Question about your web sight

We’re putting up a web site for our business and we’re using a background that’s on subject and, we think, kind of nifty. Unfortunately it tiles and looks terrible at resolutions above 1024 x 768. The guy who’s doing the site wants to do it @ 800 x 600, but I don’t think any of our intended viewers use any kind of resolution that low.

So, what screen resolutions do y’all use to surf?

Normally 1024x768. I also do web page design and I always make sure to test all resolutions, right down to 640x480. Granted, it almost never looks good at the lowest resolution but somebody somewhere is going to try, you have to make sure it’s at least readable. Also, I always test using as many browsers I can get my hands on. IE 4.0 and Netscape 3 or 4 as a minimum; sometimes it’s worth it to try Opera just for fun and also IE 5 just to see …

Nitpick: it’s web site not sight. You know, like a construction site?

Personally, I surf and do everything else at 1280 x 1024… if you want to use a really large image as a background, you have two choices. First, make it look ok tiled ( get the “Tesselation” plugin for Photoshop/Paint Shop Pro it will do this for you)
The second option is to make the canvas bigger and add lots of white(or whatever color) to the right and below the image so that by the time the image could repeat again, it wouldn’t be in the window anymore.

O p a l C a t

*Nitpick: it’s web site not sight. You know, like a construction site? *

In this case I think beatle was making a pun, and really meant sight, since the question is how our browsers are set to sight sites. has daily statistics on browser resolutions–as of today it’s:
640480: 12.47%
600: 53.90% (what I use)
1024*768: 26.05%

OPPS… make that

Surfing at 1280 like OpalCat is extremely rare (and personally, as I measure all my bg images at 1200 pixels wide, I say those that use a higher res deserve to get a peek at the tiling… hehe ;))

But it’s surprising how many people use 1024 width. So all bg images should be 1300 wide, to be safest.

By the way, if your chosen bg image interferes with the readability of the text at any resolution, then you’re doomed.

“Vyvyan! Where did you get that Howitzer?” “…I found it.”

The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat

Why is it surprising how many surf at 1024? To me it is amazing that anyone surfs at 800 x 600… everything looks so huge and bloated and awful at that resolution… and nothing fits on the screen! How can anyone stand it? I mean unless you only ever have one window open at a time or something. Me, I usually have 5-7 major applications open, with anywhere from 5 on up open Netscape windows… then there are all the smaller things like AIM and ICQ and my webcam… I can usually only see about 4 windows at a time anyway, and that is at 1280!

O p a l C a t

Well, I work at an ISP, and see some of the customer’s computers sometimes - almost exclusively, the ones that need our help for any little thing (“what’s an e-mail client?”) have a green windows95 desktop still, all their icons lined up in alphabetical order on the left, and are viewing at 640x480.

A couple of years ago, most geeks I knew were on 800x600 because of their 14in monitors.

Now, with bigger monitors, and more people brave enough to have multiple windows open, 1024x760 is more common. But it wasn’t so long ago that virtually nobody was.

“Vyvyan! Where did you get that Howitzer?” “…I found it.”

The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat

I’m viewing this board on a 17" monitor ar 832x624 right now. But at school, I view the same board on computers varying from 640x480 to 832x624.

600 x 800 here. Just a matter of a 14" monitor and a lack of desire to strain my eyes reading someone else’s 9pt Courier font at anything smaller. In fact, until about 9 months ago, I used to use the 480 x 640 or whatever size simply becaise it was the default and I didn’t see reason to change it. On the other hand, I changed my desktop and ditched all the Prodigy and AOL shortcuts on day one of taking the computer out of the box :wink:

“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

Actually, I also tend to work and surf on 800 x 600, basically helps to keep me from going bling from trying to decipher some webmaster who thinks they doing everyone a favor <font size=“1”>by setting type in a size too small for ants to even notice</font>

And sometimes, I have to bring “Ol’ Bessie” out from retirement. (My old 486 whose top speed is 50MHz) She can only manage 256 colors at 640 x 480.

Well, I’m gonna blow the curve here. I’m running at 1600 X 1200, but I’m very used to seeing tiled backgrounds; it doesn’t bug me anymore.

Dopeler effect:
The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

I almost always surf at 1280 X 1024. 99% of the pages I view were designed for 640 X 480, and 90% of them look absolutely lousy to me. How nice that someone has finally asked me for my view of things.
I design pages to look as good as possible for as many different sizes and browsers as possible. How many others do likewise (besides the other respondents here)? I’d guess less than one percent.

I use 640x480x24 at home because that’s the highest resolution my ancient monitor supports (it’s hard for me to want to spend money on a monitor, when the same amount would buy me a 20 GB hard drive, or a CD burner, or a decent printer… and I would have more use for any of those things than a new monitor).

At work I use 800x900x32 or so (on a 1280x1024 screen, so I could expand it if I wanted to).

As a rule of thumb, design for the lowest common denominator. A Web site is built for the viewer, not for your design pleasure. I agree that higher resolutions allow you to pack more punch, but the surfer rules, even if that surfer is still using Netscape 2.02 at 640x480.

That being said, the flipside is to offer options to your visitors (frames / no frames, java / no java, high speed / low speed) or to state the best resolution / best browser settings.

I’m guessing that a lot of you lower-res people don’t do a lot of multitasking?

O p a l C a t

Guanolad: And there’s always the people who buy really expensive 19" monitors and use 640x480 at 256 colours. Then all the text is about 2 inches high and pixelated.

Thanks for the input everyone!

Our target audience is technically oriented and should be reasonably up to date in terms of graphics capabilities. We’ve decided to put the site up @ 1024 x 768 and live w/the tiling at higher resolutions. You can still read it @ 800 x 600, and I’m just never going to go look at it @ 640 x 480 (you think there’s anyone out there surfing w/CGA?).

Can you post a link to the site? Or an example page? I’d like to see if there’s a simple solution to the problem, or it really is quite a complicated thing you’re trying.

Matching foreground images and text to a tiling background can be very tricky in some cases, and is often best avoided.

Hero For A New Millennium!

The Legend Of PigeonMan - updates every Wed & Sat

The one thing I’d suggest is:

Design for whatever resolution you want, but don’t go out of your way to make it NOT work at 640x480.

I’ve seen sites that use vertical menus down the left side, but turn scrollbars off, making the bottom menu items inaccessible to me. I’m USED to ugly scrollbars, and accept that as my fault for using such a cheesy monitor… but a company that has deliberately done something to make their site unusable for me is not a company that I want to do business with.