed to be responsive nowadays, so while a split screen looks good on the web, it's very difficult to get it to work on mobile screens because the columns become too narrow to work with.

  • actually in this case, i'm seeing it, it will work just fine in mobiles being responsive, since the only part involving split screen really is the main page just to separate both areas, it can change to an horizontal split in mobile instead of vertical split – FabioG Apr 1 '15 at 14:07

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