Optimized for 1024x768

I've taken the plunge. The web is undergoing a transition from 800x600 to 1024x768. I was a little worried about that trend at first, because a lot of users still have 800x600 screens. But I still believe that content is king. As long as all the content is visible on an 800x600 screen, the sidebar can be placed on the right-hand side and pushed off the screen, and people won't really care.

Over at Authentic Boredom, Cameron Moll made some good observations about optimizing for 1024 screens. Based on that, this design is 960px wide. Thanks, Cameron. Someday, I believe that sun.com, or portions of it, will take this same step.

Update: I should also say that the web metrics for blogs.sun.com, which I have access to, show over 76% of visitors using a browser width of 1000px or higher. Greater than 84% have widths over 900px. This isn't screen resolution, but actual viewport width.

Comments:

How many people actually browse with a full-screen browser? My current monitor is set to 1152x864, but with a web browser I generally set the width of the browser window to about 800-850 pixels wide. On my 1024x768 laptop screen, I also set the browser window to about 800-850 pixels.

The main reason I do this is because I tend to have multiple browser windows open, and I like multiple windows better than tabbed browsing.

Also, I do not like two vertical sidebars (one on each side of the main area) on a web page. I like one sidebar on the left.

I think too many web designers are designing around pixels available, rather than human nature. When you look at low-pixel screens (TV), you see careful screen division. CNBC and CNN run only a ticker at the bottom of the screen. Bloomberg adds information to the right.

On the web, you generally don't fix the bottom of the screen. But the left and right sides are fixed (not always the right).

The best high-pixel screens are newspapers. They do tend to have two vertical sidebars, but often this is because readers fold the paper vertically. So the real "screen" only has one sidebar.

Just because you have more screen real-estate does not mean you have to make the screen more busy. Instead, you can just let the right side wrap the text, and leave it up to the reader.

Also, realize anything which involves detailed reading may be printed. And print-friendly views should be single column (some sites put sidebars and flash ads on print-friendly views).

Posted by Mark on December 18, 2006 at 08:27 AM MST #

This is terrible. I design my web pages to work for variable widths, as opposed to shoe-horning users into a width I think is best. HTML is designed to be flexible, instead of forcing fixed widths or even fonts.

Posted by Dan Anderson on December 18, 2006 at 08:45 AM MST #

Mark, on this blog, using that browser width, you're a minority. Most people have 900px viewports or higher, see update above. Dan, there are of course ancient, raging debates regarding whether you should use flexible or fixed width designs, pixels or ems, etc. Each has its pros and cons, and there's been no clear winner.

Posted by Greg Reimer on December 18, 2006 at 11:31 AM MST #

Post a Comment:
Comments are closed for this entry.
About

My name is Greg Reimer and I'm a web technologist for the Sun.COM web design team.

Search

Categories
Archives
« April 2014
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
  
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
   
       
Today