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How wide do you design yours?

Discussion in 'HTML, Graphics & Programming' started by Augmented, 10 Jul 2006.

  1. Augmented

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,464

    Location: London Town

    Just a quick question for all web designers on the base resolution/screen-width you are currently designing for. This applies to both fixed and fluid designs, because they both need to take into account the minimum width a site design will work acceptably at.

    I'm curious as to what people now consider most common. Really this is going to be a choice between whether it's still 800x600, or is it now is 1024x768 and 800x600 is 'legacy'? Thoughts on that?

    So, what's your bottom line? The following list is typical viewport widths for the common resolutions:

    • 584px
    • 744px
    • 968px
    • 1096px
    • 1344px
    • 1384px
    • 1544px
    • 1624px
    • 1824px
    If a passing kindly Ronald McDonald feels this is worthy of a poll, please feel free to make one :).
     
  2. z3b3dy

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Feb 2003

    Posts: 477

    Location: Moscow

    I can't think of a major client I have that doesn't use fixed width for 800x600 screens. I suppose it depends on your audience, for A List Apart one could expect most would have greater than 800x600 but for sites with a broader reach I still think that fixed sites should aim for 800x600 as it just has too many users. Looking at my various stats it's still over 10% of users which to me just cannot be ignored or served horizontal scroll bars.

    This over time will change but it isn't going to happen anytime soon, also part of the problem is Windows users love having every screen maximised whereas on a Mac Safari for example controls the width of the browser to the width of the site.
     
  3. Mr_L

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 3,732

    Location: Worcester

    I'd go with 744px (800x600) as the bottom line. I've always used that as the minimum since I was enlightned to web standards a few years back. It does appear that 1024x768 is the most common though. I find the browser statistics at W3Schools useful. However, it would be nice to know where they gather their information from. Is it just the statistics from their own website or are they collated from various sources?
     
  4. blade007

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 16 Jun 2003

    Posts: 1,862

    depends on your audience, if you have a clan site for example then 1024x768 would be good, coz everyone would be into hardware. but if you were to setup an internet shop then liquid or 800x600 would be better so that it makes it pleasant for those running on ancient pc's in the offices.

    if you make it 800wide, don't forget that your max will be about 770px, over that and a scrollbar will appear.
     
  5. The Old Man

    Gangster

    Joined: 14 Apr 2004

    Posts: 269

    Location: UK

    There is nothing worse than a site that says designed for Internet Explorer v? or 800x600 or 1024x768. I hate sites designed for 800x600, they are waste of monitor space and very old fashioned.

    I think designing dependant on your audience was good advice at one time, but now you can make sites that will look good for everyone.

    Instead why not try to make your site fluid so that its dimensions or columns use percentages instead of fixed widths. Make it so that they add up to about 95% width just to be sure no horrible scrollbar appears. This way your site will look great on everyone's monitor. Do this by using XHTML (for the content) and CSS (for the style/layout). You'll get a better page ranking in search engines too.
     
  6. Gaverick

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 21 Jan 2006

    Posts: 2,173

    Location: Seaham, Co. Durham

    Judging by that, i'd say the stats on W3C are collected from the W3C website alone
     
  7. Beansprout

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 31 Jan 2004

    Posts: 16,318

    Location: Plymouth

    Looking at screen resolution stats for one of our sites over the past few months....

    1024x768: 40%
    2180x1024: 31%
    800x600: 8%
    1280x800: 6%
    Misc others less than 1024x768: About 0.5% if that (excluding 800x600)

    8% is still significant enough for me to design for that width, but when it drops below 5% I'll probably re-consider :)
     
  8. Mr_L

    Mobster

    Joined: 28 Jan 2005

    Posts: 3,732

    Location: Worcester

    Doh, I've just spotted this bit at the bottom of the browser statistics page.
     
  9. z3b3dy

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Feb 2003

    Posts: 477

    Location: Moscow

    I think saying they are a waste of space is a bit strong, most designs are not easy to make fluid and the type of content your site has plays a huge role in the possible layouts of your site. Using XHTML and CSS should not be dependant on what browser resolution you have!
     
  10. The Old Man

    Gangster

    Joined: 14 Apr 2004

    Posts: 269

    Location: UK

    Hi,
    Sorry, you misunderstood me! Not a waste of space themselves (some are excellent!), but a waste of monitor space for people who now have common 15 and 17" TFT's plus older 17" and 19" CRT monitors. Why is it any better to design a site for 800x600 users over users who have paid for larger monitors and whose capacity to make a site more readable is wasted? The argument (an old argument) is I guess to allow for the lowest common denominator but with some extra effort a site can look good fluid and be just as presentable for more users. Good point about the content though, but with the right CSS controls, large blocks of text for example that can be hard to read on wideer monitors can be made more readable. On another front, I'm currently creating a site with lots of images in the gallery. On a 17" widescreen laptop (read huge resolution!), its great to see the page fill the screen, less vertical scrolling but it looks just as good on a 800x600 display.

