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What is the "average" monitor/display that people use?

10:03 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I design websites on a Mac, but since the vast majority of people actually view them on a PC running IE6/FF/Win, I recently acquired a cheap Windows computer to check how they look. This has proved very useful.

But since I also use a 23-inch flat-panel TFT display, I thought I'd also get a "standard" display/monitor to get an even better picture of how Joe Average sees my websites. I thought, a "standard" display is likely to be a 17-inch CRT - but is it? Looking at the displays for sale, it looks as though more and more people are buying flat-panel TFTs.

But I still can't make up my mind on this. What do people think - would a CRT or a TFT be more representative of what most people use to view websites?

(Also be grateful for any info on best/worst brands, etc.)

11:45 pm on Apr 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The crucial statistic is how big is the window the average user has for browsing.

That's related to monitor size/resolution, but not determined by it. Many people browser at less than full screen either deliberately (because the browser window is only part of their desktop) or accidentally (because they have so many browser toolbars enabled that the canvas area is much smaller than it could be).

These guys publish some browser stats, but they can't get hold of actual canvas metrics:

Also, as they say, beware of averages, eg:
-- the average PDA / cell phone user has a completely different average screen metric to that of the average corporate desktop.
-- the average granny browsing a lasik eye surgey website may have quite a different average rig to the average teenager looking for a cool brand of spot remover: market/audience is a crucial dimension on averaging any web behavior.

1:42 am on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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remover: market/audience is a crucial dimension on averaging any web behavior.

you can test this for your visitors/audience – put small piece of JavaScript code, which captures visitor’s resolution, on your pages. Of course you will not be able to collect that info from people who have JS turned off (or not supported by the browser), however that is also a good data point – you will able to gauge how many of your visitors don’t have JS, which can help you how you proceed with future site development, etc.

3:02 pm on Apr 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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maybe I'm wrong... but wouldn't you really be talking about screen resolution...
here is an article that may be what you are looking for... the data is from 2001...

I tend to stick to the webpage size to a max of the 800x600, but actually try to keep the page width to 750.
I am sure in the future we will probably be increasing our page width as the price point for tft comes down even further and replace the crt's.

9:58 pm on May 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Average user are using 17 inches TFT monitors which are optimized for 1024 x 800 resolution but Yahoo and many other websites are still otpimized for 800 x 600
10:32 pm on May 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I use a flat panel and a regular 17" monitor, resolution at 1280x1024 (I have good vision..for now -.- )

I used to design websites based on the 1024x768 resolution, but after many complaints I stick to the 800x600 resolution design (actually being 778 on width). Complaints were about having to scroll to see navigation or more content, etc. It gets frustrating so it's helpful to use a small size, but then you still get questions from people using large resolutions.

It's a diverse world and you can't please everyone.

10:15 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think the most ignored aspect of monitor variation is the ability to distinguish fine contrast.

Please, please, please, do NOT make your menus one shade of grey darker than your background, and conclude that it "looks fine on my monitor"!