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Checkpoint 2 - Page layout

Conformance: Mandatory

Requirements

Page layouts must use a fluid width approach with a maximum width for all content elements, as specified in the CUE template conformance requirements.

Page layout must support small browser windows and low resolution devices without introducing horizontal scrollbars.

Benefits of conformance

  • This approach to layout makes the best use of available space at all resolutions and on all devices.
  • Taking a single approach to layout for all CUE sites contributes significantly to a consistent experience as visitors move between Queensland Government sites.
  • Consistency reduces the time visitors take to orient themselves upon visiting a new site and adds to trust and credibility of the Queensland Government online.

Risks of non-conformance

  • Impact on consistency. Queensland Government credibility and user trust is negatively impacted when the transition from one site to another is not seamless.
  • These risks can lead to reverse channel migration as follow up interactions with other contact channels (phone or counter) are then required to complete the enquiry or transaction.
  • Horizontal scrolling is often introduced at smaller resolutions or on mobile devices, impacting on the accessibility and usability of the content.
  • Extending the content width beyond the mandated maximum width causes content lines to become longer, in turn reducing the readability of the content.

Implementation advice

Explanation

  • Fixed width layouts are considered to carry the benefit of being easier to design and develop for, but carry the accessibility and usability risks outlined above.
  • Fixed width layouts can be developed to adapt at smaller resolutions to address accessibility issues (i.e.: without the introduction of horizontal scrollbars) but the added complexity largely negates the benefits of using a fixed width approach in the first place.
  • Allowing for layout to adapt to the current screen resolution (or window size) is an important part of meeting the requirements of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (Checkpoints 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.3 and 1.4.8).
  • A consistent approach to layout across all Queensland Government sites contributes significantly to the primary goals of the Consistent User Experience standard.
  • The CUE template provides a cost-effective way to implement web resources that conform to this requirement, reducing the additional development effort that a fluid width layout implies.
Last reviewed
01 April 2011
Last updated
05 April 2011