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Different size for different font

P: n/a
In his book "CSS: The Definitive Guide" 2nd edition (pgs. 116-117), Eric
Meyer has an interesting discussion about "font-size-adjust" that was
evidently dropped in CSS 2.1 due to browser non-support. I'm wondering
if there's some way I could still get a primitive version of this
functionality, because different fonts display at very different optical
sizes for the same nominal sizes.

For example, suppose I want type to display in 13px/1.5em Georgia. But
if the user doesn't have Georgia installed, and I've simply listed Times
New Roman as the alternate font in the usual way (or if "serif" gets
interpreted as Times on their system), then the type will display in
13px Times, which is optically much smaller than 13px Georgia (and has
optically different xheight/linespacing characteristics too). Even if I
used em instead of px, I'm guessing there'd be a substantial size
difference.

So what I'd really like, in the absence of "font-size-adjust", is
something like this:

p.someClass {font: 13px/1.5em Georgia, 15px/1.4em "Times New Roman",
14px/1.5em serif;}

....but I have a feeling that wouldn't actually do what I want. Er...
would it?

Any solution?
May 20 '07 #1
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53 Replies


P: n/a
Jonas Smithson wrote:
>
different fonts display at very different optical
sizes for the same nominal sizes.

For example, suppose I want type to display in 13px/1.5em Georgia.
Simple solution - don't specify an absolute font-size. If you leave it
at the default size (100%), then the user will see the font (be it
Georgia or not) in whatever size *they* think is optimal.

--
Berg
May 20 '07 #2

P: n/a
Scripsit Jonas Smithson:
In his book "CSS: The Definitive Guide" 2nd edition (pgs. 116-117),
Eric Meyer has an interesting discussion about "font-size-adjust"
that was evidently dropped in CSS 2.1 due to browser non-support.
It has now been implemented on Firefox 2 (on Windows).
p.someClass {font: 13px/1.5em Georgia, 15px/1.4em "Times New Roman",
14px/1.5em serif;}

...but I have a feeling that wouldn't actually do what I want. Er...
would it?
I doubt that. It violates CSS syntax.

You might be able to do something via client-side scripting, but that would
be off-topic here.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 20 '07 #3

P: n/a
Scripsit Bergamot:
Jonas Smithson wrote:
>>
different fonts display at very different optical
sizes for the same nominal sizes.

For example, suppose I want type to display in 13px/1.5em Georgia.

Simple solution - don't specify an absolute font-size. If you leave it
at the default size (100%), then the user will see the font (be it
Georgia or not) in whatever size *they* think is optimal.
You missed the point. Of course absolute font sizes should be avoided, but
that doesn't solve the problem.

For example, suppose you want to use Arial. Setting just font-family: Arial
works for a great majority of users. And there the problem is. If they have
set their browser to use a font size that is suitable for their browser's
default font, which is probably Times New Roman, they will see Arial in that
size, which is probably 12pt (16px).

While 12pt Times New Roman looks reasonable on screen, 12pt Arial looks too
big to most people. So what can you do?

If you ask me, you should just accept that. Too big font size is seldom
complained by _users_ (and quite often by designers), and users can reduce
the font size if it matters.

But many authors set e.g. font-size: 80% or even smaller. This is usually
not catastrophic, but it's not nice either, especially to users who have set
their browser to use e.g. Arial in 10pt size. The reduction takes the size
to 8pt, which is probably too small to be read comfortably.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 20 '07 #4

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>>different fonts display at very different optical
sizes for the same nominal sizes.

For example, suppose I want type to display in 13px/1.5em Georgia.

Simple solution - don't specify an absolute font-size. If you leave it
at the default size (100%), then the user will see the font (be it
Georgia or not) in whatever size *they* think is optimal.

You missed the point. Of course absolute font sizes should be avoided,
but that doesn't solve the problem.

For example, suppose you want to use Arial. Setting just font-family:
Arial works for a great majority of users. And there the problem is. If
they have set their browser to use a font size that is suitable for
their browser's default font, which is probably Times New Roman, they
will see Arial in that size, which is probably 12pt (16px).

While 12pt Times New Roman looks reasonable on screen, 12pt Arial looks
too big to most people. So what can you do?

If you ask me, you should just accept that. Too big font size is seldom
complained by _users_ (and quite often by designers), and users can
reduce the font size if it matters.

But many authors set e.g. font-size: 80% or even smaller. This is
usually not catastrophic, but it's not nice either, especially to users
who have set their browser to use e.g. Arial in 10pt size. The reduction
takes the size to 8pt, which is probably too small to be read comfortably.
This argument is all well and good in theory, but one important part of
it really isn't based -- in my experience -- in the real world. That
part is the "users who have set their browser to use...". I've come
across maybe two or three people in my years of Web work that have
utilized user style sheets beyond a little experimentation, and none of
them was your typical mainstream user. Most people don't even know such
a thing exists.

A few more may change the default font size in the browser View menu,
but very few, certainly (IMO) not enough to compromise ideal visual
appearance.

The way I see it, font size is largely an element of design. That is,
the designer can SUGGEST what they believe works best visually, so long
as they allow the user to size as needed (by using ems or percentages).
This way, one meets the accessibility needs of the vast majority of
users, while initially displaying the intended look.

I know YMMV, and some folks here will vehemently disagree with this
approach, but I've not gotten a single complaint from a client or client
user.

--

*** Remove the DELETE from my address to reply ***

================================================== ====
Kevin Scholl http://www.ksscholl.com/
ks*****@comcast.DELETE.net
------------------------------------------------------
Information Architecture, Web Design and Development
------------------------------------------------------
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of
the dreams...
================================================== ====
May 21 '07 #5

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl wrote:
I know YMMV, and some folks here will vehemently disagree with this
approach, but I've not gotten a single complaint from a client or client
user.
http://www.ksscholl.com/

Well 75% of 16px is 12px and on my monitor is a bit small for the copy
especially when grey on white...

Maybe folks don't complain they just don't come back.

--
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
May 21 '07 #6

P: n/a
In article <JP******************************@comcast.com>,
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.DELETE.netwrote:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
But many authors set e.g. font-size: 80% or even smaller. This is
usually not catastrophic, but it's not nice either, especially to users
who have set their browser to use e.g. Arial in 10pt size. The reduction
takes the size to 8pt, which is probably too small to be read comfortably.

