[thelist] Screen Resolution, which to design for?

Barney Carroll barney at textmatters.com
Wed Jan 17 08:52:04 CST 2007

Pringle, Ron wrote:
> There are plenty of people here at the local government level ( I work for a municipality) who still use 640x480 as their resolution. Typically they are older and even when given the new 17 or 19 inch flat panels we've been buying, will still immediately change the resolution back to 640x480.
> So I wouldn't rule it out.
> Ron

God, that's pretty tragic.

Increasingly I find web designers over-eager to preemptively compensate 
for those undocumented horrific demographics I call self-mutilators, 
users who deliberately limit the capabilities of their user agents 
(!important stylesheets etc).

These people are beyond my sympathy. Bit Nietzschian, I know, but I 
refuse to design websites for worms.

There is the option of using javascript to test for viewport size and 
switching layout stylesheets accordingly, as exemplified by Volkan's 
site www.sarmal.com - and of course, media="handheld"... Beyond this I 
design for minimum size 1024x768.

Let's be honest, something that looks good at the worst case scenario of 
640x480 and the infinitely more common 1280x1024 is incredibly rare and 
likely isn't very complex - and I can't live with myself designing 
something incredibly vertical, linear and over-extended - or far too 
stretched out - for 90% of the population to go "Well, this site looks 
like semi-digested offal, but at least the neanderthals can enjoy it too 
- it gets my sympathy vote".

If somebody has javascript turned off and a screen that is 800x600 and 
they visit a site I designed, I make no apology for the fact that they 
may need to scroll.


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