I like to use my six-year-old daughter as a reminder of how basic computer users use the web.
This morning she was trying to use a site that was designed for a 900×600 browser viewing size. Even though we have our monitor’s resolution set to 1024×768 and our browser is maximised, we also have the Firefox and Google sidebars open at all times. This gives us a viewing space of roughly 800 pixels wide.
As a result, the content of the page was cutoff on the rightâ€”the precise location where the “Go” link is located. This meant, of course, that my daughter could not continue to the page where she could play the game.
I did not say anything to her because I wanted to see what her natural response would be. Even though there was a horizontal sidebar available, she did not use it. Rather she shut down the Firefox sidebar.
I found this interesting. I have heard people who design for larger page widths state that if users cannot see the content on the right, they can just scroll horizontally. after all, it doesnt take much effort.
Now I am left to wonder if basic computer users even realise there is a horizontal scrollbar in such an event.