Queron Jephcott | 15/05/2012
As an information architect, I create prototypes. My prototypes try to test the interaction concepts we workshop with clients, sometimes to the behest of the creative design and development teams. This is often because prototypes coming in all different shapes, styles fidelities.
There is however, one aspect of my prototypes that never changes:
Every single prototype I’ve created is 960 pixels wide.
Why 960 pixels? 960 pixels was perceived to be the maximised safe width of a web page so that it would safely display in a browser window on a screen with a resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels. 1024 by 768 being the most common screen resolution after over taking 800 by 600 some years ago.
I remember when 1024 by 768 became the standard and web sites everywhere exploded in width. Ever since then, although monitors have been getting bigger, devices have also been getting smaller and thus, 1024 by 768 has stuck around longer than we expected.
But is it number 1? Probably not.
Check your analytics! You’ll probably find that 1024 by 768 isn’t top of the list. Most likely the number 1 spot is held by something around HD resolution (1366 pixels wide). A 960 pixel wide web page on a 1366 pixel screen has noticeable space running down each side. The designers plead to make wider web pages. The web cries for it!
Why won’t it happen? Why will my prototypes remain fixed at 960 pixels wide?
It’s because in April of 2010 (well into the widescreen era), a company in Cupertino, California called Apple Inc. decided to release their iPad with a screen resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels. This was followed up with the even more successful release of the iPad 2, also with a screen resolution of 1024 by 768 pixel.
Forever locking in the 960 pixel wide web site.
Well… probably not forever, but at least for your next web site…
Interested in learning more?
Wiliam is a leading supplier of web solutions and can provide expert advice to assist your business or organisation online.