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"ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)" <[log in to unmask]>
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From:
"Metzler, Ted" <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Thu, 10 Aug 2000 10:08:19 -0400
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"Metzler, Ted" <[log in to unmask]>
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Thanks to everyone who responded. As promised, I've compiled the results,
although there was more agreement than disagreement on this subject. The
short answer to the question I asked is that 8-9% of users are still at
640X480.

The most commonly mentioned site was:
http://www.upsdell.com/BrowserNews/stat_res.htm

followed by:
http://websnapshot.mycomputer.com/

Also mentioned:
http://www.thecounter.com/
http://www.statmarket.com/ (subscription required)
http://EchoEcho.com (data comes from the counter)

Additional Comments on this subject:

[log in to unmask]:
imo, you're asking the wrong question. users may be *capable* of viewing
800x600, but they may have sized their browser to 640x480. you need to ask
what percentage of users have their browsers *sized* to 800x600.

many designers i know (including myself) have 21" screens with 1600x1240
resolution but still size their browser windows to 640x480. besides, even
if there's a very low percentage of users still at 640x480, you still have
to calculate actual numbers. mac users only make up a relatively small
percentage, but you wouldn't consider alienated them.
###

[log in to unmask]:
Many of the sites that pretend to have browser stats have such hopelessly
skewed sampling methods that they are close to worthless.

For example, browserstats.internet.com samples visitors to their own site.
Visitors to that site tend to be web developers. I don't know about where
you work, but where I work, the web developers and the graphic artists are
the only people in the company with 19 and 21" monitors. The rest of us
schmoes have 17" if we're lucky, and I've seen plenty of people with 17"
monitors set to 800x600 because they can read it easily that way.

(Steve went on to recommend the first site listed above)
###

"Terry Sullivan" <[log in to unmask]>:
The "right" answer is that a *good* Web page
is constructed so that it doesn't matter.

Resolution-dependent pages suck.

That's "the" answer.
###

"Loren Phillips" <[log in to unmask]>:
Ah...the eternal debate.

Frankly, I don't think any site should be designed to ignore the 640 group,
but I'm often forced to shove them aside.  What I'D love to see is stats on
what percentage are at 1024 and higher.  640 folks can at least scroll to
read stuff, but these big 19"-21" monitors at high resolutions (as are
becoming extremely popular with new computer purchases) are having to read
microscopic text on sites designed for 800.  Table widths set to 100% look
ridiculous and fonts are impossible to read.  I'm curious how so we are told
to start ignoring 800 people...  :-)
###

My own two cents:
The reason I asked for this information was not because I wanted to ignore
the 640x480 group, but because I wanted to know how many of them were out
there. The results seem to agree that slightly less than 10% of users are
on the low-end of resolution. While we shouldn't design sites that they
can't view (eg. non-scrollable large flash-only sites), it makes little
sense to waste the extra space available on 90% of the computers out there
just so the lowest 10% wont' have to scroll; unless, of course, you have
reason to believe that your audience comes disproportionately from that group.

//ted

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