The golden rectangle has been associated with the growth pattern of living things. Subconsciously, this organic pattern resonates with us.
This same golden rectangle is of particular use to the web designer who’s interested, not only in harmoniously composing visual elements on a web page, but in setting up what could be called visual meridians along which viewers can scan web page content. If it’s used with care it can help readers to conceptually organize this content. In the face of ever-changing web content, and always-proliferating viewing devices, the idea of using fixed, two-dimensional proportions — typically used in the domain of print design — has largely been set aside by many web designers as unworkable and inefficient.
In what follows I’ll present the benefits of, and practical methods for, using the fixed proportions of the golden ratio as a basis for designing clear web page layouts. With a little help from CSS pre-processors, CSS media queries, and a good jQuery content scroller, there’s no longer a reason why a designer can’t adapt these proportions to a mobile phone, tablet or the next “net fridge”. The greatest obstacle is that it requires a re-examination of the view that the optimal approach to page design for the Web is to be found in the fluid layout.