This argument is all well and good in theory, but one important part of
it really isn't based -- in my experience -- in the real world. That
part is the "users who have set their browser to use...". I've come
across maybe two or three people in my years of Web work that have
utilized user style sheets beyond a little experimentation, and none of
them was your typical mainstream user. Most people don't even know such
a thing exists.
I assume you mean to include those who look into properties or
browser font preferences (Mac). If, in general, a user was not
comfortable with the font sizes he was seeing, then he would
likely get to do something about it. There is a sort of arms race
going on. Mostly, and ridiculously, authors use less than 100%
even for main body text (to look neat, to get more in etc). So
browsers either come with or are set by technicians or savvy
friends or users to show such comfortably. These defaults or
adjustments are made to compensate for the unnatural choices of
authors in general. When an author uses 100%, it can cause
surprise and comment about 'the bigness'.
The way I see it, font size is largely an element of design. That is,
the designer can SUGGEST what they believe works best visually,
Perhaps it behoves authors not to think this way as it is too
risky and too paper-print orientated in concept. Happier, and
much weaker of course, is the idea that font-size _range_ is an
element of design. In plain language, if a design looks good at a
few clicks either way of text size, so much better is the design
for websites. Your stated approach is different and can result in
one optimum and everything goes bad after this whereas what many
people have been thinking around these parts is that there is a
likely a cluster of nice enough and useful enough range of
font-size designs,

--
dorayme
May 21 '07 #7

P: n/a
dorayme wrote:
In article <JP******************************@comcast.com>,
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.DELETE.netwrote:
>Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>>But many authors set e.g. font-size: 80% or even smaller. This is
usually not catastrophic, but it's not nice either, especially to users
who have set their browser to use e.g. Arial in 10pt size. The reduction
takes the size to 8pt, which is probably too small to be read comfortably.
This argument is all well and good in theory, but one important part of
it really isn't based -- in my experience -- in the real world. That
part is the "users who have set their browser to use...". I've come
across maybe two or three people in my years of Web work that have
utilized user style sheets beyond a little experimentation, and none of
them was your typical mainstream user. Most people don't even know such
a thing exists.

I assume you mean to include those who look into properties or
browser font preferences (Mac). If, in general, a user was not
comfortable with the font sizes he was seeing, then he would
likely get to do something about it. There is a sort of arms race
That's rather my point. Most people, indeed a very small percentage,
actually do look into these things. Realistically, most don't need to,
and a well-designed site allows a user to resize text through the
browser's View menu without having to set a global minimum in the
browser setting (i.e., a user style sheet). Unfortunately, there are a
great many sites -- too many -- that are not designed in such a manner.
going on. Mostly, and ridiculously, authors use less than 100%
even for main body text (to look neat, to get more in etc). So
browsers either come with or are set by technicians or savvy
friends or users to show such comfortably. These defaults or
Honestly, I don't see this happening. A browser's font settings being
set to anything but the default is an exceedingly rare occurrence in my
experience. Again, I'm not saying my experience is the be-all, end-all,
though.
adjustments are made to compensate for the unnatural choices of
authors in general. When an author uses 100%, it can cause
surprise and comment about 'the bigness'.
>The way I see it, font size is largely an element of design. That is,
the designer can SUGGEST what they believe works best visually,

Perhaps it behoves authors not to think this way as it is too
risky and too paper-print orientated in concept. Happier, and
much weaker of course, is the idea that font-size _range_ is an
element of design. In plain language, if a design looks good at a
few clicks either way of text size, so much better is the design
for websites. Your stated approach is different and can result in
one optimum and everything goes bad after this whereas what many
people have been thinking around these parts is that there is a
likely a cluster of nice enough and useful enough range of
font-size designs,
Perhaps I should have specified to this point. Certainly I expect a
well-designed site to "behave" as font sizes are changed, at least
within some reason (I doubt all but the simplest sites would not break
layout if text is resized to its absolute maximium).

--

*** Remove the DELETE from my address to reply ***

================================================== ====
Kevin Scholl http://www.ksscholl.com/
ks*****@comcast.DELETE.net
------------------------------------------------------
Information Architecture, Web Design and Development
------------------------------------------------------
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of
the dreams...
================================================== ====
May 21 '07 #8

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl wrote:
[re: font-size:75% and other tiny settings]

I've not gotten a single complaint from a client or client user.
FYI, I've had font size discussions with almost everyone I've worked
with. You might be surprised at the number of users that are secretly
dissatisfied with the tiny type size prevalent on web sites. Once I
teach them how to adjust their browser settings (usually to make the
default larger), their only remaining complaint is that it doesn't work
on every web site.

BTW, I've never gotten a single complaint from a client or client user
about font-size:100% being too big, so your lack of complaints doesn't
mean there aren't any, just they don't tell you about it.

--
Berg
May 21 '07 #9

P: n/a
Scripsit Kevin Scholl:
This argument is all well and good in theory,
Before that statement, you quoted my entire message, practically speaking.
Comprehensive quoting generally indicates lack of comprehensive reading on
Usenet. In particular, you missed the point that my argument was practical -
actually, more practical than yours.
-- in my experience -- in the real world.
Your personal opinions don't become any more objective if you call them the
real world.
A few more may change the default font size in the browser View menu,
but very few, certainly (IMO) not enough to compromise ideal visual
appearance.
"IMO" is the key here; there's your real world: you _don't care_ about
people who set the font size.

Of course, this is just the top of the iceberg. There are millions of people
around who have never touched any relevant browser settings and to whom
their browser's basic font size is the _smallest readable_ size. So you want
to go below that, in your quest for "ideal visual appearance" (i.e., a look
that pleases _your_ eyes, or the eyes of your team, or whatever).

The default setting of 12pt is good exactly _because_ it is somewhat too
large to most people when sans-serif fonts are used. Give some thought to
the variation of people and browsing conditions, and you'll see this.
The way I see it, font size is largely an element of design. That is,
the designer can SUGGEST what they believe works best visually, so
long as they allow the user to size as needed
You don't present any concrete method so that we could evaluate it. If
you're suggesting body { font-size: 80% }, then that's usuallu not
catastrophic, as I wrote, though it prevents users from _easily_ selecting a
fairly large font size (since "largest" in the font size menu of IE is
relative to the size set on the page). But your tone of voice suggests
something more drastic. Even if it didn't, many newbies and clueless
"advanced" authors will apply your principles so that they set the font size
to the smallest value they can read in optimal circumstances. This is often
accompanied with other settings that reduce legibility further.

And, for example, the page mentioned in your sig (
http://www.ksscholl.com/ ) uses tiny text, in gray on a little lighter gray
background. Even when I set the font size to "largest" on IE, it's
inconveniently small due to insufficient contrast, and this means that for
millions of people, it's too small to read. Of course, _those_ people who
have _severe_ eyesight problems have already somehow configured, or have had
someone to configure, their browsing environment to deal with such issues,
e.g. by disabling all author stylesheets; otherwise they wouldn't be
browsing at all. But a much larger group just finds the page too difficult
to use due to its _visual presentation_.

Moreover, if you think that most people don't even use the font size menu,
you should be worried about hundreds of millions of people who just can't
read tiny gray text on gray background. They simply go away. Now you might
say that they are not your potential customers. But your potential
customers, tough young people with good eyesight, might understand the
importance of thinking about _their_ customers in a manner that you don't
seem to care about.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 21 '07 #10

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.DELETE.netwrites:
going on. Mostly, and ridiculously, authors use less than
100% even for main body text (to look neat, to get more in
etc). So browsers either come with or are set by
technicians or savvy friends or users to show such
comfortably. These defaults or

Honestly, I don't see this happening. A browser's font
settings being set to anything but the default is an
exceedingly rare occurrence in my experience. Again, I'm not
saying my experience is the be-all, end-all, though.
The problem with personal experience of this sort of thing
is that it's likely to give very distorted results because
of the small sample size, particluarly when the real value
is fairly small. The people most likely to have changed (or
have changed for them) their browsers font settings are
those with impaired (in whatever degree) eyesight, and
depending on such things as agegroup, you may or may not
encounter a representative sample of such people... but
they're the ones for whom this "80% is the new 100%"
silliness causes the most inconvenience.

