21.5% of web visitors still want you to design for 800×600…
The subject of designing for screen resolutions has always been a point of contention, but the trend these days does seem to be designing web sites for 1024×768 and above, even with fluid layout sites. It’s almost de-facto and rarely questioned. But is it right?
Here at IPC we’ve always gone with a compromise – go wider, but still design for 800×600 in a way. The trick is to keep the core content within about 780px and have a few ‘non essential’ elements hanging off on the right – see NME.com as an example. It’s a balance between getting more space (and more ads!) above the fold, and catering for the lowest common denominator – my gut feeling has always been they’re not such a minority.
Only 12.5% of visitors have an 800×600 screen resolution – BUT 21.5% of visitors have an actual browser width of 800px or less.
My theory has been that a surprisingly large number of people surf with their sidebars open – eg their bookmarks or history – my Dad included. I would guesstimate this to be as high as 50% across the board.
So despite the vast majority now having a decent resolutionof 1024px and above (640×480 is practically zero these days, thank God), a size-able proportion – higher than FireFox’s market share – won’t appreciate any content being out wider than 800px. For example, the redesigned telegraph.co.uk homepage: