Screen Resolution and the Web

“Why does our new site you designed for us look so HUGE on my screen?!”

This is one of the most common questions/concerns that clients have during the design phase of each medical website that Omedix creates. My goal in this post is to address this common concern and explain why our designs may appear “abnormally large” on some home/office computers.

How does screen resolution affect what I see on the web?

The reason our designs are visually larger than many has to do with screen resolution. Currently, there are about 10-15 screen resolutions that are being used in today’s computer screens. Some internet users are viewing the web at very high resolutions (i.e., 1920×1200 pixels, as seen on some of the new MacBook Pro laptop computers). For these users, average-sized images and text on the web appear small. Other users view the web at small resolutions (i.e., 1024×768 pixels). For these users, average-sized images and text on the web appear much larger and fill a larger percentage of their screen’s overall space.

Why are Omedix websites larger than others?

Based on our own observations, many medical practices use computers with smaller resolutions to view the web. So, if you – as an Omedix client – view the shiny new design we’ve created for your practice and are surprised and/or dissatisfied with how large the site appears on your screen, you may want to consider a few things first:

  1. We design websites with your patients in mind. According to a January 2010 survey done by w3schools.com, a well-known online resource on web standards, only 20% of internet users are currently browsing the web using 1024×768 pixel screen resolutions. 76% of internet users are browsing the web using screens of larger resolutions. So, just remember, your office computer may display the website somewhat larger, but the chances are that the vast majority of your patients are seeing the website at a normal size.
  2. Modern web design is typically larger because screen resolutions have grown larger. Back during the beginning of the millennium, the most common screen resolution was 800×600 pixels. Therefore, websites were designed to cater to this common resolution. If one were to look at a website designed in 2001 on a modern computer screen, the website would likely appear tiny and, in some cases, unreadable.
  3. Screen resolutions will continue to grow. The last thing you want is to see developments in computer hardware cause your still-new website to become quickly outdated. If we designed your site to cater to a small screen resolution, you may be looking for another re-design within 2 years. We design your website to keep up with ever-changing technology.
  4. Larger websites are more immersive. The web is growing into a medium that can be highly immersive. The simple fact is: larger websites generally make a more profound impact on its viewers. Think of it as the difference between watching your favorite action film on your 32″ LCD television at home versus watching the same movie at the IMAX theater.
  5. Users know to scroll. Having a larger website means that more information drops below the “fold” on smaller-resolution screens. Not to worry, though. It is actually part of web users’ common vocabularies to immediately scroll down after loading any website. So, for those people still using a 1024×768 screen resolution, some content may be hidden when a page first loads, but all it takes is a couple flicks of the mouse wheel to find it!

To Sum it All Up…

If a website looks too large on your screen, it probably means that your screen resolution is smaller than average. The overwhelming majority of users will see the site at a normal size. Omedix will design your site in order to be most effective with the highest percentage of people!

5 thoughts on “Screen Resolution and the Web

  1. TheOm3ga - January 25, 2011 at 6:37 AM

    Yep, acording to the w3c statistics, only 20% of users are using 1024×768, but it is the largest group. That is, there are more people using 1024×768 than using any other kind of resolution.

    Furthermore, designing for 1024×768 is the internet standard nowadays. You just have to take a look a the frameworks you can find everywhere, the vast majority of them are pointing towards 1024: 960.gs, 978.gs, blueprint, etcetera.

    Reply
    • Adam Butler - January 25, 2011 at 5:52 PM

      You got it. Designing for 1024×768 is indeed the standard. We currently design all of our websites based on the 960.gs framework. However, our websites tend to take up more vertical space than many others, which some people aren’t used to yet.

      I wonder how long it will take until the standard width of websites changes? Or will it?

      Reply
  2. Beverly M Dunbar - January 27, 2011 at 1:14 PM

    Do you have a website for automatic bill paying? It would be very convenient when paying on time monthly.

    Reply
    • Adam Butler - January 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM

      Yes, we do offer online bill-pay as an upgrade for the websites we build for our clients (if the client orders it). To learn more about online bill-pay and other upgrades, check out the Upgrades section!

      Hope that helps!

      Reply
  3. Chris - July 14, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    I don’t mean to dispute but…

    You need to take another look at the W3C report. The largest group on that report is 85.1% and are people using resolutions higher than 1024×768.

    The largest portion of the population is using resolutions far exceeding 1024×768.

    So you are saying that keeping sites at 1024×768 for only 13.8% of viewers is “your” standard because it’s the largest group of a fixed size? That’s the kind of silly.

    1024×768 was the standard years ago – but in noway should be today.

    Reply

Leave a Reply