--
Jón Fairbairn Jo***********@cl.cam.ac.uk
May 21 '07 #11

P: n/a
Bergamot <be******@visi.comwrites:
BTW, I've never gotten a single complaint from a client or client user
about font-size:100% being too big, so your lack of complaints doesn't
mean there aren't any, just they don't tell you about it.
Unfortuntaly I've had such a complaint from a client (and
for this particular client I'm too far down the hierarchy to
have much say in the matter). It seems to me that the root
cause of this is that the font default sizes on Windows (IE
at any rate) are rather strange. Having looked at every
sans font available in a default install of Windows XP, I
found that not one of them has the same x height as the
default serif font. While I guess that the argument might
be that it's harder to make a good looking sans font with an
x height of that number of pixels¹, it's not obviously true
to me, and the consequences are dire -- particularly when
you consider that, strangely, some of the sans fonts have x
heights /smaller/ than the default serif font.

[1] with current screen resoloutions, the default font sizes
are small enough numbers of pixels that whether the x is an
odd or even number of pixels tall does make a difference,
though I don't see how sans/serif puts one either side of
this.

--
Jón Fairbairn Jo***********@cl.cam.ac.uk

May 21 '07 #12

P: n/a
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
Scripsit Kevin Scholl:
>This argument is all well and good in theory,

Before that statement, you quoted my entire message, practically
speaking. Comprehensive quoting generally indicates lack of
comprehensive reading on Usenet. In particular, you missed the point
that my argument was practical - actually, more practical than yours.
No, quoting the entire message in this case indicates that I recognized
that this was a fairly new thread, and that those reading it might want
some reference. Everything I left was pertinent to my reply.
>-- in my experience -- in the real world.

Your personal opinions don't become any more objective if you call them
the real world.
No more personal opinion that yours. If I can support my comments -- as
I did -- with a basis in what I regularly see, that's real world.
>A few more may change the default font size in the browser View menu,
but very few, certainly (IMO) not enough to compromise ideal visual
appearance.

"IMO" is the key here; there's your real world: you _don't care_ about
people who set the font size.
I DO care. As I present later in my reply, I believe that font sizes
should be applied such that anyone can resize them if necessary.
However, should one cater to the clear minority to the detriment of the
majority, when that minority has the easy means to adjust? I think not.
Of course, this is just the top of the iceberg. There are millions of
people around who have never touched any relevant browser settings and
to whom their browser's basic font size is the _smallest readable_ size.
So you want to go below that, in your quest for "ideal visual
appearance" (i.e., a look that pleases _your_ eyes, or the eyes of your
team, or whatever).

The default setting of 12pt is good exactly _because_ it is somewhat too
large to most people when sans-serif fonts are used. Give some thought
to the variation of people and browsing conditions, and you'll see this.
Again, I DO see this.
>The way I see it, font size is largely an element of design. That is,
the designer can SUGGEST what they believe works best visually, so
long as they allow the user to size as needed

You don't present any concrete method so that we could evaluate it. If
Yes, I did.
you're suggesting body { font-size: 80% }, then that's usuallu not
catastrophic, as I wrote, though it prevents users from _easily_
I hardly call a click or two difficult. And better that click of two for
a few people, as opposed to most.
selecting a fairly large font size (since "largest" in the font size
menu of IE is relative to the size set on the page). But your tone of
voice suggests something more drastic. Even if it didn't, many newbies
and clueless "advanced" authors will apply your principles so that they
set the font size to the smallest value they can read in optimal
circumstances. This is often accompanied with other settings that reduce
legibility further.

And, for example, the page mentioned in your sig (
A design a couple of years old, I'll add.
http://www.ksscholl.com/ ) uses tiny text, in gray on a little lighter
A dark gray on an extremely light gray fading to white is hardly
illegible. FWIW, I test in grayscale, and have had visually-impaired
people look at my work. None have expressed any trouble. It seems to me
you're grasping here to try to make your point.
gray background. Even when I set the font size to "largest" on IE, it's
inconveniently small due to insufficient contrast, and this means that
for millions of people, it's too small to read. Of course, _those_
people who have _severe_ eyesight problems have already somehow
configured, or have had someone to configure, their browsing environment
to deal with such issues, e.g. by disabling all author stylesheets;
otherwise they wouldn't be browsing at all. But a much larger group just
finds the page too difficult to use due to its _visual presentation_.

Moreover, if you think that most people don't even use the font size
menu, you should be worried about hundreds of millions of people who
just can't read tiny gray text on gray background. They simply go away.
Now you might say that they are not your potential customers. But your
potential customers, tough young people with good eyesight, might
understand the importance of thinking about _their_ customers in a
manner that you don't seem to care about.
I guess I'll just say that I'll agree to disagree on this topic in
general. However, I am a put off by YOUR tone, which is very
condescending. Unfortunately, as I see that tends to be your way in
these discussions. It's no wonder that so few people are willing to even
reply with _potential_ alternatives or even thoughts for discussion.

--

*** Remove the DELETE from my address to reply ***

================================================== ====
Kevin Scholl http://www.ksscholl.com/
ks*****@comcast.DELETE.net
------------------------------------------------------
Information Architecture, Web Design and Development
------------------------------------------------------
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of
the dreams...
================================================== ====
May 21 '07 #13

P: n/a
Jon Fairbairn wrote:
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.DELETE.netwrites:
>>going on. Mostly, and ridiculously, authors use less than
100% even for main body text (to look neat, to get more in
etc). So browsers either come with or are set by
technicians or savvy friends or users to show such
comfortably. These defaults or
Honestly, I don't see this happening. A browser's font
settings being set to anything but the default is an
exceedingly rare occurrence in my experience. Again, I'm not
saying my experience is the be-all, end-all, though.

The problem with personal experience of this sort of thing
is that it's likely to give very distorted results because
of the small sample size, particluarly when the real value
is fairly small. The people most likely to have changed (or
have changed for them) their browsers font settings are
those with impaired (in whatever degree) eyesight, and
depending on such things as agegroup, you may or may not
encounter a representative sample of such people... but
they're the ones for whom this "80% is the new 100%"
silliness causes the most inconvenience.
Jon,

Given my years of work in this field, and the number and nature of the
sites on which I've worked, I wouldn't count my sample as small. It's
almost certainly in the top echelon of people here.

I agree with your assessment of those most likely the change their font
settings. I've dealt with such groups and testing therefor. Tis why in
my initial response I stress the need to allow for easy font resizing,
regardless of the "default".

--

*** Remove the DELETE from my address to reply ***

================================================== ====
Kevin Scholl http://www.ksscholl.com/
ks*****@comcast.DELETE.net
------------------------------------------------------
Information Architecture, Web Design and Development
------------------------------------------------------
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of
the dreams...
================================================== ====
May 21 '07 #14

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl wrote:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>And, for example, the page mentioned in your sig (

A design a couple of years old, I'll add.
>http://www.ksscholl.com/ ) uses tiny text, in gray on a little
lighter

A dark gray on an extremely light gray fading to white is hardly
illegible. FWIW, I test in grayscale, and have had visually-impaired
people look at my work. None have expressed any trouble. It seems to
me you're grasping here to try to make your point.
The main page at ksscholl.com (once I enabled JavaScript to actually
find it - that's a bad idea) is unreadable with its current font sizing
and colors. Once I increased it to about 130%, I could then read it. So,
I read the little blurb about 'copying Vista', and click on the "read <"
link. Expecting to find another page on your site with the same
grey-on-grey. No, I am greeted with a HUUUGE banner on a cnet.com page.
I decrease font size to read that page, hit my back button, and then
have to increase it again for yours. What a pain in the butt that was.
Apparently, cnet.com knows how to set proper font sizes

You are driving your readers away...

