Seattle-based design/branding firm Methodologie (not sure why they use the French term) have created a useful guide to web canvas size. As you may be able to see from the above detail, they estimate that everyone on the web can see a 760 x 640 px screen without scrolling, that 92 percent can do the same for a screen 960 x 600 px, and 50 percent can read a 1210 x 640 px page without scrolling, while only 11 percent can do the same for a 1370 x 730 px screen.
Of the first group, they say “Choose this canvas size if you are targeting users with poor eyesight or those who are likely using legacy hardware (e.g. the developing world). This canvas size also caters to non-HD TV-based browsers.” You should choose the last resolution, on the other hand, “if you are targeting media professionals.”
Their percentages are based on statistics from thecounter.com and marketshare.hitslink.com, “two of the most well known sources of screen resolution statistics.” To see how this site’s users compare I looked at my Google Analytics statistics, Which gave me the following data about my visitor’s five most common screen resolutions:
|Percent of total
|1280 x 800
|1024 x 768
|1440 x 900
|1280 x 1024
|1680 x 1050
GA goes on to give statistics for 247 different screen resolutions — I had no idea there were so many! But looking at the top five I see that they make up more than 80 percent of all my visitors. Something tells me the relatively few among the other 20 percent who have smaller screen resolutions are used to scrolling, and I see no need work on a smaller canvas to accommodate them. Still, the smallest size among the top five, 1024 x 768, makes up almost a quarter of the total. That might not be a bad size to aim for. For now.