Engineering a New World

Something Can Be Done About It

The Full-Screen Website Experience

Full Screen Website Button on Dianetics Website

Full Screen Website Button on Dianetics Website

One feature that escaped me on first inspection of the new Dianetics Video Channel Website is the little “fullscreen” button on the top banner of the site.

I’ll have to be dead-honest, I’ve been on the web since 1994, with my first browser as Netscape 0.9 on Windows 3.1.  While I have seen full screen videos on YouTube for some time, this is the first time I’ve seen an attempt at a full-screen website.

Now, for a media-centric website like this one, where you have something like 60 different videos on Dianetics, all done in 16 languages, and so much other assorted Flash content, I can definitely see the use case for wanting to do the thing full screen.  Try it — as long as you’ve got a decently fast computer with a decent video card, it’ll roll just fine.  My box that I’m writing on right now is an AMD Phenom quad-core box, so it does have enough grunt to move all of the media around the screen.  It chugs a bit on my Apple PowerBook G4, but fine.

My question is as to how many other people prefer such a thing.

I’ve had countless discussions with designers and programmers who get into the whole “rez” argument with me.  I.e., I show them the Google Analytics that shows that x percentage of people are running with a 1280px wide screen, therefore we should be able to design for screens that are that wide.  Then, I get the argument that nobody in their right mind runs with their browser at full-screen, and most people then still only see 800px in their actual browser window.  Then there are some people that do the good old “F11” trick and run full screen.

On the most up-beat site I run with the most media, the stats I show are:

current statistics on screen resolutions

current statistics on screen resolutions

The above stats would clearly make you say “we can TOTALLY dump the idea of designing for 800×600!”  — but my question is how many of those 1024×768 people or 1680×1050 people are looking at a maximized browser?

Not I, as I have dual 1280×1024 flatscreens, so a maximized browser for me would be a bit unusable:

dual-screen screenshot -- why I can't run my browser maximized

dual-screen screenshot -- why I can't run my browser maximized

I’ve not seen any conclusive evidence either way, as to what people run, in the main.  I never run my browser maximized, so that’s my own polarized view of the universe.   Curious as to what others think, though!

About turbotad

My name is Tad Reeves, and I am a certified AEM Dev/Ops Engineer, cycling enthusiast, train & transit junkie, and father of three. I’m currently an Adobe Experience Manager Architect, consulting for ICF Next, as well as for other companies.

3 comments on “The Full-Screen Website Experience

  1. Grahame
    October 12, 2008

    I usually run my browser full-screen, which on my laptop is 1280×800.

    I don’t usually do full-screen videos because my experience is that they don’t look quite right. I don’t mind the smaller sized videos.

    I just watched a full episode of “Sanctuary” in a small video and it was cool.

  2. turbotad
    October 13, 2008

    Likewise — I only do fullscreen DVD video, myself. Other ones don’t look right.

    But I get it on your full screen action. I just added a screenshot from my desktop to illustrate why I can’t be part of the maximized-browser-club on my desktop PC.

  3. sciblog
    October 14, 2008

    Same here, I’ve got 2 screens so there is no I can do a full screen view. But I usually set the browser to full in one of those screens.

    Also there are so pretty good browser stats to look at on and if you navigate to the browser display (one of the link on the left hand side) you can see a list of display percentages. Then if you add that all up for January 2008 you’ll find that 86% was 1024×768 or higher and only 14% with 800×600 or lower. So making your site for those with 800×600 is not actually hitting the majority of users any more.

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This entry was posted on October 12, 2008 by in scientology, technology and tagged , , , , .
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