Size does matter
In his most recent Alertbox, Jakob Nielsen dived into screen resolution and page layout. His summarized findings are:
Optimize Web pages for 1024×768, but use a liquid layout that stretches well for any resolution, from 800×600 to 1280×1024.
There seems, however, to be one important thing wrong with Jakob Nielsens findings: They are based on the assumption that people run their browser in a maximized window with no added browser chrome. I claim that this is a false assumption in most cases. As does Jesper over at justaddwater.dk.
Guesses and claims are interesting in their own right, but in the long wrong, they are pointless and hard facts needs to take their place. Sadly, I have yet to experience a statistics solution that display this useful piece of information. They usually just track the basically useless screen dimensions.
So I whipped up some quick tracking
Doing beats complaining, so instead of complain about the lack of usable metrics, I whipped up a quick and dirty browser viewport dimension tracker myself. It’s rudimentary, but should work for most browsers. It should also fail silently for the rest, so your visitors hopefully won’t notice.
It currently tracks screen width and height, and browser viewport width and height in addition to the client IP address and a timestamp. I plan on making the collected data freely available.
Feel free to join my little project if you’re interested in these numbers.
Here’s hoping my shared hosting account doesn’t croak under this. :)