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
May 21 '07 #15

P: n/a
On May 21, 9:33 am, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty"
<a.nony.m...@example.invalidwrote:
Kevin Scholl wrote:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
And, for example, the page mentioned in your sig (
A design a couple of years old, I'll add.
>http://www.ksscholl.com/) uses tiny text, in gray on a little
lighter
A dark gray on an extremely light gray fading to white is hardly
illegible. FWIW, I test in grayscale, and have had visually-impaired
people look at my work. None have expressed any trouble. It seems to
me you're grasping here to try to make your point.

The main page at ksscholl.com (once I enabled JavaScript to actually
find it - that's a bad idea) is unreadable with its current font sizing
and colors. Once I increased it to about 130%, I could then read it. So,
I read the little blurb about 'copying Vista', and click on the "read <"
link. Expecting to find another page on your site with the same
grey-on-grey. No, I am greeted with a HUUUGE banner on a cnet.com page.
I decrease font size to read that page, hit my back button, and then
have to increase it again for yours. What a pain in the butt that was.
Apparently, cnet.com knows how to set proper font sizes

You are driving your readers away...

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
Let me (again) reiterate that my personal site is an old design (some
three years old), done well before these issues were much in the
limelight (nor does it require JavaScript). It's not what I would
consider a viable example in this case.

That said, I'm curious as to you resolution setting, as well as
whether you're utilizing a user style sheet in any way. The CNet page
appears to have the same font size as my page at default settings, so
your finding is odd. Herein lies my primary point, and purpose for
posting in this thread to begin with.

I'm not trying to be combative here. Rather, I'm trying to determine
why some of the people in this forum design and develop based on the
assumption that viewers are utilizing user style sheets, or to a
lesser degree, regularly resize the text in their browsers. I just
don't see it happen much at all (be it in usability testing or common
usage), nor do I hear of it from fellow designers/developers. It
simply seems odd that a methodology would be so driven by a clear
minority, when it's that very minority that typically has the
knowledge and gumption to make a settings change if necessary.

May 21 '07 #16

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl wrote:
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.nony.m...@example.invalidwrote:
>The main page at ksscholl.com (once I enabled JavaScript to actually
find it - that's a bad idea) is unreadable with its current font
sizing and colors. Once I increased it to about 130%, I could then
read it. So, I read the little blurb about 'copying Vista', and
click on the "read <" link. Expecting to find another page on your
site with the same grey-on-grey. No, I am greeted with a HUUUGE
banner on a cnet.com page. I decrease font size to read that page,
hit my back button, and then have to increase it again for yours.
What a pain in the butt that was. Apparently, cnet.com knows how to
set proper font sizes

You are driving your readers away...

Let me (again) reiterate that my personal site is an old design (some
three years old), done well before these issues were much in the
limelight
Ok, we'll give you that, but only if you fix it. :-)
(nor does it require JavaScript).
Then why does it take you to the folllowing when JavaScript is disabled?

"what happened?

You have been directed to this page because your browser does not
support current Web standards used to build this site. Or, your browser
does not have Javascript [sic] enabled, which is highly recommended in
order to fully appreciate all that the site has to offer."

...and there is no link on this page to get you to the rest of the site
that "doesn't require JavaScript". So why do that?
It's not what I would consider a viable example in this case.
I (and others) were discussing the site in your sig. If that isn't a
'viable example' ... well ...
That said, I'm curious as to you resolution setting, as well as
whether you're utilizing a user style sheet in any way.
Screen resolution? Not important. Firefox default font size? Factory
stock. As a developer, I would have mentioned if I was using any
user-defined style sheet that would affect your site. I do not do that,
so I can test my own sites as others would see them.
The CNet page appears to have the same font size as my page at default
settings, so your finding is odd. Herein lies my primary point, and
purpose for posting in this thread to begin with.
Start Firefox.
Look at your kssholl.com main page.
Press Control-Plus twice (which is what I did so I could read it).
Click the link to the CNET page about Vista.

"From the box to the code, Redmond is clamping down, ..." is
grey-on-grey. Wait until you are 65 years old and tell me if you can
read it.
I'm not trying to be combative here. Rather, I'm trying to determine
why some of the people in this forum design and develop based on the
assumption that viewers are utilizing user style sheets, or to a
lesser degree, regularly resize the text in their browsers.
I would say that hardly any of normal people have user style sheets.
They don't know what they are. To a far more *greater degree*, you are
going to find users with vision difficulties (many people over 50) who
will have discovered how to resize fonts if they can't read a site. Or
if they haven't figured how to do that, they just go back to Google and
find something else to read.
I just don't see it happen much at all (be it in usability testing or
common usage), nor do I hear of it from fellow designers/developers.
Don't read these groups much?
It simply seems odd that a methodology would be so driven by a clear
minority,
What minority? Us web developers? Do you expect the average surfer to
know anything about authoring?
when it's that very minority that typically has the
knowledge and gumption to make a settings change if necessary.
Ahh, if only the majority of web authors knew how to do this...

We have too many developers 'round the planet who do stupid stuff like
one of my ISPs does on its Home and News pages. They use a silly
JavaScript font-size-chooser, with the three sizes of "A", and the
underlying CSS changes from 65% to 75% to 92%. At "medium" (75%) the
text is barely above the flyspeck stage.

I've been telling them for years to simply set it to 100% so everyone
benefits and no JavaScript 'chooser' is necessary. They don't listen.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
May 21 '07 #17

P: n/a

Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
Then why does it take you to the folllowing when JavaScript is disabled?
[snip]
..and there is no link on this page to get you to the rest of the site
that "doesn't require JavaScript". So why do that?
Sure there is. Did you miss the "Continue anyway" at the bottom of the
page? As I mentioned, this site is rather old, and at one time
included a fair amount of DHTML examples and such. Hence the warning
page. But the site does not require Javascript, nor states that it
does. Recommended, yes (like so many sites nowadays), but not
required.
Screen resolution? Not important. Firefox default font size? Factory
stock. As a developer, I would have mentioned if I was using any
user-defined style sheet that would affect your site. I do not do that,
so I can test my own sites as others would see them.
But resolution IS important in this case. Higher resolutions will of
course make text appear smaller on screen. For example, someone
running 1600x1200 would certainly find 10 or 11px text unreadable; no
likely so at 800x600.
The CNet page appears to have the same font size as my page at default
settings, so your finding is odd. Herein lies my primary point, and
purpose for posting in this thread to begin with.

Start Firefox.
Look at your kssholl.com main page.
Press Control-Plus twice (which is what I did so I could read it).
Click the link to the CNET page about Vista.
Okay, did that, and it only supports what I mentioned, that the body
text appears to be set to roughly the same size as my own site. The
article TITLE on CNet is quite large, and their navigation breaks down
a bit (a whole other can o' worms), but the content of the article is
the same size as mine (albeit verdana as opposed to arial). Am I
missing something?
"From the box to the code, Redmond is clamping down, ..." is
grey-on-grey. Wait until you are 65 years old and tell me if you can
read it.
For the record, that is #666 on a background that is #EEE fading to
#FFF (white). Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast. Not the highest contrast, to be sure, but not flagged by
contrast analyzers, either.
I'm not trying to be combative here. Rather, I'm trying to determine
why some of the people in this forum design and develop based on the
assumption that viewers are utilizing user style sheets, or to a
lesser degree, regularly resize the text in their browsers.

