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nxn displays and the web

In general pages should have a very minimal resolution requirement to avoid horizontal scrolling. But every site seems different and that’s no fun.

Obviously (hopefully) I’ve once again made a few changes to the site. They’re all pretty obvious and hopefully self-explanatory so I won’t bore you with them.

But one thing I’ve thought about off and on while working on this site and browsing the web in general is the nature of resolutions and how to accommodate virtually any resolution in the future.

Let me start by saying my resolution is 1680×1050. I _never_ browse full-screen. While people on a 1024×768 or thereabouts (or maybe any 4:3 ratio display) may browse full screen, I’m sure many of them don’t too. For that reason I tend to think that designing pages for “minimum recommended resolution” is silly and bad.

In the future displays will continue to grow _and_ shrink. You may have a three (3) meter diagonal display that’s capable of… 1048576×786432 or something crazy like that. The good news is for smaller devices the resolution will increase too. Hopefully screen sizes even on small devices will grow to maybe 20cm diagonal as the lower bound.

But aside from an extreme constraint (for example, this site starts to scroll horizontally about 640px wide) having a fixed-width is usually pointless. Maybe even arrogant. One place this is pretty common is in forums. They display all those fancy columns in thread lists and forum lists. When the resolution shrinks they should be javascript-css’d to vanish (the superfluous ones). Once any extras are gone, if the width is still too small, go ahead and h-scroll your hearts out.

—-end rant—-

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