Readers have a wide variety of screens; don't assume they are all like yours.
In addition to employing a liquid design approach, you might also want to keep in mind some of the screen size and settings that your readers may haveunderstand how your page's appearance will change under different circumstances.
- In the early days of the Web, the lowest common demoniator of screen size was a very small 580x350 pixels. Many people had only 8-bit colorwhich meant graphics would display in only 256 colors.
- More recently, the lowest common denomiator was 640x480 pixel resolution with a support for 16-bit colorwhich allowed for the display of thousands of colors (65,536 colors, to be exact).
- Current feedback is showing that the average reader is using an 800x600 screen setting, a relfection of the larger monitors and better video cards commonly in use. In addition True Color, which displays millions of colors, is increasingly common as well.
Even though monitors are getting better and bigger, never assume that your reader's monitor will be as good as yours. Use the Control Panel/Display or Settings/Monitor controls to see how your image works at 256 colors and thousands of colors.
Be careful not to use an image map that is so large its options will be off most people's default screen. Don't use an image so large that its impact is lost because only a portion of it can appear in the reader's window at a time. Don't user graphical text so small it disappears in a large, high resolutions monitor or so large is looks overblown at 640x480.
Most importantly, understand what your audience is using and combine a liquid design with flexible graphicsand you'll have page that really work for your readers.
See how your image looks at different color resolutions. Use your Control Panel/Display option on the Mac or your Settings/Monitor option on the PC to change your monitor's setting.
Don't assume a certain screen or browser window sizeand avoid using big imagemaps or images that fill your notion of the full screen.