    Of course not! But designing a well constructed standards compliant site will safeguard it and allow for useability in the future as the site gets older. What I'm saying is that in this day and age its best practice.
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2006
  11. z3b3dy

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Feb 2003

    Posts: 477

    Location: Moscow

    I think though it still comes down to whether your brower window is maximised. I'm using a 20"+ TFT screen here but have no problem with 800x600 sites as my browser window uses about half the width of my screen real estate enabling me to code on one half of the screen and see the results on the other.
     
  12. MossyUK

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 24 Jul 2004

    Posts: 1,580

    Location: Preston, Lancs

    i design for 800x600 as 40% of my traffic uses that resolution - amazingly scary how blind some people must be ... :eek:
     
  13. Mattus

    Capodecina

    Joined: 30 Sep 2003

    Posts: 10,916

    Location: London

    Used to design for 1024, but since I learnt that 10% of the population still use 800 (how can you possibly still use 800? you can't see anything!) I've been going for liquid layouts with a max-width close to 1024 which still look reasonable in 800.
     
  14. Mr^B

    Mobster

    Joined: 25 Nov 2002

    Posts: 3,436

    The trouble I've found with fluid design is to make sure that it works properly at anywhere from 800 or lower to over 1600 width...which is a lot more difficult than it sounds.

    Last project I've done was a fixed width for 1024 browsers (so 1000px width to play with) - and I've been caught out with some people viewing it on 800x600 screens and wondering why it looks so poor. Even at this late stage I am considering making at least a central content column fluid.

    It's an interesting problem - if it was a very high hit site (and I do have the honour of looking after one) then I'd stick with 800x600. Most people do not browse full screen on a 1600x1200 res screen, and 800x600 gives you 3 reasonably sized columns.

    Bear in mind that when a text column gets wider it also becomes harder to read, which is why newspapers are laid out the way they are, etc etc...which you all probably already know...so I'll shut up.

    :)
     
  15. robmiller

    Capodecina

    Joined: 26 Dec 2003

    Posts: 16,522

    Location: London

    I normally do elastic layouts with widths in ems. Giving the body a font size of 80% and giving my main div (or the body itself) a width of about 36ems usually results in a layout that fits in 800x600 at a large font-size setting.

    I'm not a big fan of fluid layouts because, even at the now comparatively small resolution of 1280x1024 that I run I find text much more difficult to read at 100% width.

    I think having a fluid layout with a max-width of about 1000px is the best option, but I can never be arsed to code the JS required to get it working in IE.
     
  16. nav...

    Hitman

    Joined: 2 Apr 2004

    Posts: 674

    Location: Melbourne

    I design for either 800px or 1024px screens.

    depends on the site really.

    but to be honest, anybody on 800x600 should be used to scrolling by now and to be frank, they deserve it for not being able to right click on the desktop.

    and on a seperate note, if I find one more person, not running their 17inch screen at native resolution, I'm going to punch them.
     
  17. Augmented

    Soldato

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 5,464

    Location: London Town

    Looking at my own stats of viewport width (not resolution), shows a 60/40 split between those above 968px and those below it. It's quite important to take stats from the viewport width and not screen width because, as has already been highlighted, not everyone browses with a fully maximised window.

    That places designing for 800x600 in the minority so I've now moved towards designing for 1024x768 widths with side scrolling. Of course, how possible that is depends on the design, but by placing non-essential content on the right-hand side can be fairy successful. I try and make use of min and max-widths, hacking it in for IE (using the expression() fix), to aid this.

    Oh, and W3Schools has nothing to do with the W3C ;).
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2006
  18. iCraig

    PermaBanned

    Joined: 21 Apr 2004

    Posts: 13,314

    Location: Wolverhampton

    I design for 800 width.

    There are not many sites out there that don't physically have enough space to fit on in 760px. Infact, every website I have designed so far fits on that minimum resolution just fine.

    In my opinion, a lot of people can't be arsed to design it at 800 simply because, they design their site in Photoshop and get carried away with adding all their stuff in, without measuring it. Then of course it's easier to say, "800 width is old anyway and only a few people use it" instead of re-designing the site.

    I'm sure the standard will increase to 1024 eventually, but until it does why not just do it to 800 and be secure in the knowledge that it works at almost every resolution then, instead of making up excuses why you don't need to anyway.
     
  19. Sp00n

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 18,202

    Location: Brighton

    800 + spanning.
     
  20. paulsheff

    Hitman

    Joined: 16 May 2005

    Posts: 680

    I hate all the fluid sites I ever did. When I design something I make it a maximum of 760 wide, so that even on a 800x600 screen you can see some of the background either side even with a scrollbar in shot. The photoshop originals always look so much neater and tidier than when you let the whole thing splurge across the screen. Keeps you on your toes as well, if it doesn't fit in 800 pixels wide, well then you made it too big.