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  1. #126
    SitePoint Addict Pavel_Nedved's Avatar
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    I think to answer your question, you need to answer this: Do you want to lose 25% of your customers? Ok, that's a bit harsh, not ALL of them will leave, but I would wager most of them would.

    And I have read studies which have shown that the 800x600 population is closer to the 40% mark - not 23%. It may be 23% in N.America though.

  2. #127
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel_Nedved
    And I have read studies which have shown that the 800x600 population is closer to the 40% mark - not 23%. It may be 23% in N.America though.
    It really depends on the location, age, and other demographic factors of your audience. A site targeted towards graphic artists or gamers will find 800x600 in a very low minority (I'd be surprised if it was above 3%), while a site like WebMD with a more general purpose could see 800x600 as possibly its most dominant resolution.

  3. #128
    SitePoint Guru wii's Avatar
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    All my stats show more than 10% 800x600 users. If you have a site that generates 10000 visits a month, then 10% is a lot (1000) and should not be ignored. That´s why I always design for 800x600 and above, although I take into account that the site will looks best in 1024x768 which is the most common resolution these days.

  4. #129
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    I guess it may depend on the target audience you have. I have screens that are capable of higher resolution but i still set them to 800X600 because my eyesight is crap. ( as is a large percentage of the pop ) I design my sites to look best at 8X6 as well because my target audience is mostly 50+ and failing eyesight tends to go with the terrirory ..... that is a massive generalisation but you will fet my drift.

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  5. #130
    SitePoint Guru wii's Avatar
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    Yeah, but if we are talking about the average user, that are just using a browser to search for sites on a general level, 800x600 should be a minimum requirement. Only design sites and such have an average user resolution that is higher than that, actually 1280x1024 is more common than 1024x768 at these sites.

  6. #131
    reputation consultant ThaVincy's Avatar
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    I decided to stop supporting 800x600 a few years ago. I started designing sites for higher resolutions only.

    One day however, back in the days when I was a young naive webdesigner/consultant, while visiting clients, I noticed all their (new!) computers still had 800x600 resolution.

    Since then, I turned to so called 'liquid design' and a wellplaned use of tables and CSS. Also keep in mind some people actually PREFER low resolutions, even on 17+ inch displays. And looking at the rise of small resolutions on phones, pda's, ... I'd keep supporting 800x600 for now.

    It's not that much of an effort to design for low resolutions, is it? In my humble opinion, looking after browser compatibility for Safari, IE (mac and win), Firefox, AOL, Netscape, ... is much more of a problem.
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  7. #132
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaVincy
    It's not that much of an effort to design for low resolutions, is it? In my humble opinion, looking after browser compatibility for Safari, IE (mac and win), Firefox, AOL, Netscape, ... is much more of a problem.
    Totally agreed. Resolution is probably one of the easiest things to conquer in the Web maze.

  8. #133
    SitePoint Addict Pavel_Nedved's Avatar
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    I don't really see what the issue is here. This is the way I see it:

    » If you design for 800x600, 99.8% of the world's computers can view it (yes there are still a very low percentage using even larger than 800x600 resolutions along with their 28k modems in the jungle).

    » If you design for 1024x768, the percentage of the world's computers that can see it without scrolling drops to roughly 60%. Why on earth would you even consider this? It is not an inconvenience for a 1280x1024 resolution user to view an 800x600 optimized website if it's done the right way, but it is a HUGE inconvenience for an 800x600 user to view a website optimized for 1024x768!

    It has been my experience that the best way to design a website is using a 1280x1024 resolution, but optimizing for 800x600. That way, it looks good in 1280x1024 in that you can actually read everything, and it doesn't inconvenience any of my visitors.

  9. #134
    SitePoint Zealot plan9's Avatar
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    Where to look and what are the resolutions and what type of browser, and it's specifications for small devices

  10. #135
    I am obstructing justice. bronze trophy fatnewt's Avatar
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    How about this:

    A designer who refuses to design for 800x600 because they find it limiting simply isn't a very creative or especially skilled designer.
    Colin Temple [twitter: @cailean]
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  11. #136
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    I have a question for those abandoning 800 X 600...

    In your site stats, is the size reported the size of the Browser Window or the size of the screen itself?

    For example, my monitor is set to 1280 X 960. I like the look it gives. However, I frequently browse sites at 800 X 960 including this one. I don't need my browser at full screen and I can use that real estate for other docked applications providing for better multi-tasking.

    Now most web trackers use Javascript to determine things like Window size but there is a screen object and a window object. They would return different things depending on browser settings. With the window object, there are also values for inner sizes as well as outer sizes (chrome, window elements, borders and scrollbars are included here). If the tracking scripts use outer sizes, that could change the value of your available space depending on browser, themes, style, etc...

