Best resolution for a web site

  Timeout 22:39 26 Nov 03
Locked

My friend is having a web site professionaly built.

The company who are doing the job are building to fit it into a screen size of 1024 x 768. My friends computer is set to 800 x 600. Therefore she is having to scroll sideways to be able to see it all on her screen.

The company are trying to tell her that it's time she increased the resolution she uses because everyone uses 1024 x 768 nowadays.

What do you all use, please?

Should she insist on what she wants or are they right, do most people use the higher resolution?

Thanks for any help.

  Forum Editor 23:03 26 Nov 03

It's rare to find anyone with a 15" monitor these days, and anyone with a 17" monitor or bigger will be using a 1024x768 resolution. All my sites are designed for that resolution, and I know of no professional designer working at 800x600

  Timeout 23:14 26 Nov 03

I'll let her know what you say, thanks.

Although I have a 17" monitor but use 800 x 600 as I have rather bad eye sight.

  Forum Editor 23:31 26 Nov 03

is certainly a good reason for reducing the pixel count. Good designers will test sites in different resolutions anyway.

  Talented Monkey 01:27 27 Nov 03

Although people who work with computers and have a bit of know-how do know how to change screen size, a lot of people still don’t, and I have seen many a person still working with factory settings of 800x600. I seem to remember a survey somewhere where the majority were still working away in 800x600.

There are many other reasons why people have lower resolution, Eyesight has already been mentioned, but what about all the people who are using older PCs, which they have received through a charity recycling old PCs, most notably far east and third world countries. Also a lot of people, myself included do not have browser window full width anyway.

I work with 1024x 768 resolution, however I keep all my work compatible with 800x600, its not hard to do, and I check this by simply reducing the screen size to the lower resolution. Any competent designer or programmer worth their salt will design a site for all resolutions. People are used to scrolling down a page, but the day someone has to scroll left and right across a full size browser window to view a page, will be the day when that site will be confined to the hall of shame of bad web design.

If I were you I would tell your so called web designer that it is not acceptable. Sounds like however it was is just plain lazy and cant be bothered to do their job properly. It is disgraceful that they are telling your wife to change her resolution.

If I were you I would write them a strong letter or email telling them at the disgusting way you have been treated and that you do not want to change your screen settings to view the site, and that they are the ones who should have designed the site properly to start with. If they do not rectify the compatibility problem you will not pay them or demand a refund.

Do not let them bully you for their laziness and incompetence.

  Talented Monkey 01:31 27 Nov 03

Sorry i dont know where i got from. how i changed your friend to your wife I dont know! In my defence i will say i am rather tired and so on as its not far of from 2am!

I will also try to find the proper articles and surveys i saw supporting that 800x600 is still widley used.

Thanks and Sorry once again!

  Sir Radfordin 08:17 27 Nov 03

As someone who spends their time using a screen at 1600x1200 I can tell you that it does become a bit of a challenge to get your mind to design anything at 800x600!

I've got a feeling that the last time a poll on the topic was run on this site it was found that most people here were using 1024x768 and that is certinally the native resolution on most TFT screens.

I'm sure you are right there are a lot of people stuck at 800x600 simply because they don't know how to change it. There are few people I've met who after seeing 1024x768 want to go back to 800x600.

But you are right, if the user wants a site at 800x600 then that is what they should be getting. I've been involved in designing a site where the client wanted minimal vertical scrolling. The best way to do that and still include all they needed was to deisng at 1024x768.

Swings and roundabouts springs to mind!

  Taran 09:25 27 Nov 03

My server logs tell their own story.

On my main site offering web and IT serviecs 91% of my site visitors last month were running either Windows XP or 2000 at a resolution of 1024 x 768 or over.

During that month the site I am quoting had four visitors using an 800 x 600 resolution and six people were using Windows 98 or under. In fact, I had far more visits from Linux and Apple Mac users than I did from people running either older versions of Windows or low screen resolutions.

I work at 1024 x 768 based on this evidence and the fact that 17 inch CRT and 15 inch TFT monitors have been a standard with almpost all systems sold for long enough now.

Most of my layouts are fluid so they can at least cope with lower screen resolutions, but it still looks like I am guilty of the charges layed down by Talented Monkey of incompetence, among other things, since 1024 x 768 is the standard to which I work.

