Hardware and Software

Guidelines in this section pertain to the users' hardware, software, and connection speeds. The author suggests accommodating 95% of users in all regards.

EN: This is general advice that should be tailored to a site's specific audience.

EN: I also find it a bit ironic that 95% accessibility is "good enough" in this chapter, whereas the previous chapter focused on the importance of accommodating conditions that affect 1% to 4% of the population.

1. Design for common browsers (4:2)

Usage statistics, both in general and for a specific site, will show the brands and versions of browsers in common use.

2. Account for browser differences (4:2)

This seems to refer not just to the browser software, but user-configured options within the browser. No statistics are provided, only the assertion that the designer "should find out what settings most users are using" somehow.

3. Design for popular operating systems (4:2)

This refers not just to win/mac/unix, but the specific version of operating system in use - again, based on a site's audience statistics.

4. Design for the user's typical connection speed (3:2)

At the time this report was released, between ten percent and one-third of users were still modem users - these figures are constantly changing. Also, a specific site's audience may have a different mix than the general population.

5. Design for common screen resolutions (3:2)

The report suggests that resolution sets at time of authoring were 800x600 (17%), 1024x768 (56%), and 1280x1024 (17%),

EN: I'm suspicious of the specific source he cites (a site visited by designers/developers), but more to the point, it is often misapplied: the browser's content area is not the same as the monitor resolution, and I'm not sure it's meaningful (resolution, independent of physical dimensions, tells only part of the story). A better approach is to set a bug on your home page for a while that will detect content area dimensions and use audience-specific statistics to make an informed decision.