In order to get a proper design, it should be optimized for transparency and simplicity, which will in turn improve user experience. However, in many cases, user experience is just an elegant term implemented with wrong approaches and false intentions. It is often difficult to achieve optimal user experience with only visual design elements, although your clients may be strongly convinced that it’s the case. Legible and accessible contents are what actually matter. Although visual designs can help you to communicate with target audience and support the content, it’s not a solid foundation to build an effective website upon. You should seek compromise with stakeholders and clearly state that it’s your job to design a website.
Whatever stage you’re in during the development process, you should always make sure that changes and improvements in the design are aimed to make then it works for most users, no matter what screen size and resolution they use. It’s not about visual elements people see, but it’s about the contents they’re looking for. When you want to present contents optimally, you should consider layout width, for example, you can achieve optimal eligibility by using between 60-80 characters in each line. Your metrics (including number of characters per line) should remain constant across different screen resolutions and browsers.
Designers need to decide why they need to optimize for a specific screen resolution. Screen resolution optimization is a classic design problem and there are still no common heuristics or universal solutions. As people use more high resolution monitors, they tend to avoid expanding the browser to full screen mode. Often sidebar floats on the right or the left of the desktop while extensions for browsers are located inside the browser windows. So in general, the resolution of browser window is usually smaller than the display resolution. Although there are still some dependencies, it is difficult to estimate the screen resolution that people tend to use.
Analytics tools, such as Google Analytics can help you to gain better understanding on common user profiles. They don’t only track screen resolution, but also users’ preferences and behaviors.
Thus, it’s possible to find the average time users spend in your website and fine-tune the design to improve user experience. Once you gather the average profiles of your users, you can use the data and values to make design decisions. Get heuristic results from latest studies to back up your decision-making process.
It is inadvisable to optimize web design simply for your personal convenience. Try to leverage your design accordingly and estimate the user profile instead of guessing blindly. In many cases, user experience can be improved by keeping the layout width at 1000px or lower. Design only for your visitors. Even if you have the budget to buy large, very high resolution monitor, it is preferable to work with popular screen resolution.