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Do you want 800x600 support

Discussion in 'Help & Feedback' started by Simon Hampel, 3rd Nov, 2006.

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What is your viewing preference

Poll closed 10th Nov, 2006.
  1. I use a monitor at 1024x768 and I'm happy with the default "800x600" layout

    4 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. I use a monitor at 1024x768 and I would prefer something optimised for this resolution

    5 vote(s)
    27.8%
  3. I use a monitor HIGHER than 1024x768 but I prefer content in narrower columns for ease of viewing

    1 vote(s)
    5.6%
  4. I use a monitor HIGHER than 1024x768 and I prefer content to use the full width of my browser

    5 vote(s)
    27.8%
  5. I use a monitor at 800x600 and I'd be disappointed if you no longer supported this

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. I use a monitor at 800x600 but I don't mind either way

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Just show me the results

    3 vote(s)
    16.7%
  8. Other (see comments)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    4,619
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    With the advent of cheap 1024x768 or higher resolution LCD screens and the increasing use of laptops that run at this resolution or higher, many websites are moving towards designing for 1024x768 as the minimum, rather than 800x600 as has been the standard for a few years now.

    I've been investigating this - and have found that many of the larger sites (especially the media companies) have standardised on 1024x768, with varying levels of "graceful" support for 800x600 (some ensure their prime content will show up on a 800x600, with only "sidebar" information being what is lost off to the right of the screen). Many just do it, and don't even try to support 800x600 users.

    I've agonised over this for quite some time - catering for 800x600 as a minimum reduces the flexibility in what you can do on the screen, leading to a more "vertical" design, which means more scrolling up and down to see the whole page.

    I personally prefer to read the forums in the narrower 800x600 layout, hence my current design using this as the default, but there are alternative styles available (see the style chooser at the bottom left of each page), one which uses a fixed width that is fixed at 1024x768, and one that is full screen (or "fluid" as we call it in the industry) and adjusts to whatever screen size you are using (with about 800x600 as the practical minimum). These other designs simply show the main content on a page (eg the post text or thread list) in a wider box, there's no other optimisation to take advantage of the screen width.

    If I had more screen real estate to play with, I would go for more use of "sidebars" to contain supplementary information, which would allow a more compact page design and less scrolling.

    I could do two separate designs, the main optimised for 1024x768 and an additional (more vertical) design for 800x600, but that's essentially doubling my design and testing workload, which means less time available for creating content and new features.

    The challenge with designing for something higher than 800x600 is that, according to the statistics, we still have around 6% of our traffic viewed on screens that are set at 800x600 resolution. I do know of some people who find their screens to be too difficult to read at higher resolutions (my suggestion is to get a larger screen !! My 20" screen has HUGE fonts if I run it at 1024x768 as opposed to the normal 1600x1200 resolution :D ). So, I've been reluctant to change and make life difficult for a not-insignificant portion of our membership.

    I just wanted to get a more direct indication from everyone about this issue - hence the poll.

    Comments and suggestions welcome.
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    4,619
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Just a question for the people voting "I use a monitor HIGHER than 1024x768 and I prefer content to use the full width of my browser" ... are you happy with the way the "Full Width Style" works ?
     
  3. AndrewG

    AndrewG Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3rd Feb, 2007
    Posts:
    61
    Location:
    Adelaide, SA
    Hi Sim,

    Two things. Firstly, in the Somersoft Forum there is an option within the control panel to adjust the viewing style to wide. This option is not available here, so couldn't this be implemented and that will allow those users who are comfortable to choose this option?

    Also, whats with all the adds on the left hand side? I run a 1024x768 screen, and visit 5 different forums yet this is the only one which "takes up" one quarter of every screen with adds down the left panel!?!? Is this something that will ever get looked into, or are the operators of the website wanting this to remain as is?

    Andrew.
     
  4. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Co-founder Staff Member

    Joined:
    9th Jun, 2005
    Posts:
    4,619
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Andrew - check the announcements forum - there is a feature which allows you to move the sidebar to the right hand side if that works better for you. There have been plenty of threads (Help and Feedback forum) where I have explained why the site is structured like it is.

    I do have plans to implement an optional wider layout for people with higher resolution screens, I just haven't got around to getting that done yet.