Hitting the fan

For years and years, so called “Webdesigners” have been creating designs based on the assumption that people have a relatively uniform set of resolutions. They have created pages assuming that a user’s horizontal resolution is within the 640–1024 pixel range. And they have all created fixed-width designs. And they have also created designs with font-sizes set in pixels.

For about as long, I, and many, many others have warned against this, saying it both might and will render their pages unreadable to users.
But, punishment is coming, as deserved: “Viewsonic have created a 200 DPI display”:http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,525370,00.asp. At $8 000 it’s expensive, but I predict that the prices of devices with this kind of resolution will drop rapidly into a more manageable range.
The resolution of this 22,2″ widescreen display is 3840×2400. A typical corporate, or other commercial website is usually created with the assumption that the users resolution is either 1024×768 or 800×600. This would leave these websites to use only 1/5 to 1/4 of the available screen estate, with fonts at a size that not even the “I can read 4px fonts”–types can read.
Since we’re also entering an age with a larger diversity in displays, from 480–768px wide displays on various Tablet PCs, 200px wide mobile displays, to the more ordinary LCD’s and CRT’s, creating fixed–width designs with fixed–size fonts becomes even more stupid.
So, perhaps people could actually start making fluid layouts based on percentages and em’s?

1 Comment

  1. Jor

     /  2003-03-09

    These huge-resolution displays may herald the coming of a function modelled after Opera’s ‘Zoom’ in the other browsers. I usually have a resolution of 1600*1200 on my 23″ monitor, and often zoom in to 150% or 200% (or more!) on these kind of fixed-size layouts.