I would say that hardly any of normal people have user style sheets.
They don't know what they are. To a far more *greater degree*, you are
going to find users with vision difficulties (many people over 50) who
will have discovered how to resize fonts if they can't read a site. Or
Exactly!
if they haven't figured how to do that, they just go back to Google and
find something else to read.
Quite possible. But then this falls under the auspices of intended
audience and the need to retain that audience. My personal site that
appears to be under the magnifying glass is a playground of sorts.
It's not really geared toward mass consumption. Take a different site,
say for example the http://www.compsolutionat.com/ from my portfolio,
and you have a different situation. In fact, that site is presents
products FOR visually impaired persons, and was tested by a number of
such people, getting very favorable reviews.
I just don't see it happen much at all (be it in usability testing or
common usage), nor do I hear of it from fellow designers/developers.

Don't read these groups much?
Newsgroups are not often a valid indication of the "normal" user.
Those who typically post are not what I would refer to as typical
users. Sure, we can relay findings and observations, but then we run
into exactly what's happening here. That is, a wide scale of results,
with a lot of variables at play.
It simply seems odd that a methodology would be so driven by a clear
minority,

What minority? Us web developers? Do you expect the average surfer to
know anything about authoring?
No, which is my point...
when it's that very minority that typically has the
knowledge and gumption to make a settings change if necessary.

Ahh, if only the majority of web authors knew how to do this...
I wasn't referring to the authors, but users. The visually impaired
(whatever the reason, be it age, injury, birth defect, whatever)
generally will know how to adjust their font sizes. The average,
typical user does not, because they do not NEED to. So as authors,
does it not seem more logical to present our work in its optimal
visual manner for the majority, while allowing the minority to do what
they must? or is it better to cater to the minority, to the visual
detriment of the majority?

As I previously alluded to, these groups aren't necessarily mutually
exclusive. Every project and its intended audience may be (and usually
is) different. There are a lot of considerations at play that must be
looked into. This is why I have a hard time understanding why a
developer would lock themselves into ALWAYS leaving text at 100%.

Consider this as well, just to play devil's advocate. If text less
than 100% is so problematic, why do the various operating systems and
their applications all employ default text that is roughly equivalent
to 11px for their chrome elements (e.g., menus)? Isn't this too small
for someone such as yourself? How do you deal with that?
We have too many developers 'round the planet who do stupid stuff like
one of my ISPs does on its Home and News pages. They use a silly
JavaScript font-size-chooser, with the three sizes of "A", and the
underlying CSS changes from 65% to 75% to 92%. At "medium" (75%) the
text is barely above the flyspeck stage.
I won't argue the "stupidity" (or more to the point, needlessness) of
such controls. But I must ask, do the browser text size options
continue work as expected?
I've been telling them for years to simply set it to 100% so everyone
benefits and no JavaScript 'chooser' is necessary. They don't listen.
*shrug*

May 21 '07 #18

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.DELETE.netwrites:
Jon Fairbairn wrote:
The problem with personal experience of this sort of thing
is that it's likely to give very distorted results because
of the small sample size, particluarly when the real value
is fairly small.

Jon,

Given my years of work in this field, and the number and
nature of the sites on which I've worked, I wouldn't count
my sample as small. It's almost certainly in the top echelon
of people here.
Even the very topmost person here (whatever that means) is
likely to have encountered only a small sample of the people
out there looking at websites.

--
Jón Fairbairn Jo***********@cl.cam.ac.uk
May 21 '07 #19

P: n/a
Scripsit Kevin Scholl:
No, quoting the entire message in this case indicates that I
recognized that this was a fairly new thread
It was simply foolish, as is your continued massive quoting. Read a tutorial
on Usenet, or _read_ some constructive discussions, and you'll see that
massive quoting typically indicates stupidity or intentional misbehavior.
>The default setting of 12pt is good exactly _because_ it is somewhat
too large to most people when sans-serif fonts are used. Give some
thought to the variation of people and browsing conditions, and
you'll see this.

Again, I DO see this.
Yet you have decided to use text sizes like 70%. What you do does not match
what you claim to understand.
A dark gray on an extremely light gray fading to white is hardly
illegible. FWIW, I test in grayscale, and have had visually-impaired
people look at my work. None have expressed any trouble. It seems to
me you're grasping here to try to make your point.
What you claim to have heard is immaterial when I can see, and many other
people can see, that you actually have tiny text with insufficient color
contrast.
I guess I'll just say that I'll agree to disagree on this topic in
general.
That's not a surprise.
However, I am a put off by YOUR tone, which is very condescending.
When people have no rational arguments, they start talking about other
people's tones, motives, and things like that.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 21 '07 #20

P: n/a
Scripsit Kevin Scholl:
Let me (again) reiterate that my personal site is an old design (some
three years old), done well before these issues were much in the
limelight (nor does it require JavaScript). It's not what I would
consider a viable example in this case.
If you are giving others advice on using font sizes, shouldn't you design at
least one page where font size issues are dealt with adequately, in your
opinion?

Feel free to babble pointlessly while evading such challenges. You can't
really lose your cause any more than you already have lost.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 21 '07 #21

P: n/a
In article <11*********************@x35g2000prf.googlegroups. com>, Kevin Scholl writes:
>On May 21, 9:33 am, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.nony.m...@example.invalidwrote:
>Kevin Scholl wrote:
Jukka K. Korpela wrote:
>The main page at ksscholl.com (once I enabled JavaScript to actually
find it - that's a bad idea) is unreadable with its current font sizing
and colors. Once I increased it to about 130%, I could then read it. So,
I read the little blurb about 'copying Vista', and click on the "read <"
>assumption that viewers are utilizing user style sheets, or to a
lesser degree, regularly resize the text in their browsers.
The only time that I resize the text in my browser is when I have the
misfortune of encountering a site where the author decided that s/he
know better than I what size I can easily read. As long as you don't
do something like set the body to 10pt or 70%, I'm fine. If you shrink
my text, then I need to resize it -- or not read your content.

--
Michael F. Stemper
#include <Standard_Disclaimer>
Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

May 21 '07 #22

P: n/a
On May 21, 1:20 pm, "Jukka K. Korpela" <jkorp...@cs.tut.fiwrote:
It was simply foolish, as is your continued massive quoting. Read a tutorial
on Usenet, or _read_ some constructive discussions, and you'll see that
massive quoting typically indicates stupidity or intentional misbehavior.
Nowhere am I retaining previous comments unrelated to my responses. I
am snipping appropriately, and don't need a tutorial to tell me that.
Yet you have decided to use text sizes like 70%. What you do does not match
what you claim to understand.
Of course it does. You're being too hard-headed to accept my words at
face value. Does a percentage-based font allow a vision-impaired user
to resize IF THEY NEED TO, while retaining an optimal visual
experience for the vast majority of users under default settings? Yes.
Simple as that.
However, I am a put off by YOUR tone, which is very condescending.

