24 Replies Latest reply on Jul 18, 2007 2:18 PM by Ken_Nielsen

    What should the basic site pixel size be?

    Ken_Nielsen Level 1
      I have an issue that I need to resolve correctly, but have conflicting information between the site designer and the site programmer. The basic home page for the site has been designed to be 950 pixels wide and 714 pixels deep.

      The programmer is telling us to make the size only 600 deep and wider. We did not want a long horizontal shape for our home page, which is what the programmer is asking for.

      Here is a site we like the looks of and want to keep the shape of the content more square like this one:

      http://www.hinkleylighting.com/

      My main concern is that the programmer is hindering the design of the site, but I must consider that the programmer knows what he is talking about.

      I appeal to those who know how to deal with such issues here for advice at this point. How should I approach this so we can get a site that 'looks' like what we want, but also give the programmer what he needs for graphics and backgrounds properly sized to make sense in the real world.

      TIA,

      Ken

        • 1. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
          Level 7
          > I appeal to those who know how to deal with such issues here for advice at
          > this point. How should I approach this so we can get a site that 'looks'
          > like
          > what we want, but also give the programmer what he needs for graphics and
          > backgrounds properly sized to make sense in the real world.

          What are the usability/business arguments for the size of the site? That's
          the key.

          If you both are just debating aeasthetic opinions, well, then there just
          isn't any right answer. Flip a coin at that point.

          Some general things to consider:

          People browse the internet on a multitude of different types of display
          devices that come in a multitude of sizes and all can use web browsers that
          can be set by each person into one of many different sizes.

          The 'height' of a site isn't that important. People know how and can scroll
          vertically just fine these days.

          Personally, I'd say 950 is too wide and that 600 is probably unecessarily
          narrow. But that's just one opinion of many. ;o)

          -Darrel


          • 2. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
            Xuan Mai
            This should help you out...

            http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_display.asp

            Most people have 1024x768 screens or larger.
            • 3. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
              Level 7
              Ken Nielsen wrote:

              > I have an issue that I need to resolve correctly, but have conflicting
              > information between the site designer and the site programmer. The basic home
              > page for the site has been designed to be 950 pixels wide and 714 pixels deep.
              >
              > The programmer is telling us to make the size only 600 deep and wider. We did
              > not want a long horizontal shape for our home page, which is what the
              > programmer is asking for.



              I'd go for something around 750px wide for a fixed width design. Height
              is immaterial, as long as it doesnt scroll too far.

              • 4. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                Level 7
                > Most people have 1024x768 screens or larger.

                Caveats:

                - not everyone browses the internet on a desktop computer screen (PDAs,
                Cell phones, etc.)
                - not everyone browses with their browser maximized
                - the larger a person's screen, the more likely that they might be using a
                larger browser, or, in fact, many smaller browsers.

                -Darrel


                • 5. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                  Gracyon Level 1
                  Xuan is right. Most of us have moved to designing for 1024x768. Which in likely why your programmer suggested you only go 600 deep. This would make it likely to all display on most visitor's screens without any vertical scrolling. (which is nice, if content allows. But remember, content is king.)

                  You have to keep in mind that on a 768 pixel screen height, well over 100 pixels will be used up by the Windows Start bar, and of course all the menu garbage in the average browser. (don't get me started on all the google bars and spyware that add even more to this.) So if you don't want any vertical scrolling, stick with the programmer's recommendation of 600 pixels.

                  As for the width, you're good at 950. You'll want to fit within 1024, but you're only dealing with a single vertical scrollbar, so 950 might be safe. I tend to design based on 920 to be safe, and allow for some shadow effects if it's needed. So ignore the programmer's request for a wider screen. It wouldn't be appropriate when designing for the general public.

                  If the programmer gives you a hard time, just have a girl go in to deliver the news. They can't say no to girls... true story.

                  Gracyon
                  • 6. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                    Xuan Mai Level 1
                    I am a programmer and a girl. That doesn't always work. ;)
                    • 7. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                      Xuan Mai Level 1
                      Mobile devices should have a separate site design, really...

                      I have a 1920x1200 display and I hate how everything is so tiny in the browser window.

                      Can't please everyone.
                      • 8. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                        Level 7

                        > I have a 1920x1200 display and I hate how everything is so tiny in the browser
                        > window

                        why have the browser maximised on a 1920 monitor??

                        narrow it up to around 1000 pixels wide and use the screen real estate for
                        something else.

                        also- my opinion and preference: if continuous text blocks are more than 800
                        pixels wide or so it's difficult to scan and read. People are used to a
                        somewhat "normal" width of written text.

                        --
                        Alan
                        Adobe Community Expert, dreamweaver

                        http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/



                        • 9. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                          Level 7
                          Gracyon wrote:


                          > As for the width, you're good at 950. You'll want to fit within 1024, but
                          > you're only dealing with a single vertical scrollbar, so 950 might be safe. I
                          > tend to design based on 920 to be safe, and allow for some shadow effects if
                          > it's needed. So ignore the programmer's request for a wider screen. It wouldn't
                          > be appropriate when designing for the general public.

