Google gives Web designers tool to gauge views of Web sites

Browser Size can be used to redesign Web pages to minimize scrolling and make sure the important parts of the page are always prominent

Google Labs on Wednesday unveiled a tool for Web designers called Browser Size, which is intended to make it easier to understand how everyone sees Web sites.

Designers can use Browser Size to gauge which parts of a Web page are visible and which are not, according to Google.

[ Earlier this week, Google offered enhancements to its Google Analytics Data Export API. ]

"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 minimize 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.

This story, "Google gives Web designers tool to gauge views of Web sites," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest in developers trends at InfoWorld.com.