I've seen figures of overall web access that tell a different story click here but I don't give two hoots about this for a couple of very good reasons:

1. such figures are based on overall web ACCESS usage and not targetted at a know quantity in certain sectors

2. depending on which stats site you go to, the figures are wildly different per month anyway

3. I usually design to a known audience type, and this is a key point: if I was creating a site for an IT software solutions specialist who work mainly for blue chip companies, what on earth would I be doing by building the site based on 800 x 600 screen resolution as a standard ?

That would make me stupid and a quick look at their current server logs would point you in the right direction in an instant.

If the site was for a hobby and I wanted to share my stamp collection with the world, I'd imagine that basing a design on 800 x 600 would be OK but I'd still prefer to use my preferred higher resolution as my baseline.

I like to think that I am reasonably competent although I shan't dispute the fact that I'm sometimes a bit lazy.

;o)

There's more to web design than taking overall web use stats as gospel.

There's also more to the overall story than sying those stats have ANY bearing at all on the site you happen to be working on now for such and such a corporation.

You have to pitch your site to the intended audience and party of this includes the resolution you choose. So I will coninue using 1024 x 768 thanks. I'd rather see a page filled with content than a site designed only for 800 x 600 where the majority of visitors will have a great swathe of empty space down one side of their monitor. As long as table or layout widths are not fixed, it makes no difference and the argument is redundant.

There more than one side to the argument I'd say.

Regards all

Taran

  Talented Monkey 10:07 27 Nov 03

Ok in a more awake state i found the report and although the site is updated almost daily i assumed this report was recent, it was not as it was dated 2001!

However i still stand by what i said. Yes it may still be seen as a bit in the dark ages, but design should cater for 800x600 until the day comes when no one uses low resolutions.

As I said before i design for 1027x768,
my last website i designed specificly in 800x600 was 2 years ago. However even today I stil make sure that in the lower resolution everything is in place as it should and without the need to scroll sideways. Sometimes its not pretty and looks a little squashed, but it still works.

  Taran 11:32 27 Nov 03

This is one of those arguments that could go on forever and probably will.

In years to come when 19 and 21 inch CRT and 17 inch plus TFT monitors become the norm we'll all be designing to 1600x1200 and Sir Radfordin will be happy because his resolution will be the norm and he won't have to adjust it or his design methods to suit alternatives.

A couple of questions spring to mind though:

1. How long do I have to continue designing sites to take a minority audience into account when for many of the sites I produce and in particular the companies I produce them for will literally have one or two such visitors to their site on any given month ?

2. Assuming that I do use fluid layouts (which I do) the results on low resolutions are sometimes as Talented Monkey says "not pretty" and "a little squashed". Is this acceptable or would a consistent horizontal layout that entailed scrolling not sometimes be better ?

Is "not pretty" and "a little squashed" (along with the excessive vertical scrolling it normally entails) more acceptable than limiting the vertical and introducing horizontal scrolling instead ?

I'm not saying what is right or wrong and I know others aren't setting things down in stone here, but the questions are valid.

In 5 years time should I still be catering to the odd 15 inch monitor still lurking out there or for perhaps three of four individual hits on a site per year from 800 x 600 resolution ?

It is a dilemma and you can, at the end of the day, only try and please the majority and for most of the sites and clients I work with their audience is almost all 1024 x 768 and up.

I hate the idea of older computers being excluded or suffering in any way from advances in technology and presentation on the web, but not as much as I dislike the idea of excluding the current standard of hardware that has now been established for some time and in that process creating something that is less than optimal.

Flipping a coin at design time has occured to me more than once...

;o)

T

  Forum Editor 18:23 27 Nov 03

for their laziness and incompetence." is a tad over the top don't you think? Coincidentally I've been talking to a seminar today, and there were eight professional web designers in the audience. This subject cropped up, so I did a straw poll - not one of them designs in 800x600 any more, and several of them quoted statistics that were very similar to Taran's.

I've just looked at my own server logs, and in the past two weeks I haven't had a single visitor using 800x600. The point that I was making in my reply to the original question seems to be amply borne out by the figures.

If that makes me lazy and incompetent, so be it, but I have a business to run, and my clients aren't paying me to provide something that hardly any of their target audience will need. That, I suspect, was the thinking behind the design company's response to your friend.

I agree with those who say that people with older computers shouldn't be disadvantaged, but I work to strict client briefings and budgets that are often very tight - the majority (and it's a big one) must carry the day I'm afraid. In an ideal world things might be different, but since when did we have an ideal world?

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