D-ZINE! FIXED DESIGN - 640x480 : page 3 of 4 :
Now let's proceed to look at further divisions of the page.
It is obvious, that since the visual height of the page is so limited, one should be very careful when using it.
If you want to add a top menu or banner it should be as limited in height as possible.
However, this should not lead to the conclusion that a top menu is a bad idea.
Since the top of the page is very easy to jump to, it is an obvious place for a menu. Just keep in mind, that it reduces the space you have for the rest of the visual page.
In general a top menu should be kept at 60 pixels height or less.
(Because 60 pixels allows graphic objects of the same size as full and half banners as well as button 2's. See the Graphics Standards article for more)
The other obvious place for a navigation menu is at the upper left side of the page.
If you decide to use a side menu you need to divide your page accordingly. How much space should be used for the menu?
First, it is recommended to allow the content portion of the page to carry industry standard banners at a size of 468x60 pixels.
This leaves you with an option of having a menu that is up to 620-468 = 152 pixels wide. If the banner should be allowed a 1-pixel border (which is often required), you're left with a menu at maximum 150 pixels width.
Now with a 150 pixel maximum width for the menu graphic, object at 468x60 and 234x60 become irrelevant. They don't fit in the menu no matter what.
Unless we accept to be limited to using only Micro Buttons in the menu we can conclude that the menu must be at least 120 pixels wide (in order to allow the majority of graphic standard objects to fit).
The gap is thus between 120 pixels and 150 pixels.
When designing for 620 pixel width of the entire page, there really aren't any restrictions to what you decide, as long as the menu is kept between 120 and 150 pixels.
However, as we shall see in the next section, 150 pixels is a genius decision when you decide for 800x600 pixel screens.
The final word to say on fixed design for 620 pixel width is that it actually is impossible to have a menu on each side of the content - if the design is made with respect to industry banner sizes.
You might add here, that you don't want banners on your page anyway, so what's the problem?
The focus on the industry standards for banners is not limited to banners only. Since so many sites carry banners, and thus are divided according to the standard sizes of them, many other tools reflect the same standards.
Java applets, animated GIF's, webphoto collections, real video, etc. very often adopt the same standards.
This means that if you decide to not take the banner standards into account, you limit your future options for adding both banners and cool effects to your pages.
Of course it is your decision to make - but some good advice is:
Since there really aren't any other important factors to take into consideration, you might as well divide your pages according to the industry standards, rather than just pick a size out of the blue.
The final example in this section shows the logical way to divide the screen when designing for a fixed width of 620 pixels: 60 pixel top banner/menu with a 120-150 pixel side menu and 470-500 pixel main content.