                          If you design at 920px wide and my browsers viewport is only 750px wide
                          I'm going to have to scroll right to see the other 170px of your
                          content. I dont move around the web with a maximixed browser window.



                          • 10. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                            Ken_Nielsen Level 1
                            Thank You Thank You.

                            You guys are really great. I'm going to see that we stick to what you have outlined here and for a stationery page, make sure the depth fits inside of the 600 pixel depth.

                            The funny thing is, I hardly ever see monitors that small. Most people I know have 17" monitors and the depth of 600 pixels leaves a lot of real estate that could be utilized.

                            Bottom line is, if most people are using smaller monitors, then we should accommodate the masses.


                            Thanks Again,


                            Ken

                            • 11. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                              Level 7
                              > Mobile devices should have a separate site design, really...

                              Not always. For instance, the iPhone uses a regular version of Safari.

                              > Can't please everyone.

                              Right. All you can do is strive to accomodate folks as best as you can.

                              -Darrel


                              • 12. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                Level 7
                                > You guys are really great. I'm going to see that we stick to what you have
                                > outlined here and for a stationery page, make sure the depth fits inside
                                > of the
                                > 600 pixel depth.

                                Again, depth isn't really a big deal. People can scroll.

                                -Darrel


                                • 13. What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                  zagods Level 1
                                  A programmer hinder the design of a site? Never! :)
                                  • 14. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                    Level 7
                                    Ken Nielsen wrote:

                                    > Thank You Thank You.
                                    >
                                    > You guys are really great. I'm going to see that we stick to what you have
                                    > outlined here and for a stationery page, make sure the depth fits inside of the
                                    > 600 pixel depth.

                                    Thats not possible unless you use a frame set to 600px high. I would
                                    largely forget about the depth as its not that important...just be
                                    sensible and don't allow the depth to scroll to the point where a user
                                    thinks 'when the f--k is this page going to end' ;)





                                    • 15. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                      Xuan Mai Level 1
                                      I don't. 800 px on a 1920 screen is really tiny.

                                      My browser is set to somewhere around 1000px across.
                                      • 16. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                        Level 7
                                        Nobody should care where the site developer's screen is set. They should
                                        care where the prospective users of the site have their screens set, and
                                        their browser viewports set. That's it. Otherwise you will argue about
                                        personal preferences, and reproduce the opinions stated in this thread.

                                        --
                                        Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                                        Adobe Community Expert
                                        (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                                        "Xuan Mai" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                        news:f7isqo$gbg$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                        >I don't. 800 px on a 1920 screen is really tiny.
                                        >
                                        > My browser is set to somewhere around 1000px across.

                                        • 17. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                          bregent Most Valuable Participant
                                          You also have to consider side widgets like bookmarks, history and even side mounted quick start menus, that all reduce the viewport.
                                          • 18. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                            Level 7
                                            exactly. Not many site work across the board *even* if they are fixed
                                            750 px or is elastic, liquid or whatever you want to call it... at least
                                            not on my Nokia N73 ;)

                                            Xuan Mai skrev:
                                            > Mobile devices should have a separate site design, really...
                                            >
                                            > I have a 1920x1200 display and I hate how everything is so tiny in the browser window.
                                            >
                                            > Can't please everyone.

                                            --
                                            Kim
                                            ---------------------------
                                            http://www.geekministry.com
                                            • 19. What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                              Ken_Nielsen Level 1
                                              quote:

                                              Originally posted by: Newsgroup User
                                              Nobody should care where the site developer's screen is set. They should
                                              care where the prospective users of the site have their screens set, and
                                              their browser viewports set. That's it.


                                              I really buy into that comment. The audience we want to reach with this site is the new homeowner, or home builder. These people have newer computers with bigger monitors set at higher resolutions with more screen space than would be indicated by the cross section of 'average, or most users.' There are a lot of computers out there and I would say that many of them are old and small, many are still CRT's - and that is not our audience. My view is that our audience does not set their browser window size, but uses the whole screen - 17" most likely.

                                              Doesn't this mean that I can design 950 x 714 deep and assume that that will 'float' off to the upper left 1/3 of the screen, which it is doing on every monitor we have tried it on here at work so far.

                                              This is where I simply want to tell the programmer to follow our design.

                                              It's either that or pulling my hair out adjusting the site design to fit the mechanical requirments of what he says is the 'norm.'

                                              Such a battle.



                                              • 20. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                                Level 7
                                                As has been recommended before I would forget about height. Why? Because
                                                you have no idea how your user has their font display set. If it's at
                                                "Largest" or bumped way up in some browser, the page will be much taller
                                                than if it's not.