When people have no rational arguments, they start talking about other
people's tones, motives, and things like that.
Pot calling the kettle black. After all, you were the one that opted
to accuse me of impracticality, downplay my experience as foolish, and
generally question my professionalism. All while adding little to the
topic of discussion, nor providing any viable argument against any of
my points.

You know, I don't post all that often in Usenet for precisely this
reason. There's always someone with a holier-than-thou attitude who
thinks they're some kind of forum police, keeping people from posting
legitimate questions or alternatives that could generate useful
discussion. Beauregard T. Shagnasty, Jon, dorayme -- at least they
demonstrate some candor despite the difference of opinions. It's not
that you don't occasionally make some good points of consideration,
Jukka, but rather that they often get lost in the egotistical muck.

May 21 '07 #23

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl wrote:
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
>Then why does it take you to the folllowing when JavaScript is
disabled?
[snip]
>..and there is no link on this page to get you to the rest of the
site that "doesn't require JavaScript". So why do that?

Sure there is. Did you miss the "Continue anyway" at the bottom of
the page?
No, I had found it. 'Tis about 450 words into the essay, and the link
says "clicking here". It is not an obvious link, well below the fold; if
it were mine, I would have something similar to this at or near the top
of the page:

Enter Main Site
>Screen resolution? Not important. Firefox default font size? Factory
stock. As a developer, I would have mentioned if I was using any
user-defined style sheet that would affect your site. I do not do
that, so I can test my own sites as others would see them.

But resolution IS important in this case. Higher resolutions will of
course make text appear smaller on screen. For example, someone
running 1600x1200 would certainly find 10 or 11px text unreadable; no
likely so at 800x600.
...and all of this changes between a 15" monitor and a 20", which is why
it is not important.
>Start Firefox. Look at your kssholl.com main page. Press
Control-Plus twice (which is what I did so I could read it). Click
the link to the CNET page about Vista.

Okay, did that, and it only supports what I mentioned, that the body
text appears to be set to roughly the same size as my own site. The
Roughly. I'll agree with "roughly." <lolThese screenshots were made
as I described. Press Ctrl+ twice with box-stock Firefox.
http://k75s.home.att.net/show/ksscholl01.jpg
http://k75s.home.att.net/show/ksscholl02.jpg
For the record, that is #666 on a background that is #EEE fading to
#FFF (white).
Yes, I read your style sheet.
Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast. Not the highest contrast, to be sure, but not flagged by
contrast analyzers, either.
I use black on an off-white, which works well. Pale grey on off-white
doesn't.

I think I will pass by the rest of your comments, as it's obvious we
have different opinions which will never meet. And, it's time to do some
lawn mowing.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
May 21 '07 #24

P: n/a
Scripsit Kevin Scholl:
Does a percentage-based font allow a vision-impaired user
to resize IF THEY NEED TO, while retaining an optimal visual
experience for the vast majority of users under default settings? Yes.
No, because when you have set the font size to 70%, many people won't be
able to reach a sufficiently large size - unless they do something
complicated like override page settings or even use a user style sheet, and
you claim they can't do such things.

And it's not optimal. It's only what you have personally chosen, declaring
your taste as optimal.
You know, I don't post all that often in Usenet
Promises, promises.

--
Jukka K. Korpela ("Yucca")
http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/

May 21 '07 #25

P: n/a
On 2007-05-21, Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.netwrote:
>
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
[...]
>"From the box to the code, Redmond is clamping down, ..." is
grey-on-grey. Wait until you are 65 years old and tell me if you can
read it.

For the record, that is #666 on a background that is #EEE fading to
#FFF (white). Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast. Not the highest contrast, to be sure, but not flagged by
contrast analyzers, either.
I'm with on you on that one, the grey on white on your page is
comfortable to read.

Black on white is OK. White on black and I start up Lynx. If that fails
and I still want to read the page, I read the source in a text editor.
May 21 '07 #26

P: n/a
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
Kevin Scholl wrote:
>>
But resolution IS important in this case. Higher resolutions will
[snip]

..and all of this changes between a 15" monitor and a 20", which is why
it is not important.
Not to mention other factors like the workspace lighting, the user's
eyesight, quality of the graphics card, etc. which are different for
each user, and beyond anyone's control.
>Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast.

I use black on an off-white, which works well.
Agreed. Black (or near black) text on a very pale background is much
easier on the eye than any color on a white background. Too much white
can be quite glaring.
Pale grey on off-white doesn't.
My monitor has 3 preset brightness settings (for text vs game playing)
and none of them made the #fff/#666 combination more readable for me.
Forget #eee/#666.

Maybe I just need to sit in the dark, too. :(

--
Berg
May 21 '07 #27

P: n/a
Kevin Scholl wrote:
Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
>..and there is no link on this page to get you to the rest of the site
that "doesn't require JavaScript".

Sure there is. Did you miss the "Continue anyway" at the bottom of the
page?
You really expect people to read that whole page? I didn't bother
reading past the first paragraph. It told me everything I really needed
to know. I was not amused, enlightened, or impressed - quite the opposite.
But the site does not require Javascript, nor states that it
does. Recommended, yes (like so many sites nowadays), but not
required.
If JS truly isn't required, then sending people to that "error" page off
the bat is just plain rude. If you have parts where JS is necessary,
then note it on the related page, not in a splash page to your site.
For the record, that is #666 on a background that is #EEE fading to
#FFF (white). Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast.
Low contrast is a readability problem for a lot of people. Small type is
a readability problem for a lot of people. The 2 combined is the worst
of both worlds. :(

--
Berg
May 21 '07 #28

P: n/a
In article <wf************@calligramme.charmers>,
Jon Fairbairn <jo***********@cl.cam.ac.ukwrote:
Bergamot <be******@visi.comwrites:
BTW, I've never gotten a single complaint from a client or client user
about font-size:100% being too big, so your lack of complaints doesn't
mean there aren't any, just they don't tell you about it.

Unfortuntaly I've had such a complaint from a client (and
for this particular client I'm too far down the hierarchy to
have much say in the matter). It seems to me that the root
cause of this is that the font default sizes on Windows (IE
at any rate)
Well, this depends on how you view the strength of the
alternative explanation I gave. I too have had complaints about
100% being too big from clients but where it is perfectly clear
that they are not using IE (but Mac and other browsers). I would
think this business of X height that you mention is marginal to
the real explanation, namely that quite a few people have become
used to seeing sites with less than 100% for body text, their
browsers are set for this to be comfortable (this includes
_these- people being comfortable with the default). It comes as
out of the ordinary to their eye. The truth is that 100% does
often involve more scrolling on sites where someone is saying
something that might actually be worth reading!

But with sufficient patience and persuasion with clients, and
layout to accomodate information, the war can be advanced towards
100%

--
dorayme
May 21 '07 #29

P: n/a
In article
<11*********************@n15g2000prd.googlegroups. com>,
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.netwrote:
I wasn't referring to the authors, but users. The visually impaired
(whatever the reason, be it age, injury, birth defect, whatever)
generally will know how to adjust their font sizes. The average,
typical user does not, because they do not NEED to.
Fine, but you need to be fully aware that complaints will not
surface if the irritations are not very serious. Better to be
safe than sorry and use 100% if for body text if you can to avoid
that below the level where 'most will start complaining loudly.
Less people will be disadvantaged this way.
Consider this as well, just to play devil's advocate. If text less
than 100% is so problematic, why do the various operating systems and
their applications all employ default text that is roughly equivalent
to 11px for their chrome elements (e.g., menus)? Isn't this too small
for someone such as yourself? How do you deal with that?
Actually, yes! Quite often I have complained about the chrome,
especially on my 20" LCD when I am viewing older OS (via Classic
on my Mac). The point here is that there is little that can be
done about this without serious downsides. But God, in his
wisdom, has given us browsers where the websites themselves can
be made to be easy to use if the authors make sensible decisions.

