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The screen resolutions we use today

Jun 4, 2015

In January 2014 I looked at the distribution of screen resolutions that are being used to browse the internet. This was being looked at in the context of the need for Responsive Web Design and how the website designer must adapt their coding and requirements elicitation phase. Now, nearly a year and a half later it will be interesting to see what has changed.

Resolution changes from 2012 to May 2015

In 2014 it was clear that the screen resolution of 1366 x 768 was the most popular, having superseded the long standing 1024 x 768. 1366 x 768 represents a laptop. Note that here are over 200 different screen resolutions used to view the internet. Key observations are:

  • The previous most popular 1024 x 768 has continued a steep decline
  • Use of 1366 x 768 has already started to decline
  • Use of the small 360 x 640 has rapidly increased
  • Website design must be able to cater for resolutions that range greatly in width from 1920 to 320 and 1080 to 568 in height
  • These resolutions represent only 60% of all resolutions used 

Types of device used

The various devices using these resolutions represent desktops/laptops, mobile phones, tablets and consoles. There is great variability and in another six months to a year it will be interesting to see how this chart changes and if any of these resolutions get displaced by another new resolution - perhaps by the next "must have" gadget.

Conclusion

As discussed previously, a web designer and their client needs to move away from trying to get things pixel perfect because their website can be viewed across so many devices and resolutions. Web designs need to be 80% amazing 100% of the time rather than 100 per cent perfect 20 per cent of the time. This is why website developers such as myself use Responsive Web Design (RWD) which means that a website will look good in any device at whatever resolution that device may use.


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