The wild world of web design quickly changes with the evolution of the hardware and software it runs on. A five year old car still has a long life ahead, while a five year old website is long past its prime.
New and Updated…Screen Size Still Matters, Sorta.
One of the most significant hardware changes in the last 5 years is the ever-increasing screen resolution (measured in pixels, such as 800 pixels wide by 600 pixels high). Big, bulky CRT monitors have given way to sleek, thin flat-panel LCD’s . With this transition, screen resolutions have also changed, most notably the emergence of 1024×768 and the disappearance of 800×600.
W3C Schools, part of the main international web standards organization (W3C) , reported that in 2003 almost half of its visitors were on the 800×600 screen resolution. That number has now dropped to 8%. The statistics for our website for 2008 put the number even lower at 2%.
Since both of the above statistics are for sites in the web design industry, I looked at the statistics for 2008 for several of our clients in a variety of industries
- Printing company for financial industry: 3%
- Non-profit serving the disabled: 6%
- Business management consulting firm: 3%
- Marine exploration company: 6%
Why is this important? Size matters because increased website widths allow for the user to see more content without scrolling down the page. As you can see above, throughout a variety of industries the 800×600 screen resolution is fading into obscurity. We recommend the 1024×768 resolution to all our web design and website development clients in order to “future-proof” the sites as much as possible.
Are there larger screen resolutions coming? Of course! In fact, some 70% of our visitors have screen resolutions greater than (and not equal to) 1024×768. However, on other site reports we looked at 1024×768 is as much as half of the traffic and this resolution does not show signs of disappearing soon.
This Denver design firm calls the browser wars in favor of 1024×768!On