A Font Size We Can Read{2}

by ChihWei H
This article advocate the use of size 16 font instead of more traditional size 14. The author suggest people put websites out there for people to read, and more readership eventually bring in more revenue. It provides six reasons to prove his points.  As people gets older, our eye sight gets weaker. Almost 9% of Americans are visually impaired beyond the help of lenses.  The greater the distance, the faster we read. People reads computer screen closer than they suppose to.  Pixel 16 text on the screen is the same size of pixel 12 in a book.  A survey of web design problems suggest that bad fonts is one of the leading concern.  It also counter that web designer who say user can zoom-in isn’t doing their job right.

Although I do not agree with everything the author said, I felt he hits some issues spot on. Personally, my browser is at a zoom-in of 120%. I find it quite comfortable to lean back on my chair while web surfing. The problem is that while zooming-in, the layout of the website changes too and it can get really messy at times.  If the site was build upon 16 pixel text, it might save me some trouble.

I think what’s hard for certain websites to make the change is because all the function a site has to offer. Take Facebook for example, if I want to click on the “home” on the upper right corner, I’d have to scroll all the way to the right. And afterwards, if I want to click “News Feed”, I have to come back to the left. This experience can varies from browsers and desktop resolutions, but without 120% zoom-in, the site becomes unreadable to me. I don’t see any site make the leap to 16 pixel fonts anytime soon, but I sure hope websites will make some compromise between usability and readability.

Bnonn Tennant. (2011/10/07). 16 pixels body copy anything less costly mistake. In Smashing Magazine. Retrieved 2011/10/09, from http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/10/07/16-pixels-body-copy-anything-less-costly-mistake/.