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Sep
1

800X600 is dead – cos I said so!

We had a bit of a debate recently regarding site designs – specifically whether to go for the standard (standard being a word obviously used as loosely as possibly considering we’re talking about the web here!) 780 pixel wide design or the wider 900+ pixel design. Well, I personally held off quite a while. Ideally, a fluid design would solve most of such issues. However, when budgets are tight and time even further restricted, developing a fluid design adds lot of overhead especially in the visualisation stages as most people don’t understand it unless they see it working and also in the cross browser compatibility stakes. Things basically can fuck up more and more time is spent fixing the quibbles across the 3 browsers we develop for.

Basically the argument in favour of the old standard is that statistics in the local market show that there is a larger percentage of people still using 800X600 resolutions. Thing is – it’s very difficult for a computer sold after 2006 to have such a resolution unless it’s an ultra portable and if we had to design for those in mind then we’d design for the iPhone first then port upwards for the resolutions up to 800 X 600. The default on most new computers is 1024X768 and many screens are higher resolution. I’m a geek so all my screens are rather hi-res.

My macbook is the smallest with a native 1280 X 768 on a 13″ screen. My other monitors are all higher resolution and they have been for the past 6 years but I’m a geek so I don’t count. The average joe in the street is what counts. Statistics is what counts.  However like many statistical analysis, people miss the point when attributing weight to the so called majority. The questions I put to whoever wishes to create a website is who are you targeting? This is why data mining and profiling is so important. If I come across someone using an 800X600 resolution I make the following (if perhaps unfair) assumptions – the person is either  

  1. not very computer literate
  2. the person is cheap or
  3. blind or
  4. a combination of 1,2, and 3.

So I basically don’t like designing sites for cheap and blind luddites. And I’m pretty sure that most companies are not really targeting such persons unless there’s a company selling specs to pensioners which could very well be the case and for that the solution is to design for 800X600. But the trick would be to fix the pixels at 10px so not to allow ie users to increase the font size…

and yes, this site is intended for an 800 X 600 screen.