Higher resolutions change landscape for designers

Web developers should consider the changing landscape of screen sizes, as 1,366 x 768 has become the most popular online screen resolution worldwide, overtaking 1,024 x 768.

Higher resolutions change landscape for designers

According to web analytics firm StatCounter, the milestone means developers and designers should place more emphasis on wider screen optimisation.

“Developers have extra width they should be developing for,” said Aodhan Cullen, CEO of StatCounter. “There’s a lot more usable width that people could be using for advertising or content, but most people aren’t using that space for extra columns or text.”

StatCounter said the rise of 1,366 x 768 was at least partially due to the popularity of that resolution in laptops, but was also because of the decline in devices using the older format.

The company said the market share of 1,024 x 768 has fallen from 41.8% in March 2009 to 18.6% in March 2012, while 1,366 x 768 has grown from 0.68% to 19.28% over the same period. The third most popular resolution is 1,280 x 800 at 13%.

Cullen said web designers should make sure sites were optimised for different screen sizes, and track visitors to ensure they were shown pages that made the most of their devices.

“The screen resolution size people are using is a critical factor for developers when it comes to web design, particularly in the case of fixed width web pages,” he said. “It’s really important that everyone can see the site properly, but it should also be optimised for different resolutions.”

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