Teaching Examples

Size matters for multimedia
December 18, 2006, 9:39 pm
Filed under: accessibility, design, graphics, online, usability

I have my main work computer’s screen resolution set at 1024 x 768. That’s a measurement in pixels, for all the non-designers in the crowd. But don’t run away. This is important.

Take a look at the two screenshots below. They are both captures of the same page in an excellent package from the St. Pete Times in Florida, and the designer is one of the best. But you can see, can’t you, that the image does not fit on my screen. Compare the top and bottom edges in each image, please, and then we can continue.

Vanishing Wetlands (top)
Vanishing Wetlands (bottom)
While I appreciate a very high resolution screen as much as anyone, the text gets smaller as your res goes higher, and I am nearsighted.

Monitor Resolutions
I’d like to emphasize that I am not some weirdo using an unusual screen resolution. Please look at the chart at left, which I captured from this very blog (via Site Meter) earlier today. These are the monitor resolutions of people who had come to this blog by about 4 p.m. Eastern Time. While no resolution setting has a share of 50 percent or more, the setting I use (1024 x 768) is at the top of the list.

So, 34 percent of the visitors to this blog will see the same messed up cover screen (shown above) for the beautiful wetlands package.

I can make this easy for all you designers out there with the crazy 1600 x 1200 screens, okay? The viewable space in my Firefox browser when it is fully maximized is 1008 x 591.

That is with the scrollbar showing. There would be more than 1008 pixels in width if you did not have a scrollbar. But hey. You do.

I used the useful Firefox add-on MeasureIt to get the exact width and height.

The wetlands package is built in a SWF that is 1000 x 720.

That means there are always 129 pixels (vertically) in the package that I can’t see.

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