Display Resolution & Web Design – A Move Forward

A white, rounded square logo with an abstract S-shaped design on a gradient blue and purple background.

PaperStreet is going to take a step forward and begin to design some of its web sites for the 1024 pixels wide audience. Why you ask? Because all signs point to that the majority of users have larger displays. This trend can only continue. This gives us more real estate to put in content and images.

Display Resolution

The current trend is that more and more computers are using a screen size of 1024×768 pixels or more:

2006 Higher 1024×768 800×600 640×480 Unknown
January 17% 57% 20% 0% 6%
2002
October 6% 38% 49% 2% 5%

From W3Schools

As you can see from the nice chart, since 2002 the 1024 pixel audience has grown from just 44% to now over 74%, while the 800 market has dropped from 49% down to a paltry 20% of the market.

Will the move cause some of the smaller audiences’ minor inconvenience with the dreaded horizontal scroll? Sure. However, we will make every effort to create designs that focus the main content of a page in the 800 pixel range, and only using the edges for secondary content.

Some techniques we can use are design based, such as putting only secondary content on the edges of the screen. Moreover, a lot of times we will be able to add better graphics and photos to the edges to compliment the design.

Other techniques will be technological, such as auto detecting a monitor size and redirecting to different CSS and/or pages. Another solution is using flexible layouts with CSS to put the content area either on the side or on the bottom depending on how large the browser is displayed.

Of course, we will always determine the target audience before designing. If a client’s target audience predominately uses smaller monitors, then of course we will design in 800 x 600.

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