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Thread: Monitor resolution trend data

  1. #1
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    Monitor resolution trend data

    Does anyone know of a website which tracks trends in users monitor resolutions? I know W3schools.com tracks and publishes data on what Operating System, Browser and Monitor resolution their users have, but their target audience is the techy crowd, which pushes the numbers more towards FireFox and higher monitor resolutions.

    I'm just interested to see what I should be accommodating as the lowest screen res for my designs. On-screen real estate gets eaten up pretty quick sometimes I find.

  2. #2
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    On-screen real estate gets eaten up pretty quick sometimes I find.
    Totall agree. I don't support 800x600 for my websites anymore. W3Counter says this resolution is only about 5% of the browsing population's resolution. Of course, these numbers will vary for your site, as they depend on the audience you cater to. One of my medium-trafficked websites is 3.46% 800x600 visitors. Look into google analytics (free) to track your visitors, very easy to setup and contains a wealth on information.

  3. #3
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    That'll show you the size of their screens but you don't get the full screen-only as much of a window as people please. Best to design for all resolutions.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

  4. #4
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    Depends on what you mean by design for all resolutions. Nobody can convince me nowadays to come up with 750px-wide centered designs to support the three and a half (see above) percent of people who view my site on an 800x600 resolution. As the OP mentioned, onscreen real estate gets eaten up pretty fast.

    However, in regards to your opinion, Charles, my designs don't 'break' at 800x600, if that's what you mean. There's just an ugly horizontal scrollbar.

  5. #5
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    That counts as breaking. It sounds like you're using TABLEs for lay-out.
    “The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.”
    —Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

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    You can still end up with horizontal scroll bars without using tables... very easily.

    Using a fixed width container (even with auto margins for centering) will cause horizontal scrolls if the user has too low of a resolution or sizes the browser window too small.

    I honestly don't think there is a need to design for all resolutions unless you know a large portion of your audience is viewing your page at low-resolution. That's exactly why I wanted to pick up some data, so I could make an educated and realistic design choice.

    IMO saying to design sites in general to accommodate super low res monitors is like saying "design as if everyone is using 800x600". And that is just ludicrous. If there is a valid reason to accommodate those users (maybe an office intranet where people are still using really old CRT's) then sure. Otherwise its a waste of time and resources. With flat panel LCD monitors now going for under $100 I think its a safe assumption to say 800x600 will disappear within the foreseeable future.

    Trying to be everyone's friend at the same time will make you nobody's friend... I mean imagine if software companies were restricting their products to accommodate people still running Windows 3.1?

    Serving an alternate Low-Res page is a valid solution, but doing primary design for low-res without a valid reason seems silly to me.

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    That counts as breaking. It sounds like you're using TABLEs for lay-out.
    You're crazy. I haven't done that in years. I do use fixed width divs, however.

  8. #8
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    Firefox has extensions that allow tabs to be placed on the side, not to mention the fact that many browsers have sidebars these days. I know of several people that browse with such features toggled on 100% of the time.

    This means that while my resolution may be 1280x960 currently, the size of the viewport horizontally is considerably smaller than 1280 pixels. Resolutions continue to increase in size, but the default font size of operating systems also do the same. Sure, you can set your font size to 10px as a base and then design using relative font sizes from that point forward as suggested by many sites. However, that won't necessarily work forever.

    In addition, consider the fact that some users' browser windows only occupy approximately 1/4 of the full screen because they're working on something else in another application and switching between applications frequently.

    I'd say 1024x768 is a good point to start at, but it is a great idea to not crowd things for people working in an 800x600 window. Nobody likes horizontal scrollbars anymore, much less scrolling horizontally.

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