--
dorayme
May 21 '07 #30

P: n/a
In article
<XN******************@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
And, it's time to do some
lawn mowing.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
So... what about ride-on mowers? They surely don't suck?

--
dorayme
May 21 '07 #31

P: n/a
dorayme wrote:
In article
<XN******************@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
>And, it's time to do some
lawn mowing.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck

So... what about ride-on mowers? They surely don't suck?
Actually, they do, for a partial rotation. Then they blow ... the grass
out the side (or into the bag). :)
--

*** Remove the DELETE from my address to reply ***

================================================== ====
Kevin Scholl http://www.ksscholl.com/
ks*****@comcast.DELETE.net
------------------------------------------------------
Information Architecture, Web Design and Development
------------------------------------------------------
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of
the dreams...
================================================== ====
May 21 '07 #32

P: n/a
In article <Kc******************************@comcast.com>,
Kevin Scholl <ks*****@comcast.DELETE.netwrote:
dorayme wrote:
In article
<XN******************@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
And, it's time to do some
lawn mowing.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
So... what about ride-on mowers? They surely don't suck?

Actually, they do, for a partial rotation. Then they blow ... the grass
out the side (or into the bag). :)
Indeed. But seriously, to get back to the more relevant topic,
the beauty of a motorbike as distinct from a car is that it is
often not that much more than is needed to get a person about
with dash and verve. A ride-on mower can also share in this
aesthetic but is in great danger of being developed by wrong
headed commercial interests to include facilities (seats for the
kids, enclosure, air-conditioning, ...) that tend to suckiness.

--
dorayme
May 21 '07 #33

P: n/a
dorayme wrote:
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
>And, it's time to do some lawn mowing.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck

So... what about ride-on mowers? They surely don't suck?
I sometimes wish I had one. We have two houses with lawns to mow - one
a bit over an acre, the other about a third-acre, and all we have is
this 21-inch self-propelled hand mower...

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
May 22 '07 #34

P: n/a
In article
<OV*******************@bgtnsc05-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>,
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
dorayme wrote:
"Beauregard T. Shagnasty" <a.*********@example.invalidwrote:
And, it's time to do some lawn mowing.

--
-bts
-Motorcycles defy gravity; cars just suck
So... what about ride-on mowers? They surely don't suck?

I sometimes wish I had one. We have two houses with lawns to mow - one
a bit over an acre, the other about a third-acre, and all we have is
this 21-inch self-propelled hand mower...
Sounds like you need what they use in the park behind me, a
tractor pulling a cylinder mower, many feet wide along.

--
dorayme
May 22 '07 #35

P: n/a
dorayme <do************@optusnet.com.auwrites:
In article <wf************@calligramme.charmers>,
Jon Fairbairn <jo***********@cl.cam.ac.ukwrote:
Unfortuntaly I've had such a complaint from a client (and
for this particular client I'm too far down the hierarchy to
have much say in the matter). It seems to me that the root
cause of this is that the font default sizes on Windows (IE
at any rate)

Well, this depends on how you view the strength of the
alternative explanation I gave. I too have had complaints about
100% being too big from clients but where it is perfectly clear
that they are not using IE (but Mac and other browsers). I would
think this business of X height that you mention is marginal to
the real explanation, namely that quite a few people have become
used to seeing sites with less than 100% for body text,
Sure, but I was arguing that one of the reasons that sites
started having <100% body text was this x-height issue
(namely the designer selects a sans font, sees it looks
bigger than intended and shrinks it without thinking of the
reasons why). Once more than a few sites have been designed
like that, users have to respond, and lo and behold 80% is
the new 100% :-(

--
Jón Fairbairn Jo***********@cl.cam.ac.uk
May 22 '07 #36

P: n/a
In article <wf************@calligramme.charmers>,
Jon Fairbairn <jo***********@cl.cam.ac.ukwrote:
dorayme <do************@optusnet.com.auwrites:
In article <wf************@calligramme.charmers>,
Jon Fairbairn <jo***********@cl.cam.ac.ukwrote:
Unfortuntaly I've had such a complaint from a client (and
for this particular client I'm too far down the hierarchy to
have much say in the matter). It seems to me that the root
cause of this is that the font default sizes on Windows (IE
at any rate)
Well, this depends on how you view the strength of the
alternative explanation I gave. I too have had complaints about
100% being too big from clients but where it is perfectly clear
that they are not using IE (but Mac and other browsers). I would
think this business of X height that you mention is marginal to
the real explanation, namely that quite a few people have become
used to seeing sites with less than 100% for body text,

Sure, but I was arguing that one of the reasons that sites
started having <100% body text was this x-height issue
(namely the designer selects a sans font, sees it looks
bigger than intended and shrinks it without thinking of the
reasons why). Once more than a few sites have been designed
like that, users have to respond, and lo and behold 80% is
the new 100% :-(
Ah well, perhaps you are on to something on the history of the
'arms race' here. Methinks there are less subtle forces at work.
Young earthlings with superb eyesight, a huge amount of rubbish
that is thought needed to be seen on home pages especially and so
on. Call me cynical.

--
dorayme
May 22 '07 #37

P: n/a
dorayme wrote:
Ah well, perhaps you are on to something on the history of the
'arms race' here. Methinks there are less subtle forces at work.
Young earthlings with superb eyesight, a huge amount of rubbish
that is thought needed to be seen on home pages especially and so
on. Call me cynical.
BODY { font-size: 1px; }

There! Make'em break out their magnifying glasses, even with their
20-something eyes!

This whole argument is just as asinine, the base font size should be
100% of the users default. and if properly designed will work regardless
of the user settings. You can help yourself as a designer be avoiding
using fonts that are "artificially oversize" or mixing optional fonts of
divergent characteristics. I don't have Verdanda on my Linux box. Until
some truly working system for font embedding|delivery happens you must
design with flexibility that you do not precisely what fonts will be
available for your web design.

--
Take care,

Jonathan
-------------------
LITTLE WORKS STUDIO
http://www.LittleWorksStudio.com
May 23 '07 #38

P: n/a
In article <dd**************************@NAXS.COM>,
"Jonathan N. Little" <lw*****@centralva.netwrote:
dorayme wrote:
Ah well, perhaps you are on to something on the history of the
'arms race' here. Methinks there are less subtle forces at work.
Young earthlings with superb eyesight, a huge amount of rubbish
that is thought needed to be seen on home pages especially and so
on. Call me cynical.

BODY { font-size: 1px; }

There! Make'em break out their magnifying glasses, even with their
20-something eyes!

This whole argument is just as asinine,

What whole argument are you talking about? Fairbairn and I were
just discussing a particular historical development and
speculating on the causes. We were moderate, careful, articulate,
low-profile, humble, meaning no harm to anyone and you come in
waving 1px font sizes, magnifying glasses and making like Christ
in the temple with the money lenders?

