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Re: Monitor Size

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 1999 12:05:18 -0400 (EDT)
To: Joan Piroch <d4951@sccoast.net>
cc: "Neff, Robert" <Robert.Neff@usmint.treas.gov>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9910011154090.8373-100000@tux.w3.org>
Actually there are a lot of people with low vision who use a screen
magnifier, giving them a screen resolution of 320x240 or less. Designing for
a particular screen-size is, in general terms, a mistake. In particular it is
a mistake to create a layout that assumes a certain screen size and enforces
that with table width - for people who are using a smaller window you are
forcing a significant of extra work because they have to scroll across and
back as well as down to read you content, which is very difficult, while
people with a larger screen will wonder why they need to scroll instead of
using the space they have available.

An exception to this is that most current graphics standards produce images
at a fixed size (the exception for Web Graphics is SVG, which looks set to be
widely adopted precisely because it solves this problem among others).

Thus for producing icons, image maps, etc you need to decide on a size.
Bearing in mind that many people with a screen alrger than 800x600 only use
part of the screen for a browser window, and that on a 640x480 screen a
typical graphic browser will have an area of about 600x300 available for
content, I would recommend that as a maximum size for an individual image if
you don't want to have a lot of users scrolling, and that you design icon
sizes accordingly. If you are generating or serving your site from a database
you should consider a "lerger images" option (much the sme way as some sites
provide a text-only option). Note that Netsacpe and Opera (and probably other
browsers as well) offer small or large icons for their main control buttons.

Charles McCN

On Fri, 1 Oct 1999, Joan Piroch wrote:

  I don't think you can go wrong designing for 640x480. That seems to be the
  "least common denominator". Although 600x800 is a VERY popular screen res.
  At 11:14 AM 10/1/99 -0400, Neff, Robert wrote:
  >Is there a suggested or recommended screen size that we should be designing
  >for?  That is pixel  Height and Width.

--Charles McCathieNevile            mailto:charles@w3.org
phone: +1 617 258 0992   http://www.w3.org/People/Charles
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative    http://www.w3.org/WAI
MIT/LCS  -  545 Technology sq., Cambridge MA, 02139,  USA
Received on Friday, 1 October 1999 12:05:27 UTC

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