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800x600 or 1024x768

Age old discussion.

10:26 pm on Apr 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am working on setting up good size directory and am having same age old confusion, of what should be the maximum width for the web site. I do know that I want fixed with, however should it be 800x600 or 1024x768.

Benefits of Bigger Layout
1) More room to display content and hence better user interface.
2) More AdSpace & hence Ad Revenue.

Negative Side
1) Approximately 10% to 25% unhappy end users who are still using 800x600.
2) Very limited space for designing and organizing 200+ categories.

My Question is, if you were working on making a directory type site in specific category, would you design it for 800x600 or 1024x768, and most importantly, why?

My only & main reasons to design the site for 800x600 are as

1) Yahoo.com
2) MSN.Com
3) AOL.Com
4) BBC.Com

Part of me is saying that I should design sites for bigger screen resolutions when above companies does that too. As I am pretty sure that they have good size budget in just figuring out what would be best site layout & design for their audience.

What is your take on this one?

Thanks for the help.


4:14 am on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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800x600 -- 1 out of 5 visitors getting a side scroll is no good in my view. I don't think that more space necessarily means a better user interface, either. Looking all over a screen for what you need isn't always a good thing.
2:39 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Howcome I can't help chiming on on this discussion every time it comes up?

I agree totally with tedster... I actually enjoy all these blog sites that are built to sub-800px widths when I'm viewing them on my 1280x854 Powerbook... the beauty of negative space is often overlooked by people who don't know how to design.

Sites can definitely look good at full width, but my personal view (pun intended) is that you should still be designing for 800 screens at all times (which as we always point out here means NOT designing at 800px, but rather more like 760px to account for browser chrome). A site too small on 1024+ is not of any consequence, and some people enjoy it more... a site too big on 800 is a nuisance and can cause you to lose significant traffic in that market.

Just make the negative space pretty.

2:55 pm on May 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Just make the negative space pretty

Ah, yes. You can control the color, extend the site's background/chrome to fill the screen, center the page, use a liquid layout with a maximum width (there is an IE work-around using CSS expressions) and so on.

5:01 am on May 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

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don't forget font resizing. you like visitors to be able to use the accessability feature in the browser to pick a font size. This can make an 800 screen real small space to work. I use &nbsp's in the headers and other spots to control the wrapping so it looks pretty no matter how it wraps. So the title will be 2 lines at 800 but one line at 1024. sorta design it for 800 and then debug it for 1024 or visa versa.
Use the resizable window in the browser at 1024 and make it bigger and smaller between 1024 and 800 to see how it compresses ans expands the layout then just start debugging. You usally come up with a nice compromise for both.