[thelist] Screen Resolution, which to design for?

Felix Miata mrmazda at ij.net
Mon Jan 15 12:09:22 CST 2007

On 2007/01/15 10:22 (GMT-0500) Matt Warden apparently typed:

> On 1/15/07, Felix Miata <mrmazda at ij.net> wrote:

>> A look at the impact of the typical fixed width design that Nielsen
>> recommends be avoided: http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/SS/bbcSS.html

> Do you really think anyone with those higher resolutions browses with
> the window maximized?

Whether maximized is _not_ the issue. The issue is real viewport size
appropriate for visitor needs, which at high resolution on fixed width
sites is only randomly possible. That's why, more than just images,
which provide no more than perspective, that page provides page widths
in mm. It shows that display size and resolution tend to vary in the
same direction, and yet because of net DPI increase, fixed width designs
tend to be _narrower_ as display size is increased, regardless the
relationship between screen width and viewport width.

Some people choose a larger display not to provide space for more
windows, but to provide larger windows. My normal browser viewport is
rarely maximized, but its usual width is 36cm, which is 64% wider than a
typical designed-for-800px wide resolution page. The center column line
lengths on that page average a miserable 4.5 words, though my viewport
easily could accommodate a comfortable and more reasonable 7-8 if its
design were fluid.

> I have 1024x768 on my work laptop, and my
> firefox window stays at around 75% of the screen width. I'd imagine
> there's a similar trend as resolution increases, and that there is a
> defined "comfort width" (in pixels) at which a user will tend to
> browse.

The comfort width is something one measures in pt, in, mm or cm, not px.
It's why no web layout should depend on px for layout or text sizing.

> I also find myself using Ctrl++ to increase font size a lot when I'm
> on higher resolutions.

That wouldn't be necessary if designers would accept that the correct
base font-size for all web pages is that which the visitor has chosen
for his default. http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
						John 10:10 NIV

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/

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