--
dorayme
May 23 '07 #39

P: n/a
On 2007-05-22, dorayme <do************@optusnet.com.auwrote:
In article <wf************@calligramme.charmers>,
Jon Fairbairn <jo***********@cl.cam.ac.ukwrote:
[...]
>Sure, but I was arguing that one of the reasons that sites
started having <100% body text was this x-height issue
(namely the designer selects a sans font, sees it looks
bigger than intended and shrinks it without thinking of the
reasons why). Once more than a few sites have been designed
like that, users have to respond, and lo and behold 80% is
the new 100% :-(

Ah well, perhaps you are on to something on the history of the
'arms race' here. Methinks there are less subtle forces at work.
Young earthlings with superb eyesight, a huge amount of rubbish
that is thought needed to be seen on home pages especially and so
on. Call me cynical.
A tiny font gives a superficial impression of importance and "high
tech", which is why it's used on corporate websites, which are often
content-free anyway. Big fonts look too much like children's books. Also
if you make the actual words easy to see it's too obvious they're just
BS.
May 23 '07 #40

P: n/a
Ben C wrote:
>
if you make the actual words easy to see it's too obvious they're just
BS.
LOL

--
Berg
May 23 '07 #41

P: n/a
In article <sl*********************@bowser.marioworld>,
Ben C <sp******@spam.eggswrote:
Big fonts look too much like children's books. Also
if you make the actual words easy to see it's too obvious they're just
BS.
!

--
dorayme
May 24 '07 #42

P: n/a
On 2007/05/21 11:36 (GMT-0700) Kevin Scholl apparently typed:
Does a percentage-based font allow a vision-impaired user
to resize IF THEY NEED TO,
When you as web designer choose to make an arbitrary reduction from their
choice, whether that choice is affirmative or passive, it's an eminently
reasonable presumption that they will need to. This is the reason why modern
browsers feature a zoom function, in order to defend against web authors who
affirmatively choose not to respect site visitors.
while retaining an optimal visual
experience for the vast majority of users under default settings? Yes.
Simple as that.
Not simple. You:
1-are not using my eyes
2-are not sitting in my chair
3-are not seeing my display

Therefore you have no concept of optimal visual experience from any
perspective nor for any environment except your own.

You OTOH probably:
1-have above average eyesight (few people with poor eyes in web design business)
2-have larger than average display (working at it most of day, well deserved)
3-don't need to actually use (read) your page (intimate familiarity)

This distorts your perspective as compared to average web users.

http://css.nu/articles/font-analogy.html
http://www.informationarchitects.jp/100e2r?v=4
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html
--
"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining
ever brighter till the full light of day." Proverbs 4:18 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
May 24 '07 #43

P: n/a
On 2007/05/21 18:08 (GMT+0100) Jon Fairbairn apparently typed:
Kevin Scholl wrote:
>Given my years of work in this field, and the number and
nature of the sites on which I've worked, I wouldn't count
my sample as small. It's almost certainly in the top echelon
of people here.
Even the very topmost person here (whatever that means) is
likely to have encountered only a small sample of the people
out there looking at websites.
The only thing that matters is that that quantity is nonzero. It's about
respect and doing the right thing, something few web designers choose to
practice.
--
"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining
ever brighter till the full light of day." Proverbs 4:18 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
May 24 '07 #44

P: n/a
On 2007/05/21 09:48 (GMT-0700) Kevin Scholl apparently typed:
For the record, that is #666 on a background that is #EEE fading to
#FFF (white). Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast. Not the highest contrast, to be sure, but not flagged by
contrast analyzers, either.
#666 on #EEE is flagged as insufficient color difference by the one I use:
http://juicystudio.com/services/colourcontrast.php

One notch off the extremes is quite sufficient softening. I can get by with
#333 on #FFF if the text is fully my default size, but #222 and #111 are
very much better. Your contrast lowering is excessive, and coupled with your
tiny text, makes reading your content painful in the absence of disabling
your styles.
--
"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining
ever brighter till the full light of day." Proverbs 4:18 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
May 24 '07 #45

P: n/a
On 2007/05/23 02:18 (GMT-0500) Ben C apparently typed:
A tiny font gives a superficial impression of importance and "high
tech", which is why it's used on corporate websites, which are often
content-free anyway. Big fonts look too much like children's books. Also
if you make the actual words easy to see it's too obvious they're just
BS.
Until you're sitting in the chair of your visitor, you know neither how big
is big nor how small is small.

What is known is that if you think the 12pt default is too big, your
perspective does not match that of average web users:
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/u...ws/2S/font.htm
--
"The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining
ever brighter till the full light of day." Proverbs 4:18 NIV

Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata *** http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/
May 24 '07 #46

P: n/a
Felix Miata <Ug********************@dev.nulwrites:
On 2007/05/21 18:08 (GMT+0100) Jon Fairbairn apparently typed:
Kevin Scholl wrote:
Given my years of work in this field, and the number and
nature of the sites on which I've worked, I wouldn't count
my sample as small. It's almost certainly in the top echelon
of people here.
Even the very topmost person here (whatever that means) is
likely to have encountered only a small sample of the people
out there looking at websites.

The only thing that matters is that that quantity
[of people who are adversely affected by smaller fonts]
is nonzero.
As far as whether to do the right thing is concerned, I
quite agree. But my point was that his claim to have sampled
a large proportion of people strikes me as unlikely, so his
impression of the number of people who would be affected as
small (effectively zero is what his argument implied) is
invalid.
It's about respect and doing the right thing, something
few web designers choose to practice.
Alas so.

--
Jón Fairbairn Jo***********@cl.cam.ac.uk

May 24 '07 #47

P: n/a
Felix Miata wrote:
>
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/u...ws/2S/font.htm
That study was done back in 2000. It would be interesting to see what
has changed since then, considering the improvements in display devices
over the past few years.

--
Berg
May 24 '07 #48

P: n/a
In article <c1***************@p-t18.ij.net>,
Felix Miata <Ug********************@dev.nulwrote:
On 2007/05/21 09:48 (GMT-0700) Kevin Scholl apparently typed:
For the record, that is #666 on a background that is #EEE fading to
#FFF (white). Studies for years have shown that high contrast such a
black on white cause the eyes to tire quickly, so I softened the
contrast. Not the highest contrast, to be sure, but not flagged by
contrast analyzers, either.

#666 on #EEE is flagged as insufficient color difference by the one I use:
http://juicystudio.com/services/colourcontrast.php

One notch off the extremes is quite sufficient softening. I can get by with
#333 on #FFF if the text is fully my default size, but #222 and #111 are
very much better.
My thought too, I was much happier with #333 when I looked at
Kevin's site the other day. But as for $111 or #222 being much
better, that is an interesting idea... except that at least with
#111 it is not very much better than #000. Curiously enough
though, there seems to be an argument here for #222. Thanks
Felix.

--
dorayme
May 24 '07 #49

P: n/a
Bergamot <be******@visi.comwrites:
Felix Miata wrote:
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/u...ws/2S/font.htm

That study was done back in 2000. It would be interesting to see what
has changed since then, considering the improvements in display devices
over the past few years.
Well, they give enough information to be able to repeat the experiment.

--
Chris
May 25 '07 #50

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