Increases in Display Resolution Should Not Impact Web Page Design

Once upon a time a screen resolution of 760×480 pixels was the norm. In those early days of popular computing we thought there was nothing better. Then came along displays at 1024×768 pixels, and this was good, and it quickly became the dominant screen resolution.

Increases in Display Resolution Should Not Impact Web Page Design

In fact, according to StatCounter Global Stats, a Web analytics firm providing free website traffic analysis since 2006, this resolution was dominant in nearly every corner of the world on virtually every platform (except for mobile devices, of course). In 2009, global share of this resolution was at a whopping 41.8%. Three years later, by March 2012, it had dropped to a mere 18.6%.

The average display resolution in common use impacted the Web design, development and publishing business in that Web pages were generally designed to accommodate 960 pixels in width, reducing the unpleasantness of scrolling horizontally to see a page’s content.

The evolving state of display resolutions has had a continuing impact on the development of Web templates and sites. “The data reflects a continuing trend of users moving to larger screen resolution sizes,” commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. “The screen resolution size people are using is a critical factor for developers when it comes to Web design, particularly in the case of fixed-width Web pages.”

A similar situation exists in Poland. The service recently reported that in January 2012 it noted growing use of 1366×768 as a standard screen resolution for computing devices, with its usage estimated at 18% (and growing). Popularity in Poland of the 1280×800 resolution sits at 15.40% — exactly the same as for 1024×768. The latter resolution is expected to continue to decrease in usage, while the higher resolutions become more commonplace.

Website developers and designers following standards-based development models (should) already know this, but it is worthwhile to mention it here. Do not create Web pages for specific browsers and display resolutions. It is better to learn to design Web sites such that their appearance and functions are effective regardless of the type or size of the device (screen) on which your sites will be displayed. At GavickPro we follow standards and best industry practices in Web template design and we strive to ensure that our products display well on the widest possible range of devices.


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This article was first published May 2nd, 2012