The target audience
Identify the audience profile and surfing environment.
Lowest common denominator
Sites that people can access with any computer, monitor or browser.
You cant assume any particular screen size, colour depth or plug-ins.
The majority market
Sites that dont pander to the lowest common denominator, excluding the minority bottom end
People who have fairly predictable browsing environments. e.g.
On an intranet - Known and controllable surfing environments - networked PCs.
Graphic/Web designers - Large, high resolution and colour-depth monitors. Powerful machines. High proportion of Macs. Some Unix.
General business users - PCs with 800 x 600 monitors, low colour depths, no sound. Not easily reconfigurable by the user.
Education and Scientific - Spans all computer types PCs, Mac, Unix.
Home surfers - Similar to general business but more likely to be higher (or lower) specs.
Mobile phone (WAP) and PDA users - Limited to small amounts of text and minimal (if any) graphics.