Fixed width or responsive design?

29 June 2011

I took a look into my statistics to see where my visitors came from, but more important what devices they use, wich resolutions they prefer, etc. Maybe it's time to change some of the patterns I use for a few years now.

First of all, when I start a new static-width design I decide wich resolution to design for. I remember when i started designing for 1024 width instead of 800 pixels, somewhere back in 2005, but isn't it time to take the next step to 1280? Or are fixed width website not done anymore?

The statistics prove that the top 10 resolutions are quite varied, but 1024x768 still is the most used resolution (14,64% - 2,062 visitors). The lower resolution of 800x600 is on position 18 with 0,46% visitors.

When looking at these figures I conclude that there is a huge range of resolutions. Over 14.000 views Google recorded a staggering 211 different resolutions! So the conclusion I make is that the resolutions don't just get bigger and we should make bigger sites, but I think we (the designers of the internet) should create designs that work (and look good) on as much different resolutions as possible. This can be achieved with liquid designs, but even better by using CSS media queries.

Media queries and responsive design (as it is called) is the future of the web. We can stop waiting to make the transfer from 1024 to 1280 pixels wide designs, but we should all start making responsive designs!
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