I’ve been doing research on how to best approach the redesign of my photo gallery. I’ve looked at technical solutions, other people’s designs, and I just now looked at demographics of users to see how I can best serve the visitors.
One of the things that affects a user’s viewing experience is monitor resolution. This is perhaps most evident with photography sites. To display the photos, we want to present the photos at as high a resolution as possible and maximize the use of available screen space. However, we must balance that with the resolution and screen space that users have at their disposal. And the results of the demographic surveys seem dismal, from my designer’s perspective.
First of all, I have a 19″ flat panel LCD monitor using its native 1280×1024 resolution. What people might not know about LCDs is although they look beautiful at their native resolution, they look awful at any other resolution.
When I did my research, it turned out that the most commonly used resolution was 800×600! http://usability.gov/guidelines/softhard.html#four Oh, the horror! When I tried out the resolution on my computer, it was just awful. My photos on my site didn’t fit well in the browser window either. Gosh, this is so frustrating.
All web design guidelines say to design our sites to please as many visitors as possible, to avoid losing them, and potential business. Well, I’m not making money from my visitors, so I’m not losing money either if I alienate anyone. It makes it very tempting to just say “forget it” and design my site however I want, but that’s just not my style. Oh, well, I’ll just have to keep searching for the best solution.