When designing websites, I’ve noticed that it’s very difficult to accommodate for everyone. I usually try to design for a 800 x 600 screen size. I usually place a navigation bar on the left and put the content to the right of that….so here’s my question….What percentage of the screen should the “content” area take up?
designing for your lowest common denominator (800 x 600) is a good practice, but you might even make the layout fluid (widths are percents of the page, not fixed, things are positioned from the right margin, so on and so fourth) so it will fill the browser window no matter what the resolution is. Fluid layouts can be harder to design and make look good though.
I say the content should take up approx 75%.
Also with the use of 800x600 screen size the actually width of the site should be approx 770. (Scrollbar!!!)
Otherwise you are not keeping the entire page within the 800x600 browser window.