Screen Resolution – how small should we go

Ok, so a long time ago I had a discussion with the other co-founders of PISCES communications around what screen resolutions and colour depth we should be supporting. At that stage we were arguing over whether 640×480 or 800×600 was the most common resolution.  Of course things have changed with monitors that are much bigger (physically) and support for much higher resolutions.  However, with Tablet PCs, and in particular UMPC devices, there has been a shift back to lower resolutions.  To this end a screen resolution of 800×600 is quite common for a number of smaller devices. 

The other really cool thing about Tablet PCs is that they open up a world of human interface options, such as writing and voice.  Unfortunately, as Craig points out here, the speech recognition team working on Vista has decided that voice is unimportant for users with a screen resolution less than 1024×768.  Rob Chambers indicates that asthetics was the ONLY reason they made this decision – how bad is that. 

Craig follows up by hitting the nail on the head – Developers don’t assume any minimum resolution (where possible) as you will always be wrong and frustrate your users.  Make your forms resizable, or at least if they are fixed width/height make them small!!!

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