A simple tool which Google has made available provides some interesting insight into what people see when they visit your web pages. You can of course already look in your analytics and see a breakdown of the screen sizes of your visitors (e.g “1024 x 768”), but the size of their browser windows will be substantially smaller than this. They may not be maximised to fill the whole screen, and they’ll probably have toolbars and other clutter making the actual view of your site a lot smaller.
Google Browser Size claims to be able to show “contours” of the percentages of visitors who will be able to see any part of your page. Try it to see how it works. I’d suggest that anything important falling outside the 80% range should be given serious attention, as should messages which cross those lines.
I’ve been running an experiment on our Business Marketing Online website for the past couple of weeks, replacing the normal company background and stuff with a simple series of messages, because I want to ensure you all know exactly what we can do for you. It was encouraging to see that the big messages all fell neatly within the 80% contour, although maybe we could do even better.