Google Labs has launched a tool for web designers called Browser Size, which is intended to make it easier to understand how everyone sees websites.
Designers can use Browser Size to gauge which parts of a web page are visible and which are not, according to Google.
"Browser Size is based on a sample of data from visitors to Google.com," said Bruno Bowden, senior software engineer at Google, in a blog entry. "Special code collects data on the height and width of the browser for a sample of users. For a given point in the browser, the tool will tell you what percentage of users can see it. For example, if an important button is in the 80 percent region it means that 20 percent of users have to scroll in order to see it. If you're a web designer, you can use Browser Size to redesign your page to minimise scrolling and make sure that the important parts of the page are always prominent to your audience."
Early feedback on the tool was mixed.
"Interesting tool, but it doesn't take into account the fact that many sites have fluid [resizing] designs. Thus, it's not really useful for determining if the content you want to appear is actually appearing in the percentile you want on a fluid design, without resizing your browser manually," said one person reacting to the tool on the Google Code Blog.
Browser Size is available at Google Labs.