    Just curious to see how everyone is measuring these things.
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  12. #137
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pavel_Nedved
    Why on earth would you even consider [cutting out substantial user base by designing for resolutions higher than 800x600]?
    The one reason I can imagine is that you have a 1024x768+ design that really offers something to the users who can experience it above and beyond the best 800x600 design they can offer.

    Presently, higher resolution designs are rarely tolerable, let alone offer a superior experience. But it's a matter of time. Give talented designers some time (and commercially viable reasons) to work with 1024+ and you'll see some designs that provide compelling reasons to design above 800x600.

    Quote Originally Posted by fatnewt
    A designer who refuses to design for 800x600 because they find it limiting simply isn't a very creative or especially skilled designer.
    This is easily reversed. The designer who does not see the value of extra room isn't a very creative or especially skilled designer.

    My opinion is that 800x600 is a reality right now. The correct choice for most sites. However, monitors are getting bigger and more precise. I remember when I heard this same argument for 600x480. Send this debate backwards a few years and you'd be lambasted for suggesting 800x600 as a default... "you are going to exclude too many people!".

    Of course they had a good point back then, just like the folks here have a good point right now. But that brings us back to the question at the beginning of this thread: When do we bail on 800x600? Rest assured, it'll happen. But when? How will we know that it is the right time? Should designs always straddle the middle?
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  13. #138
    SitePoint Guru wii's Avatar
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    We´ll know when to bail 800x600 when our stats show the same amount of visitors as 640x480 ! (I think it will be several years from now).

    I totally agree with this statement:

    It has been my experience that the best way to design a website is using a 1280x1024 resolution, but optimizing for 800x600. That way, it looks good in 1280x1024 in that you can actually read everything, and it doesn't inconvenience any of my visitors.

  14. #139
    I am obstructing justice. bronze trophy fatnewt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    This is easily reversed. The designer who does not see the value of extra room isn't a very creative or especially skilled designer.
    Not really. Extra room is valuable, yes... but 800x600 is here, and cutting off visitors is not the answer. A creative designer would have good ways of dealing with the multiple resolution issue while maintaining a consistent site... they could make beautiful sites that look good in all resolutions.

    People who say "but my design looks better in 1024x768, so I don't care about 800x600 anymore" aren't being creative enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    However, monitors are getting bigger and more precise. I remember when I heard this same argument for 600x480.
    Really? Are we all going to be using 38" monitors one day? Will they always get bigger? Will laptop screens get bigger too? I think we're pretty much at the limit for that. If anything, my current laptop is too big. I want to buy one with a smaller screen, and probably use 800x600 resolution on it so I can use it without straining my eyes.

    Screens will not always get bigger. More precise, maybe... and it may be the case that we're all viewing on 6000x4800 one day... but icons and everything are up to ten times as big to compensate. In which case current measurements will mean nothing. And if screen sizes don't get bigger forever, this problem is going to always be there. Whether we're debating 800x600 vs. 1024x768 or 8000x6000 vs 10240x7680 ... user preference will always be key. One of the reasons the Web is so great because it's extensible. Shouldn't design for the Web follow that?

    In the meantime, 800x600 makes sense. There are plenty of people who seriously have trouble reading on 1024x768. And laptop screens are smaller and often better suited for those resolutions... otherwise it can be hard to see.
    Colin Temple [twitter: @cailean]
    Web Analyst at Napkyn


  15. #140
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    I think that by the time people are ready to bail on 800x600, SVG will have more prominence (hopefully) and every layout will have the ability to be perfectly flexible (yes, even background images), making all of this silly resolution talk a non-issue.

  16. #141
    I <3 Internet Tekime's Avatar
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    Even if your using high resolution, it doesn't mean you want every web page to take up the entire screen. I basically never browse a site with my browser window maximized, and if a web site forces me to do so I promptly ignore them for the rest of my life. I find it extremely irritating when a site can't adapt to my browsing preferences.

  17. #142
    SitePoint Enthusiast mikejay's Avatar
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    Designing for Multiple Resolutions

    Quote Originally Posted by fillup07
    Fluid designs - fit without horizontal scrolling at 800x600 while stretching content sections (and even side bars) to fit larger resolutions.
    Yup -- that's what I've always done. For years, I only used flexible layouts. However, I did notice that, when using tables with percentage widths, my content would sometimes stretch TOO much on a larger res.

    When absolute, pixel-precise placement is an issue, I use a centered design that works well in 800 x 600, yet still looks good on a larger res.

    One little trick I use to test for different resolutions is to use Opera's zoom in/out options, rather that keep changing my workstation's screen resolution (which often messes up my system temporariy; it's really weird when your software still thinks it's in a different resolution).

    Because my native setting is 800 x 600, I find that using Opera's zoom function at 80% nicely simulates 1024 x 768 -- and simultaneously lets me ensure that my code holds up against a higher standard than IE's (of course, I also test in Mozilla, which can be much more fussy than Opera).

