Jakob Nielsen sees Red Green and Blue

Jakob Nielsen has published an article on screen resolutions. With his usual forthrightness he tells us we should design for 1024 x 768. Fair enough - no complaints there.

One sentence is bolded for extra weight : ‘anyone who makes at least $50,000 per year ought to have at least 1600x1200 screen resolution.’

OK Jakob! As soon as I earn that much I will put it in my contract!

He goes onto say that he expects screens to grow up to 5000 x 3000. The ratio of x to y on 5000 x 3000 is 1.6 as opposed to 1.3 of 800 x 600, so we are looking at longer screens. I’m not sure whether Nielsen knows what is coming but if he is right then it is going to have a big impact on designs.

What Neilsen doesn’t mention is that with CSS we can give users more choice over layout. Max-width issues aside there is no reason why we can’t switch seemlessly between fixed and liquid layouts. See Simplebits for example. This would allow users like Jakob (2048 x 1536) and my Mum (800 x 600) to choose how they see things.

I’m a fan of Nielsen but I hope at some point he realises that the web doesn’t need to look like it did in 1996. Check out his site - there is plenty of good stuff on there.


Can you help make this article better? You can edit it here and send me a pull request.

See Also