SIGIA-L Mail Archives: Re: [Sigia-l] 800 or 1024 - Which min. display resolution to build for?
Re: [Sigia-l] 800 or 1024 - Which min. display resolution to build for?
> Do you think there is an optimum width for usability, and beyond this optimum
> width we would start to see usability problems creeping in?
Today, it's pretty difficult to go out and actually purchase a decent PC
with a 800x600 display. So part of the answer to your question depends on
the age of the computers of your specific target group.
1. "optimum width for usability" (aka "best practice" :-) depends on the
design, the context and the content. If the user is in fact interested in
the content, scrolling is far less burdensome. (No porn surfer, for
instance, would ignore the bottom half of a large picture for the burden of
scrolling, everything else being equal. :-)
2. If you're doing an info-oriented site you can easily create a liquid
layout where, for instance the main column in the middle stretches as the
browser viewport is enlarged. (Remember though, body text <16pts is
difficult to parse with long line lengths.)
3. You can generally create two UIs for two different viewport settings and
switch accordingly. (JS and CSS are your friends.)
4. A lot of the stats you'll see on monitor size, pixel resolution, actual
viewport usage, browser maximization patterns, etc are way too generic to be
useful. (You can, of course, easily test on your own users to be sure.)
5. If you can part with the legacy notion of a "page" and design a UI where
objects on screen are incrementally changed/shown/hidden/etc without having
to jump through pages, you can easily design a single-screen app well within
800x600 that can display an enormous range of info-data.
6. If you design for tabular data, the business line people will insist on
tables with dozen+ columns, etc. This is where you earn your paycheck as a
designer when you can convince people that most users just can't parse data
in so many columns and distill it down to 3-4 most important columns, with
progressive disclosure/drill-down if/when necessary.
Usability > Simplify the Solution
Design > Simplify the Problem
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: Sat Apr 29 2006 - 19:27:37 EDT