Boxed Layout or Full-Width Layout? Which one is better for an admin dashboard layout?

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Boxed Layout or Full-Width Layout? Which one is better for an admin dashboard layout?

Admin dashboards are the commanding centers of digital platforms, offering users control and insights into various operations. Among the many design considerations for these crucial interfaces as well as websites, one fundamental choice stands out: the layout. There are two main competitors fighting for dominance in this area. – the Boxed layout and the Full-width layout. There are many admin dashboard layouts in these styles. Which one is the best for creating effective admin dashboards depends on your preferences and priorities. Let’s look a bit deep into the details of both and uncover the best fit for your dashboard needs.

What is a Boxed layout?

Boxed layout like the name suggests, is a layout similar to a box which remains the same in different devices. It will have borders on all the four sides of a page. That’s the simplest way we can explain boxed layout which is also called as fixed layout and in many other names. Irrespective of the screen resolution, websites with boxed layouts will have a definite boundary within which the content will be displayed. Designers will adhere to a strict resolution when integrating a layout. For example, it may be more practical to use a layout with a maximum width of 1200px similar to Bootstrap. By doing so, your integration will fit on screens with a display larger than 1200px.

Boxed layout is considered easy for designers. Unlike other layouts, the boxed layout ensures that both the designer and the audience see the same size, resulting in a consistent viewing experience. Wrappers with fixed width are present in these layouts, it is set to not change. The components inside will have percentage widths or fixed widths. Obviously there are some negatives also. Smaller screens might require more effort for the users to scroll and find the information they want clearly.
boxed layout

Advantages

  • Delivers clear boundaries for content, which can form a structured and organized sense.
  • It can make controlling the width of content easier, providing readability and usability on various screen sizes.
  • Allow the addition of background patterns or images within the boxed area, adding some visual interest.

Disadvantages

  • It might feel more difficult compared to a full-width layout.
  • It may not use screen space efficiently on larger screens.
  • Needs careful thinking of margins and padding to keep balance within the boxed area.

Examples of Boxed Layout Websites

Boxed layouts or Fixed layouts are often used for content-heavy websites like Medium or platforms requiring efficient navigation like GitHub.

Medium

You know the platform Medium right, users can read, write and interact with write-ups on different topics. Boxed layout in this case allows users to enhance the readability and focus on the content of the articles. The layout provides a distraction-free reading experience. Overall Boxed layout is perfect for Medium.

GitHub
Another popular example is GitHub: GitHub’s boxed layout manages code repositories and project pages efficiently, making it easy for users to utilize the platform and collaborate.

What is the Full-width / Stretched layout?

Full-width or stretched layouts use the entire screen to showcase the content of the page. This kind of layout is used mainly when the designer wants the user to be immersed in the image and have a visual treat. Whether it is an image or text it will get the desired attention in full-width layouts. The content of the website will be placed centered with mostly a white background throughout the page. Full width layout will give a spacious feeling to the audience. With a default container width set to 100% of the screen, this option permits your website’s content to stretch uninterrupted across the whole width of the browser window.

Incorporating full width layouts on your website requires careful management to ensure optimal display across various screen sizes. It is important to pay extra attention to how your content will adapt to different resolutions and screen sizes, particularly with the rise of high-resolution displays such as retina screens.
full width layout

Advantages

  • Uses the entire width of the screen, maximizing more room for content.
  • Delivers a modern and expansive feel, especially on larger screens.
  • Great visual impact for multimedia content or data visualization.

Disadvantages

  • Readability and usability may be at stake, especially on larger screens.
  • It may feel less structured compared to a fixed/boxed layout.
  • Background images or patterns may not be as prominent as in a boxed layout.

Examples of Full-width Layout Websites

Stretched Layouts provide a visually immersive experience, ideal for showcasing products, multimedia content, and storytelling.

Apple

Apple’s website design is a great example of how to use a stretched layout effectively to create an engaging and visually appealing experience for users. The website is designed with a stretched layout, which provides a visually immersive experience to its users. This design is particularly effective in showcasing products and services, as well as engaging users with multimedia content such as photos and videos. The use of a stretched layout is a great way to create a modern and sleek look for a website while also providing ample space to display important information and content in which they are apparently successful.

CNN

CNN’s website design features a stretched layout spread out horizontally to maximize the space available for news articles and multimedia content. This design not only allows for more content to be displayed on the page, but it also enhances the storytelling and user engagement by providing a more visually appealing experience. With this layout, CNN is able to present its news stories and multimedia content in a way that is both informative and engaging, keeping its audience informed and entertained at the same time.

Which Layout is Better as an Admin Dashboard Layout?

When creating an admin dashboard layout, it’s important to consider how humans typically view admin panels. Our eyes tend to start at the top left of the dashboard, move horizontally across the page, and then return to the left side of the page but slightly lower than the first glance. Once we scroll to the middle of the dashboard, our view goes back to the left side again and comes to the lower areas. Keeping this viewing pattern in mind can help with the design and layout of your admin dashboard.

The choice between a boxed and full-width layout is crucial, as it significantly impacts the usability and visual appeal of your admin dashboard.
admin dashboard layout

A boxed layout, as we mentioned above in detail, with clear boundaries and a structured environment, is perfect for managing content and tasks. It fosters focus and efficiency, making it a great choice for complex admin panel layouts or multi-sectioned dashboards.

At the same time, a full-width layout utilizes the entire screen width, providing a more expansive and open feel to the admin dashboard. This layout maximizes the area for content and elements, allowing for greater flexibility in arrangement and improving overall user experience, particularly on larger screens. The modern aesthetic of a full-width layout, coupled with its flexibility in content presentation, makes it specifically suitable for dashboards that highlight data visualization or multimedia content.

Examples of dashboards that use a boxed layout include AdminLTE Dashboard and Metronic Dashboard, while CoreUI Dashboard and Fuse Dashboard use a full-width layout. Bootstrapdash offers admin dashboard templates that can be used in both boxed and full-width layout just by adding a class.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the choice between boxed and stretched layouts depends on the website’s or dashboard’s specific goals and content. To conclude, we may say that a boxed layout may be preferable for content-focused platforms or those requiring efficient navigation. On the other hand, for websites aiming to make a visually immersive experience or showcase multimedia content, a stretched layout could be more effective.

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