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#1 nuts

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 05:35 AM

I have been using Opera lately for general browsing, it is so fast.

However the default display incudes a "panels" bar on the left side of the window.

For a couple of years I have used 984 px as page width for many sites, which is in the ball park with a lot of other developers at this point in the time-space continuum.

But....this Opera feature throws it out of whack, it gives a horizontal scroll bar when the window is sized at 1024x768.

Probably I am going to continue with 984, but I am interested in comments.

My development environment is 1280x1024, and I use a 1024x768 graphic for re-sizing program windows to see the effect. This also may have an influence, it may not be exact -- and of course browsers, monitors, etc. all vary.

As an afterthought I am including a screenshot of awstats browser stats for one site, showing opera usage as 0.2%. This site gets lots of use from adults at work, generally not developers.

Looks like awstats has the ability to display screen sizes, but I am not seeing any results there, so I gotta figure out how to grab that in log files.

Cheers
Mike

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Edited by nuts, 10 August 2009 - 05:48 AM.


#2 nuts

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:21 AM

OK, found the instructions, first test showed other misc stats but not screen size, I will know tomorrow if it worked or not:
http://awstats.sourc...wstats_faq.html

This is the code you must add (at bottom of your home page for example) :

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src="/js/awstats_misc_tracker.js" ></script>
<noscript><img src="/js/awstats_misc_tracker.js?nojs=y" height="0" width="0" border="0" style="display: none"></noscript>
If yes, you can then run the AWStats update process. Screen sizes information will be analyzed. All you have to do now is to edit your config file to tell AWStats to add the report on html output. For this, change the ShowMiscStats parameter.
ShowMiscStats=anjdfrqwp



#3 EGOL

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 06:28 AM

Most pages on my sites are about 980 wide... that allows a little space for the vertical scroll bar and a little breathing room around my design.

#4 bwelford

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 07:30 AM

980 width for me too. That's because it works in terms of the width of text you can read comfortably.

I find less than 25% of visitors are working at 1024px width or less so most people will have space either side but it should not be too much in most cases.

#5 nuts

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 07:46 AM

Another issue I am running into in doing searches on the topic of page/browser width, is that many computer monitors are going to the wide-screen (i.e., short screen) format such as 1280x800. I think this has come about to watch movies, but it probably will be affecting page development in the future.

The 4:3 ratio is giving way to more nearly 3:2.

#6 TheManBehindTheCurtain

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 01:41 PM

I think the "correct" answer is: it depends. It depends on your audience (age, disabilities, type of equipment they have, etc.) and content (news, blog, photography, catalog, etc. etc.).

Having said that, I did a survey of B2B software sites recently -- about 50. About 80% fell into a range between 950 and 990, and 980 was the most common. I'm on 960 for the live content area (excluding right and left margins) for geeky math reasons -- it's evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 (I still am a slave to layout grids, a still valid, IMHO, approach to organizing content).

For several years, our analytics program has confirmed that only one or two percent of visitors are at anything lower than 1024. (At least one of them was the CEO though.)

#7 bwelford

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 02:44 PM

For several years, our analytics program has confirmed that only one or two percent of visitors are at anything lower than 1024. (At least one of them was the CEO though.)


I guess, Frank, that means you're not picking up any of those 'Smart' people who are surfing on the Mobile Web. Or were they excluded in some way from your analysis.

#8 nuts

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 02:52 PM

I have been getting an increasing number of emails sent from blackberry and iphone, however they do not register on my web stats. Having fooled a little with surfing sites using a handheld device, I have found it to be very difficult even with sites well-optimized for mobile. I can't imagine, say, doing my Christmas shopping from a smart phone....

Edited by nuts, 16 August 2009 - 02:53 PM.


#9 bwelford

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 03:33 PM

The converse of what you're saying, nuts, is that any store that really has a well-optimised mobile website has a better chance of getting the business of those who do shop via smart devices. Google will also favor them in the mobile search algorithms. For some, having a good mobile website could be effort well spent.

#10 nuts

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 12:30 PM

I just discovered a button at the bottom right hand corner of my copy of IE7 -- I think it may be the IEPro addon?? Here are three graphics, one of the button, another of it's menu, the third of the zoom menu.

iepro.gif iepromenu.gif ieprozoom.gif

When I use the zoom feature, it throws the absolute position divs completely out of whack, even worse than the ctrl>scroll wheel text-zoom feature on firefox.

I don't think there is any way to design for this, and probably only small numbers of people use these zoom features regularly.

But anyway, there you have it...

#11 TheManBehindTheCurtain

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 10:53 AM

I guess, Frank, that means you're not picking up any of those 'Smart' people who are surfing on the Mobile Web. Or were they excluded in some way from your analysis.


Darn, Barry ... now you're making me think! :)

I went back and looked. iPhone accounts of one-third of one percent of traffic, and that's the highest ranking mobile OS I see.

I think mobile surfing is highly dependent on site content. I've carried an iPod Touch and a Blackberry, and the only sites I visit are entertainment sites, weather, etc. I would never think of doing research on software industry topics on a mobile device, unless I had to answer a question in a pinch.

That's not to say that we don't keep rendering on mobile devices in mind - we do check that. But in a world where we have to prioritize our time, it's not at the top of the list.

What drives our testing more these days is the fact that IE on Windows has fallen from 90+ % to 41% of visits. If you tally up Firefox on Windows, Mac and Linux, it now just about equals IE/Windows visits. That's something we're definitely paying attention to.

#12 nuts

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Posted 19 August 2009 - 11:34 AM

Frank, I think you are right on that you have to know your viewers. My awstats shows 56% IE with a 33% unknown factor (maybe bots, hard to say), firefox 6.4%, safari 1.3% and the rest under 1%.

My users tend to be in the healthcare sector, which is notoriously behind the curve in technical matters.

Cheers
Mike


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