Do we know if users actually let their web browser fill the entire screen width, 1024px?
As far as I can tell, everyone I know who has bought a new Windows XP box recently, the default browser comes up the first time in 800x600.
IMHO, the "average" user does not futz with this. I'm sticking with 800x600. If someone with 1024x768 comes along, extra white space in the margins certainly doesn't hurt, and often looks very nice.
However, if you design for 1024x768, and a user with 800x600 comes along, yuck, they get peeved at the horizontal scroll bar and leave.
Just one opinion in a world of 6 billion+
Whereever you are getting your data from, it's not right, there's no way 80% are using 1024 or greater, the last meaningful numbers I saw are about 60% at 1024 or greater, 40% less than 1024 is too many. Even 20-30% would be too many.
Forcing viewers to use horizontal scrolling is not good on any commercial site.
I think most older users use 800x600, most 15" monitors work decently at that, many 17" crt monitor users stay at 800x600.
For an example of how not to do it, check out espn.com, which does horizontal scroll on firefox at 1024, and for a nice example of how to use 800 screen space, check out macromedia.com
|Do we know if users actually let their web browser fill the entire screen width, 1024px? |
640x480 - 600x300
800x600 - 760x420
1024x768 - 955x600
Keep in mind that the numbers above are based on a Maximized window. Not all of your audience is going to be surfing with a maximized window. Many here would suggest that you design a fluid site to accomodate all window dimensions. :)
I'm going to continue to make sites ideal for an 800x600 resolution. The worst I have to worry about is a new client looking at a draft of their site on a higher resolution screen and wondering why there's so much empty space on either side. As long as even 5% of people surfing use 800x600, I'll stick to what I'm doing. The only aspect I may change on some sites is keeping a 780 pixel site adjusted to the left, and having some vertical adspace on the right only visible on higher resolutions (so the space is still used).
See ab*ut.com for an example - some pages (not all) will show an additional rigtht hand column if the browser window is wider than 800px on reload.
Edit: oops, this is exactly what DXL said above.
I know plenty of older people who use lower resolutions not because their computers can't handle higher ones but rather because they like the "bigger" icons and text etc.
>Many here would suggest that you design a fluid site to accomodate all window dimensions. :)
Why turn away 20% - even 10% - of your users due to site design? You're not even giving your products/content a chance to lure the visitor in by presenting the dreaded horizontal scrollbar.
I typically work it one of two ways depending on the content and audience.
designed for 1024 with a right column of 224 for "need to know" info, off-site links and/or ads
However, my sites are somewhat tech oriented and over 80% of my visitors are 1024+.
In summary, know your audience.
|However, if you design for 1024x768, and a user with 800x600 comes along, yuck, they get peeved at the horizontal scroll bar and leave. |
I still use 800x600 because with the number of hours I spend in front of this infernal monitor each day its just danged easier on the eyes. And yes, unless I have no choice, if a site doesn't accommodate me, I'm gone.
As noted in the stats posted by other folks above, depending on your audience there's still a good number of folks using 800x600. My rule of thumb is to follow the money: When the banner advertising agencies come out with a horizontal banner wider than the now standard leaderboard (designed for 800x600), then I'll know that it's time to start making a move away from it.
do those who surf with 800x600 find it also annoying when the site is only slightly larger than your window? I have a site designed for that resolution but the real viewing window is somewhat smaller than 800 width, eg 780. That gives a horizontal scroll bar but everything is still visible as the page doesn't reveal anything to the right (only a border or so). Do you also leave those pages as fast as you can?