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Explaining Screen Resolution and Site Appearance

A client can't understand why their site 'looks' different!



1:36 pm on Jun 16, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Hello all

I wonder if you could help with a problem which is taking me to my wits end!

I am dealing with a client who has little knowledge on web browsers, site design and particularly screen resolution.

Under strict instruction, we have produced a highly structured site designed primarily for 800 x 600 resolution. The site required tables, with fixed pixel widths - there is no other way that the design (which they were also insistent they have to look like a brochure!) will work.

After convincing the client that they cannot avoid a minimum of 'scrolling' (they thought think that everyone views the web using precisely their own browser set up for toolbars, favourites etc.) they are now 'shocked' to see that their site which neatly occupies a 'standard' 800 x 600 screen looks 'smaller' when viewed at 1024 or 768 or above.

Everthing 'works', there are no differences in their site at either resolution, they just cannot get their head around the 'additional space' when viewed at a higher resolution.

I have told them to the best of my ability why their site appears smaller at a high resolution, the actual advantages of this, etc. etc. etc. but they are still 'very concerned'.

Can someone please offer any more help in explaining why a site is affected by the screen resolution!

To add insult to injury, the client is actually a leading technology consultancy! It's just the people who have been tasked with managing their site are complete novices.

I assure you, this post is not a 'wind-up' :)


4:54 am on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is going to sound really crazy, but since the client is being so weird about it,
you could do use IE's document.body.style.zoom feature.

If you detect 1024x768 & IE, set it to zoom to 1.28

Since about 90% of visitors use IE 5.5 or IE 6.x you know the zoom will work.

Here's a simple little demo from Microsoft:


5:31 pm on Jul 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

(haven't read entire thread)

I noticed that your client used some examples of sites that looked similar at different resolutions. Now I can almost guarantee you that he searched through a lot of sites to find those few examples.

I think you need to realize that this client is seeing how far he can push you, and how much he can get "included" in your quoted price. He "cherry picks" the sites that are good examples and doesn't admit that he realizes most sites do look very different at different resolutions.

The after-thought requirement for all pages to fit on a printed sheet is crazy. 1 site out of 5 will, and I'm sure he knows that. He is trying to change his requirements from site design to "end all - be all".

Make it clear where you stand, and that there are costs for his added requirements.

When you change resolutions, you are therefore telling your PC to shrink content in tradeoff for added desktop space. If you make a change to a computer setting, then you see such results, plain and simple.

Good luck with this client


8:37 am on Jul 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I thought I remained with topic instead of starting a new thread.

Just moving away from the explanation, we use a javascript file to redirect to 2 different frames sets, 800x600 & 1024x768. This works fine although its a neuasance when trying to hit the back button as the script will kick u back into the frameset u need to be in.

Is there a better way to get around this problem?



9:23 am on Jul 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Don't worry Dave, we have explained that any further work will incurr additional cost - particularly if they do insist on a 'parallel site'.

However, and one of the reasons I won't ever be a millionaire, is that I am discouraging them from taking a course of action which will result in additional costs from my company.

They already have (in it's 800 x 600 optimised form) IMHO a very good site which meets the exact terms of their brief, meets their wider marketing objectives and thensome.

I feel that not trying to 'milk' a naive client is the ethical thing to do, even if we are percieved as being 'difficult' in trying to save them money and do the right thing!

But, if they do insist then it will cost them extra...


9:58 am on Jul 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The document.body.style.zoom sounds interesting and the 1.28 factor is something I know very well about coz thats the factor I worked out to bump up all the htm framepage sets to work under a 1024v res too.

Is the document.body.style.zoom a css job?
The code on the ref page doesn't look like it.

<DIV style="zoom: 100%">
<H1> Welcome to seattle!</H1>
<IMG SRC="seattlesmall.jpg">
<P>A great city in the beautiful state of Washington.</P>

Also if someone was to solely concentrate on this feature then it will mean All Nescape users and IE5 and below will not see the site as it's meant to, let alone all the other less known browser like Opera and so on.

The must be another way of doing this?


3:14 pm on Jul 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

in Internet Explorer you can specify zoom as a percentage or as a ratio
so yes, you can use:

<BODY style="zoom:1.28"> or <BODY style="zoom:128%">

but since they first have to detect screen size you need javascript

<BODY onLoad="if (screen.width==1024) {document.body.style.zoom='128%'}">

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36

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