    By the way, here's the link to the site where you can test your pages on a Mac (however, that site's been down for about a month; I hope Dan fixes it soon):

    http://www.danvine.com/icapture/detail/66292.html

  18. #143
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    I think that by the time people are ready to bail on 800x600, SVG will have more prominence (hopefully) and every layout will have the ability to be perfectly flexible (yes, even background images), making all of this silly resolution talk a non-issue.
    I know it's Scalable Vector Graphics, but I'm going to ask a dumb question because I am not sure of the answer. Can you display photographic images with SVG? Or rather, would you want to?
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  19. #144
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatnewt
    Really? Are we all going to be using 38" monitors one day? Will they always get bigger? Will laptop screens get bigger too?
    First, you raise an excellent point about portable devices. Those will not necessarily be getting bigger but their use is increasing. How widespread will they be in a few years? It could be massive.

    I honestly believe that in a few years many many people will have 38" monitors. One reason is falling prices, another is HDTV. The minimum resolution for HDTV is 1280x720, I bet that'll be a future sweet spot.
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  20. #145
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    I know it's Scalable Vector Graphics, but I'm going to ask a dumb question because I am not sure of the answer. Can you display photographic images with SVG? Or rather, would you want to?
    No, it's pretty much a vector-only thing. However, SVG would be perfect for most website background images, since they're almost never photographic in nature.

  21. #146
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    First, you raise an excellent point about portable devices. Those will not necessarily be getting bigger but their use is increasing. How widespread will they be in a few years? It could be massive.

    I honestly believe that in a few years many many people will have 38" monitors. One reason is falling prices, another is HDTV. The minimum resolution for HDTV is 1280x720, I bet that'll be a future sweet spot.
    On the TV subject, I don't see many graphic artists at the networks (except maybe at CNN or FOX News, where they have so many sidebars they're really cramped) screaming for widescreen adoption. Or have I been hearing (or not hearing) the wrong things?

  22. #147
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    On the TV subject, I don't see many graphic artists at the networks (except maybe at CNN or FOX News, where they have so many sidebars they're really cramped) screaming for widescreen adoption. Or have I been hearing (or not hearing) the wrong things?
    You are correct that adoption is going to be much slower than originally planned. :-)
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  23. #148
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    I honestly believe that in a few years many many people will have 38" monitors.
    Why? There are many other considerations to screen size than price and technology. Most desks couldn't even support a 38 inch LCD, let alone a projection monitor. People have to fit computers into their real lives.

    I actually believe that the majority of work will be done on smaller screens as tablets and PDA like devices become more useful and portable. These devices may have better resolution and imagery but people are not going to want to carry 38 inch smart displays around with them. If that were the case, there wouldn't be a constant goal to miniaturize anything remotely related to computing.

    38 inch displays will have their place for things like games, conference rooms and shared family media centers but really don't have much of a place on the average desk.
    Wayne Luke
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  24. #149
    SitePoint Wizard samsm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    Why? There are many other considerations to screen size than price and technology. Most desks couldn't even support a 38 inch LCD, let alone a projection monitor. People have to fit computers into their real lives.
    Most desks? Sure they can. Current 21" LCDs weigh about 25 pounds. I have a cheap desk in front of me right now and it supports 170 pounds without a problem. The base doesn't have to that enormous and it doesn't even need to sit on a desk, it can be mounted to a wall. 38" can fit. :-) (the apple 30" weighs 27 pounds)

    I actually believe that the smaller screen displays will be considered a nice practicality, but not suitable for doing work at any length when there are alternatives available. It is my opinion that people will find value in the reduction of eye strain and increase of work space that can come from a larger monitor. But hey, it's the future, who knows?
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  25. #150
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    Most desks? Sure they can. Current 21" LCDs weigh about 25 pounds. I have a cheap desk in front of me right now and it supports 170 pounds without a problem. The base doesn't have to that enormous and it doesn't even need to sit on a desk, it can be mounted to a wall. 38" can fit. :-) (the apple 30" weighs 27 pounds)
    Think less about weight and more about area... I can put 1000 lbs on my solid oak desk and it can hold it easily. However, it does not have the room to handle a 38" monitor even an LCD monitor.

    Eye strain is less about size and resolution than dot pitch, frequency and usage. I can use my 19 inch monitor all day but can't watch television (even HD) for more than a couple hours without eye strain. Smaller screens of today present eye strain not because they are small but because their dot pitch and frequency are lower. These concepts are why you can read 8-10 point font commonly used in Newspapers, Books and other printed materials quite easily but not for long periods of time on a computer monitor. Printed materials use a resolution of 300 dots per inch or more whereas screens are usually 72-96 dots per inch. That granularity is what causes more eye strain than the size of the device or the total pixels on the screen.

    Only once these concepts are taken into account by web designers will real progress be made.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------



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