Recommended Minimum Screen Resolution For Web Designers

It seems that with the advanced computers and laptops widely available web designers can consider moving from 1024x768 to 1280×800 which covers 76% of the market according to w3schools.com and NetMarketshare. The game is to have all vital information ABOVE THE FOLD LINE. According to  the latest study  from NNg, users scroll much more than they used to but the attention they pay to the infomration above and below the fold line is very different.

"Web users spend 80% of their time looking at information above the page fold. Although users do scroll, they allocate only 20% of their attention below the fold.” - Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, March 22, 2010.

1280×800 screen resolution gives us 1257x600 of real life room for users see without scrolling in the following browsers:

  • Mac
    • Safari
    • Camino
    • FireFox 3
    • Omniweb 5
    • Opera 9
  • Windows
    • IE6
    • IE7
    • IE8
    • FireFox 3
    • Opera 9
    • Safari

Still it would be a good idea to consult user target audience studies or web analytics data or at least common sense when deciding what minimun resolution you need to support.

Government/Community websites should still support minimum of 1024x768 providing the ability to access data to 99% of the market.

Retail/Financial industries usually don’t upgrade hardware and bank terminals until it is absolutely necessary and 1024x768 may be still safer choice for them.

IT industry routinely tries to be at the tech edge.  Big screens, high resolutions of latest note- and netbooks make it  to take advantage of 1280×800.

January 2010
Resolution % of Total
1280x1024 18.2 %
1280x800 17.3 %
1440x900 10.5 %
1680x1050 10.0 %
1920x1200 4.6 %
1366x768 3.6 %
1920x1080 2.3 %
1152x864 2.1 %
1600x1200 1.4 %
1280x768 1.2 %
Other 4.8 %

These statistics are based on W3Schools users.

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