Gadgetopia Screen Resolution Stats

By Deane Barker on October 3, 2005

I’m using a new stat tracking app called Mint. It has a plug-in called “User Agent 007” (ho, ho — what wit) that captures browser stats. Interesting stats:

  • almost 90% of Gadgetopia visitors are at 1024 x 768 or greater
  • almost 20% of visitors are at higher resolution than 1024 x 768

Here’s the entire list of resolutions and their penetration. At what point do you abandon the 800 x 600 crowd and start using the extra space for those that have it, I wonder?

But even with more space, you always run into the problem that “screen resolution” and “browser viewing area” are two very different things. With the sidebars that people run these days, you don’t get anywhere near the full width to work with. I have my resolution at 1024 right now, but I think I use 200 pixels in the bookmark sidebar in Firefox.

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  1. Instead of abandoning anyone, how bout you simply use css as it was intended to be used and create a design that properly adapts to the size of the browser window.

  2. Saturation? I think you mean “color depth” (sometimes referred to as “screen depth” or simply “depth”). Saturation plays more along the lines of intensity. There IS a button on my screen for saturation, but I’d be really surprised if your webserver could read it :-)

    (However, in terms of web-color-management it would be really great if this would be possible!)

  3. Saturation? I think you mean “color depth”

    Actually I meant “penetration,” meaning: “The number of people who use this resolution.” I’ll change the post.

  4. Instead of abandoning anyone, how bout you simply use css as it was intended to be used and create a design that properly adapts to the size of the browser window.

    Well, I do that now, but what if I wanted to add a fourth column? Deciding whether or not I can comes down to simple math —

    If you figure that each column needs at least 200 pixels to contain any readable content, and they need gutters of at least 15 pixels, then you need at least 845 pixels of horizontal space to do that.

    If users are at 1024-pixel horizontal resolution, how much actualy browser viewing area do they have? Probably less than that.

  5. I sent a feature suggestion to the Mint crew to add viewable area to the stats. You can get at it like this:


    That’d be awesome — a much more useful stat that screen resolution.

  6. I think it’s still a good idea to code pages for 800×600, becuase even thou my desktop is set for 1280×1024 and/or 1024×768, I never run my web browser at full screen… your suggestion to record their actual browser window viewable size would make that data more usable.

    When you make a page for 800×600 you’re usually having a width of 750 to 770px, so you are already writing for 1024 wide resolutions, becuase you know that not everyone will have their browser maximized and most likely around 800px wide, also you’re just being nice so anyone left in 800×600 can still view it… but they should have to pay for it by having to maximize the window ;) hehe

  7. This is a great topic. Take a look at my blog for some other resources including a Stanford Online webcast. Patrick Baudisch from Microsoft Research gives a presentation on the use of small screened devices. I also have some eBooks linked on the topic … as well as this posting from Gadgetopia.

  8. This post got me thinking about the stats on my site. I operate at 1600×1200 and would love to be able to ditch the 800×600 rule.

    1024×768 – 57.63% 800×600 – 23.32% 1280×1024 – 6.74%

    Unfortunately it does not look like I’m going to be able to make that move anytime soon.

  9. Your stats make me wonder if Gadgetopia’s stats are skewed. This is a geek-oriented site, and I think geeks generally running higher screen resolutions than normal folks.

    You have 2.5 times the percentage of people at 800 x 600 than I do.

  10. I have a DELL 1905FP monitor that can swivel from landscape to portrait. It works well for me for web browsing and working with documents. I doesn’t work so well in some coding situations, but this post has prompted my to give it a try for awhile.

  11. I’m hoping you will still post those stats. Additionally it would be great to track them to see what the trend is in screen resolution. As the world of people using 800×600 screen resolution settings drops from 9% to 6% to2% it really becomes time to quit designing your web pages for this very small minority, and instead aim for the very large and growing majority. Look at how many people now have 1280×1024, let alone 1024×768. I’m normally an very inclusive person, but those with 11 year old 800×600 monitors should pay the “usage” price (not the 91%), especially given the “$” price of the flat screen monitors being sold today.

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