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I do mockups and prototypes of sites and designs all the time, but I've always wondered if there is a standard size or width I should be using. Generally I'll make my document either 1024, 1200, or 2560px wide, depending on what I'm doing.

So what do you think? What is a good or standard size for this?

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Not sure what you're really asking when yopu say "document width" - doesn't it depend mostly on your content width - which might also vary per device ('liquid' or 'elastic')? –  e100 Feb 20 '12 at 19:14

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

For mockups and prototypes:

  • I use 960px with 940px usable area and 10px gutters on each side. This is pretty accurate to the 960.gs PSD and other format templates you can download.
  • I use Twitter Bootstrap for HTML prototyping and tend to make my photoshop wireframes resemble many of the bootstrap elements

Twitter Bootstrap now has responsive design features and media queries so you can prototype for large screens and mobile devices pretty effectively.

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This is (one of) the problems with prototyping outside the medium you are building in. Ideally, you'd be prototyping in the browser itself. That way you can easily and quickly account for browser variances.

Sans that, you really can only make a best guess based on the particular project you are working on.

For example, everyone in this thread is mentioning 960px. That's a fine assumption in a lot of cases, but a dangerous one in a lot of others.

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960px is best in my opinion for content, but assume 1100px is visible.

See here

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1000px for content area. on the background it depends on if your background is repeatable or just a solid color.

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Welcome to Graphic Design! There's nothing wrong with your answer, but it would be preferable to see some extra information in the answer explaining why (for example) 1000px is a good number. –  Farray Feb 16 '12 at 16:01

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