When PC’s first came out they were large and they had these monochrome black and green screens [or b/w], but the screens were small and cramped. As time when on, it was updated to 16 bit color, and then millions of colors and then there was the race to kill the CRT and make the biggest LCD screen; which is still being fought today.
The more interesting thing is the screen resolutions and the websites. From 640, 800, 1024, 1600 and 1900 DPI the websites/developers have fought with using the space available to them. With LCD monitors coming out at 22-26 inches and LCD TV’s being used as screens, the websites are not using the available display space to the end users.
The websites are still working with screen resolutions of 800 and 1024 [4:3] type configurations and the technology driving these websites hasn’t changed. Web sites aren’t smart enough or haven’t been configured to ask, ‘what’s the resolution?’ and then proactively take advantage of it; resulting in wasted display space.
I’ve a respect for websites that are constructed to use every inch of the screen; they’re using every bit of the screen space. And then you’ve others that are built on a 1024 set of rails, the layout is set for someone [ideally] for that resolution and then anyone above that has to look at smaller text and images; it just doesn’t seem fair.
While some browsers have addressed this by offering web page ZOOM [manual] options, maybe the browser code could be updated to ‘auto-zoom’ to fill the screen and still preserve the layout; try to make the function more intuitive, but it’s a shame to waste the space that’s available. Firefox had a auto-zoom extension, but it’s not compatible with the current version.
A good example of what I’m talking about is the FedEx website. The page is designed with the 90′s in mind the alignment is left the design is based on 800 x 600 display. Anyone with resolution over this get a cramped page display. The text is smaller, the images are smaller and it’s just less appealing. But what if the browser could determine the amount of space not being used and adjusted the ZOOM to make the page more commensurate with it’s design- that would be nice.
The iPhones, Smartphones and phones with web browsing built in to them seemed to have realized this early because they have limited display space. It made sense to be smart about this, but why can’t something like this be built in to a browser by default?
If you’ve or know of something like this, let me know.