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Inspired by "Common screen resolution?" and a debate at work where I defended the teachings of this site...

In the debate we argued about how the business environment differ from home environment in terms of screen resolutions, including:

  • Larger Screens
  • Multiple Screens

This is what Microsoft Suggests as a General Guideline for both Home and Business:

  • Support the minimum Windows effective resolution of 800x600 pixels. For critical user interfaces (UIs) that must work in safe mode, support an effective resolution of 640x480 pixels. Be sure to account for the space used by the taskbar by reserving 48 vertical relative pixels for windows displayed with the taskbar.
  • Optimize resizable window layouts for an effective resolution of 1024x768 pixels. Automatically resize these windows for lower screen resolutions in a way that is still functional.
  • Be sure to test your windows in 96 dots per inch (dpi) (at 800x600 pixels), 120 dpi (at 1024x768 pixels), and 144 dpi (at 1200x900 pixels) modes. Check for layout problems, such as clipping of controls, text, and windows, and stretching of icons and bitmaps.

But I agree that when taking into consideration a business environment the screen size would tend to be larger.

How would this impact UX policies for Business Software Development Firms in terms of getting the right Minimum Effective Resolution in business context?.

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2  
Keep in mind screen resolutions don't necessarily relate to the size of the application window. –  DA01 Nov 30 '12 at 1:18
    
Hi @DA01 I know, the application were building has a default proportional value of the screen pixelage, so I agree with you! :-) –  edgarator Nov 30 '12 at 12:20
    
Also, this is something that will change across time, so you also need to take trends into account. The best way is to get actual figures or make assumptions that you can validate in a meaningful way. –  Michael Lai Sep 5 '13 at 7:45
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

There is no screen resolution that you can think of as a norm for "business environments" as the norm varies greatly from business to business.

For example, most graphic design businesses have resolutions of at least 1920x1200, while many general admin environments may still be using 1024x768.

You need to find out what your prospective customers use as your customers and mine are likely to be different.

That said, where possible try to stick to the minimum that you can and use responsive design to let customers with higher resolutions gain the benefit of their higher resolutions. This becomes even more of an issue with many people using a combination of a tablet and a computer.

Although not authoritative, I try to keep to the resolution of an iPad as my minimum as I usually find it a good balance.

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+1 For the keeping to the iPad resolution, suggestion. –  Daniel Meade Nov 30 '12 at 0:35
    
@JohnGB, so would you think that when we talk about corporate, minimum screen resolution should be regarded still as 800x600/1024x768? –  edgarator Nov 30 '12 at 1:03
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@edgarator it depends on the corporate. I know corporates where most people have 4+ 24 inch monitors. You need to get to know your customers and their needs. –  JohnGB Nov 30 '12 at 1:06
    
@JohnGB, you should know my constraints, they're ridiculous! hehe however, you raise a valid point (exactly the one I wanted to workaround, through here ux.se :) ) –  edgarator Nov 30 '12 at 5:00
    
An old 1gen/2gen iPad or a new 3gen/4gen iPad? The last two have double the pixels –  Jop Vernooij May 12 '13 at 19:51
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I would say that if the business is small enough one might be able to look at IT records to ge the answer to we are looking for.

If the business is to large for this type of analysis or if it goes across several offices I would default to what general statistics say within the country of choice. Maybe you can add a skew to one or the other side of things.

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Indeed, the problem is that the user base is homogeneous and difficult to trace. We've added a feature that allow us to track the screen resolution, and the size of e screen but only for newer versions, so it's not available in production yet, and data will only be collected from new users... –  edgarator Nov 30 '12 at 12:23
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