I absolutely love this quote from Eric Meyer’s Epherma post today:
Telling me that I’ve made the wrong choice will not change anything, because there are almost no objectively wrong choices in this area. There are only tradeoffs.
While he’s talking specifically about his font-size choices for an upcoming redesign — I believe you could clearly apply this to any web design decision.
There are folks out there that loathe this about designing for the web — that at times there just isn’t one neat and tidy, concrete correct way to do a certain something. I’ve grown to love this — that it’s always in flux, there are new ways to accomplish goals being discovered everyday, and people relentlessly pushing the envelope.
Getting back to Eric’s quote though, remember that the state of web design in 2004 is all about tradeoffs: Liquid vs. fixed, pixel sizing vs. ems vs. keywords, FIR vs. LIR vs. no-IR, float vs. positioning in layouts, hackful vs. hackless CSS (hackful?), etc…
It’s all good though. Make a decision and stick to it. Heck, then change it the next time. Experiment with methods that you previously wrote off without a second thought. Have a beer (or soda) and remind yourself that it’s all about tradeoffs. I’m certainly going to try as well.