                                                If you assume a 17" screen with 1024px width and maximized browser viewport
                                                as your lowest common denominator, then you would want to make your pages
                                                about 980px wide so as not to drop horizontal scrollbars. Forget height.

                                                --
                                                Murray --- ICQ 71997575
                                                Adobe Community Expert
                                                (If you *MUST* email me, don't LAUGH when you do so!)
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                                                "Ken Nielsen" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                                news:f7jd5n$6p8$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                                >
                                                quote:

                                                Originally posted by: Newsgroup User
                                                > Nobody should care where the site developer's screen is set. They should
                                                > care where the prospective users of the site have their screens set, and
                                                > their browser viewports set. That's it.

                                                >
                                                > I really buy into that comment. The audience we want to reach with this
                                                > site
                                                > is the new homeowner, or home builder. These people have newer computers
                                                > with
                                                > bigger monitors set at higher resolutions with more screen space than
                                                > would be
                                                > indicated by the cross section of 'average, or most users.' There are a
                                                > lot of
                                                > computers out their and I would say that many of them are old and small,
                                                > many
                                                > are still CRT's - and that is not our audience. My view is that our
                                                > audience
                                                > does not set their browser window size, but uses the whole screen - 17"
                                                > most
                                                > likely.
                                                >
                                                > Doesn't this mean that I can design 950 x 714 deep and assume that that
                                                > will
                                                > 'float' off to the upper left 1/3 of the screen, which it is doing on
                                                > every
                                                > monitor we have tried it on here at work so far.
                                                >
                                                > This is where I simply want to tell the programmer to follow our design.
                                                >
                                                > It's either that or pulling my hair out adjusting the site design to fit
                                                > the
                                                > mechanical requirments of what he says is the 'norm.'
                                                >
                                                > Such a battle.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >

                                                • 21. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                                  Level 7
                                                  Kim <kim@removethisgeekministry.com> wrote:

                                                  >exactly. Not many site work across the board *even* if they are fixed
                                                  >750 px or is elastic, liquid or whatever you want to call it... at least
                                                  >not on my Nokia N73 ;)
                                                  >
                                                  >Xuan Mai skrev:
                                                  >> Mobile devices should have a separate site design, really...
                                                  >>
                                                  >> I have a 1920x1200 display and I hate how everything is so tiny in the browser window.
                                                  >>
                                                  >> Can't please everyone.

                                                  Haven't you bought your new 1920x1200 mobile phone yet?

                                                  Clancy
                                                  • 22. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                                    Level 7
                                                    > The audience we want to reach with this site
                                                    > is the new homeowner, or home builder. These people have newer computers
                                                    > with
                                                    > bigger monitors set at higher resolutions

                                                    Says who? Where are you getting this data?

                                                    Or are you just making it up?

                                                    All are valid, but if you're just making it up, at least acknowledge that
                                                    with your developer. Just tell them 'yea, it's an arbitrary decision, but
                                                    that's what we want' and leave it at that.

                                                    FYI, home builders aren't any more likely to have a new computer than anyone
                                                    else. A lot of high-tech builders might be using expensive ruggedized
                                                    laptops which they certainly aren't upgrading every year. A lot of builders
                                                    just aren't computer people and may very well jsut have an older machine to
                                                    run Quicken on.

                                                    As for homeowners, that's a gigantic demographic and whether or not they own
                                                    a home likely has little correlation to the specific size of their monitor
                                                    let alone their browser.

                                                    In the end, MOST of the time, all you can do is pick a size and decide to
                                                    stick with it. As long as you realize it's just an arbitrary decision, then
                                                    fine. Just don't try to back it up with made up statistics, as that can
                                                    backfire.

                                                    I once designed an intranet site for 3M many years ago. We were told
                                                    SPECIFICALLY to design the site so it was 800 pixels wide as it was
                                                    corporate policy that all monitors are set to 800x600. So, we did.

                                                    We then came over to present it, we all gathered around the department admin
                                                    and SURPRISE! the department admin decided they preferred a 640x480 display
                                                    and was annoyed that the site didn't fit. Oops.

                                                    -Darrel


                                                    • 23. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                                      Xuan Mai Level 1
                                                      Looks great... just is completely illegible ;)
                                                      • 24. Re: What should the basic site pixel size be?
                                                        Ken_Nielsen Level 1
                                                        quote:

                                                        Originally posted by: Newsgroup Userif you're just making it up, at least acknowledge that
                                                        with your developer. Just tell them 'yea, it's an arbitrary decision, but
                                                        that's what we want' and leave it at that.


                                                        We haven't done a scientific survey, but we have hand's-on experience with direct contact with our customers. We actually know who they are. The part that's arbitrary is we haven't gone into each person's home to check out their computers, but we've been in many of their homes and see mostly flat-panel monitors, almost all 17", lots of new all-in-one iMacs too.

                                                        Thanks for the wording of your post, Very practical way of looking at it and your comments are definitely a help.


                                                        Ken