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Design for Dominant Screen Resolutions

Document Type: Standard


HHS must design for monitors with the screen resolution set at 1024x768 pixels, but use a liquid layout that works well for any resolution, from 800x600 to 1280x1024.


As of December 2006, fifty-four percent of users have their screen resolution set at 1024x768. By designing for screens set at 1024x768, designers will accommodate this most common resolution, while balancing tradeoffs for those using 800x600 and 1280x1024.  Designers and coders should test Web pages in the most common screen displays to ensure good visibility, legibility, and aesthetics.  Please note:  As resolutions are increasing, some users are viewing Web sites in smaller browser windows.  


HHS STAFFDIVS should obtain approval through the HHS Web Communications Division.  HHS OPDIVS should get approval through their Web Manager/Representative. [Note: A formal process for approving or denying exemptions will be created with HHS OPDIV Web Representatives.]   You may get an exemption from this standard if:

  • Your web site logs or other data collection efforts indicate that the majority of your users have set resolutions other than 1024x768.
  • Pages, other than menu pages, may be exempt if there is a clear and present need for more tightly controlled dimensions to work with column widths, text boxes, images, or navigation widgets. 

Related Web Standards and Usability Guidelines: