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It's amazing how many web professionals don't know the basic settings people use to surf the web. After our previous article on browser statistics, time now to have a look at screen resolutions in Belgium.
Screen resolutions: figures from September 2009
The figures come from a very big Belgian website. They date from August 15th 2009 till September 15th 2009.
The figures are pretty representative for Belgium. Of course there will always be differences between individual sites but overall, the general tendencies will be the same.
Most important conclusion
What a mess.
Screen resolution = width x height
Screen resolution consists of width and height. Let's have a look at these two separately.
For the figures below, I added up the top 100 most popular resolutions. (To give you an idea: number 101 came down to a number of 75 users out of a total of 1.3 million users.)
Even more concise:
- < 1024: 2,03%
- 1024 <= 1440: 79,26%
- > 1680: 5,08%
What stands out here is that only 4,08% of people surf in a resolution that's lower than 768 pixels.
What do we have to do with these figures?
Obviously you don't have to do anything. But you can do lots of things to improve the way your site looks to people surfing in different resolutions:
- If you go for a fixed width, make sure there are no horizontal scrollbars in a resolution of 1024 pixels wide. That way, you only neglect the 2,03% of surfers who use a lower resolution.
- If you call yourself a designer, and if you know that a fluid or liquid lay-out is always best, you also know that you should always weigh up the pros and cons of a liquid layout for every website you make. Try to go for a liquid lay-out that is optimized for a width between 1024 and 1280 pixels. Or, if you really want to show off how clever you are, create a liquid layout that looks good between 1024 and 1440 pixels.
- Interesting articles on Smashing Magazine on how to apply a liquid layout: - Fixed vs. Fluid vs. Elastic Layout: What’s The Right One For You? - Flexible Layouts: Challenge For The Future
- Put the most important content and action buttons above the pagefold in 768. Take into account the height most users loose by the browser bar and at least 1 toolbar.
- Put less important content lower on the page. The following 132 pixels are still seen without scrolling by 68,23% of surfers. In the area between 900 and 1080 pixels only 30,51% of visitors sees what you've got to offer without having to scroll. Anything below that is only seen without scrolling by 3,85% of surfers.
What about mobile?
- Unless your target audience explicitly warrants it or when you're absolutely sure it'll increase your profit dramatically, we'd avise you not to optimize your layout for smaller resolutions. Considering the dramatically low number of users in Belgium it's pretty much money down the drain.