Optimizing Websites for Netbooks

Posted By Debbie on September 19, 2010

We have to take into consideration how people are surfing the web. More and more, this is from mobile phones and netbooks.

Netbooks are tiny animals! I got the Lenovo S10-3T in spring 2010, and the screen resolution is 1024 x 600. That means everybody designing for more than about 1000 pixels wide, I have a left-right scroll bar. *Sad face.*

So if we’re thinking about “the fold,” and what will get people’s attention, we now have a canvas of about 5 inches tall with which to work. If you are designing for the bigger and bigger canvas known as the home or office desktop monitor, you’re not really thinking about where an increasing amount of web surfing is taking place.

I found that when I loaded up websites on my phone, the “fold” was at about the same point as it was on the netbook. Thanks to toolbars and the status bar, I have about 5 inches (roughly 360 pixels) of visible area until I hit the fold. Let’s take a look at some full screen shots I took from my netbook. Click to get the full size version.

ScreenHunter_01 May. 08 14.48

ScreenHunter_02 May. 08 14.49

ScreenHunter_03 May. 08 14.49

ScreenHunter_04 May. 08 14.50

ScreenHunter_05 May. 08 14.51

Congrats to Best Buy and Amazon for getting some good stuff in before the fold. Boo to CNN for mostly showing me ads and stupid stuff, not even news or breaking headlines. Honorable mention to J Crew. And mostly boo to eBay for really only getting in the Daily Deal and sign in/register buttons. I think something has to be more compelling than that!

Use your 5 inches wisely!