Wide, wide as the ocean……

Width is important, especially if you need some new trousers. It’s just as important when you’re designing websites, as there are a huge variety of different width screen resolutions out there. Fortunately I don’t think there are too many people using the now-consigned-to-history 640×480 pixels resolution. Hurrah! We can design sites for a decent width screen! Let’s quietly ignore the fact that, increasingly, people are accessing websites using mobile phones and palm computers with a width of under 300 pixels.

I think most web designers will agree with me that 800×600 pixels is a good benchmark to make a site work in. It’s cited as being the lowest screen resolution in common use at the moment. So that makes it all the more interesting why some web designers are creating sites that only work correctly – by which I mean not having horizontal scroll bars – in 1024×768 pixels or higher? M’lud, exhibit one. While you could argue that, as a site specifically for geeks, that the average screen resolution may be higher than for a “normal” person, it’s still an interesting shift in the thinking of designers.

Perhaps we’re heading for a watershed, where 1024×768 becomes the dominant resolution. In which case the difference between a site served to a screen at that resolution and a mobile device will be much more marked. Where will things go from there? Who knows – in two years time we may all be using computers with a 3D interface rather than a screen.

In the meantime I think this may be a good solution to that old problem of making things look good at different resolutions. There’s a much easier explanation here. Hopefully I’ll get some time to experiment with that, although I’m still undecided whether I’m joining in the CSS Reboot. I guess you’ll find out on May 1st.