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Actual Browser Sizes - Preview

Written by on August 22, 2006

Update: The final report is ready.

For years we have seen statistics telling us the size of people's screens. We know that 1024x768 is the dominant screen size, and that large resolution screens are coming.

But, this is useless information. We do not want to know the size of a person's screen. We want to know the size of the browser's content area. A person might not use the browser maximized, and other elements - taskbar, toolbars and extensions - takes up valuable screen space.

Preliminary results

I have measured the size of the browser's content area from different sites, and this is the preliminary results (based on app. 15% of the total data collected - duration 1 month+).

Note: A final report will be published in November - based on about 8 times as much data and in much greater details (more graphs and schematics).

Actual browser sizes

The size of the browser's content area. The most common browser width is 1008px, and the most common height is 600px.

Percentages of screen used for the browser

The % of the screen used for the browser.

The actual browser size and percentage graphs clearly show that a vast majority of people use they browser maximized (or very close to maximized).

98% of the width is more or less the same as the full width of the browser without the scrollbars. 78% of the height is about the size of the full height without the toolbars, taskbar etc.

Updated September 5, 2006

We can also see a different behavior by the few people who use high-res screens - above 1400px (10%) and above 1680 (1%).

This pretty much destroys the myth that many people browse the net in a smaller window. But, it does illustrate a possible trend for the years to come.

1024x768 specifically

Updated September 16, 2006

Over at Authentic Boredom there is a discussion going specifically about 1024x768 - and what width you can use for that resolution.

This is what my analysis shows:

The size you need to design for (based on the percentages of users you want to support):

%Minimum width(px)
60%1008
70%1001
80%992
90%840
95%792

The above data is not based on the preliminary data, but the full set (about 82% of the data used for the report in November)

The gap

The gap illustrates two things:

The size you need to design for when making fluid or smart layout

%From (px)To /px)
60%888x5441256x768
70%880x5041264x824
80%864x4721280x856
90%784x4321368x896
95%736x4081424x920

The minimum size you need to design for when making fixed layout sites.

%Minimum size (px)
60%1008x600
70%1008x592
80%984x568
90%800x512
95%776x432

e.g. if you want to support 90% of you visitors with a fluid layout, you need to make it work between 784x432px and 1268x896px. Similarly, supporting 90% of your visitors with fixed layout means fitting the design within 800x512px.

More to come

A more detailed report will follow in November. The collection of data will continue until October 15, 2006 (and then I need time analyzing the data).

Note: Since this is only a preliminary finding, the figures are likely to change.

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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