Two years ago, 25% of my visitors used a 800x600 screen resolution. Today, that number is less than 7%. Two years from now will anyone be using 800x600 resolutions?
People with visual disabilities will be the exception, but in another three years it is possible that the 800x600 resolution will be a thing of the past.
The driving force behind the elimination of the 800x600 screen resolution is the standard size of monitors now being sold. When 15" screen monitors were the standard everyone used 800x600. With the advent of 17" monitors, screen resolutions began to expand. Now that the 19" is becoming standard, the 1024x768 and the 1280x1024 resolutions are more common. In a few years, I wonder whether 15" monitors will be made at all.
In the world of web design this will come as a relief. One less variable to worry about.
If there are any difficulties in web design it is with this issue. Web design needs to take into account the following variables: monitor resolution, browser compatibility and user preference. Two of those three are beyond a designers control. And the third (browser compatibility) is alone enough to keep a designer busy.
So here is a call for the ultimate widget and desktop tool.
I want a CSS generating tool that takes into account all three top browsers, all the core monitor resolutions, and three sizes of fonts. I am not aware of anything that does this. Some tools do one or the other but not all three.
I also want a widget that can be placed on my web pages. Users can then control their preferences. This widget could work in conjunction with the above desktop tool to generate the necessary css files.
So in the end, such a tool would help overcome the nuisances of designing for multiple resolutions and browsers once and for all. It wouldn't matter whether 800x600 stays around for 50 more years. This tool would be able to handle it.
Paul Flyer writes and maintains Recommended Web Tools, an online resource for web development beginners . Visit the Recommended Web Tools blog for ongoing discussions about web site design tools .