Tuesday 27 July 2004

Font sizes in web pages

This has been bugging me for ages. Why on earth do so many web "designers" get this completely wrong? We're living in an age where the style/content separation is becoming a reality, designers have more control than ever on the appearance of a page, and still (or perhaps hence) we have totally illegible font sizes? Why?

Worst are the absolute font sizes, measured in pixels or "pt"s. This is wholly inappropriate even if you don't consider the users who require especially large font sizes because they have a disability. Anyone who wants to should be able to choose the default font their browser should display, and I have done so for my browser. But no, the designers know better than to let me read their content at a comfortable font size.

My opinion differs from those of some I have spoken to who decry the use of font size specification at all. Font sizes have a place — they can be used, for example, to make navigation bars less intrusive — however the main body of the text in any page with significant content should bloody well be left at the user's preferred size!

Is there something fundamental I'm missing? Or is it just because the designers are too stupid to understand that they can change their own browser defaults if they want to have smaller text, rather than making life difficult for everyone else?

Of course this just joins the list of many abominations in today's web sites. We can dream that one day it will all be fixed...

Posted by Dominic at 01:02

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