[thelist] a pixel is a pixel.....right?

Shirley Kaiser, SKDesigns skaiser1 at skdesigns.com
Wed Aug 22 18:48:05 CDT 2001


Seeing the stats on Wilson's reader feedback for these fonts and the sizes 
is absolutely fascinating to me. I'm so glad you sent this in. Thank you! 
I'll definitely refer to it often. Good one to also show clients about 
their site visitors, too.

Interestingly, too, and VERY generally speaking:
Many I've spoken to about serif vs. sans serif who've been in the print 
world for any length of time prefer and recommend serif fonts for reading 
body copy, and understandably, as research also bears out that it's easier 
to read for PRINT. Wilson also figured people reading his newsletter would 
prefer serif. His survey points just the opposite, though, with people 
preferring sans serif for reading the html email.

My own opinion is that we can't assume that what works well in print for 
fonts works the same for on-screen reading. (Then again, "assumptions" can 
be dangerous anyway.) I've gobbled up whatever credible research or 
surveys, formal or informal, as possible to learn what really and truly 
seems to be best for reading on the web. If you're interested in seeing 
more, I've collected some of what I've found here (Cross-Browser, 
Cross-Platform Font Issues): http://www.websitetips.com/css/index.shtml

Wilson's conclusions:
My Conclusions
My readers clearly prefer sans serif fonts to serif fonts for body text. 
Therefore, in my HTML e-mail newsletters -- and on my websites -- I am 
moving toward 12 pt. Arial for body text, and Verdana for 10 pt. and 9 p. 
fonts. I haven't done adequate studies comparing Georgia against Verdana 
for readability, but since Georgia isn't as widely installed as Verdana, I 
plan to stick with Verdana. For headlines I'll continue to use larger bold 
Verdana fonts.

Interesting to me also is the results with various font sizes and 
readability since one font is preferred for larger while another one is 
preferred at a smaller size.

Geez, Wilson always has such great stuff, and he loves doing these surveys 
on a wide range of things. They can indeed be helpful, even if they aren't 
necessarily "scientific." I'd missed this one on fonts.

Thanks again.

Shirley E. Kaiser, M.A.
SKDesigns  mailto:skaiser1 at skdesigns.com
Website Development  http://www.skdesigns.com/
Pianist, Composer  http://www.shirleykaiser.com/
Moderator, I-Design http://www.adventive.com/lists/idesign/summary.html

At 04:10 PM 08/22/2001, matthew garrett wrote:
>I got this link from someone else on thelist:
>It has results of a usability study based on size *and* font. The font makes
>a *huge* difference when comparing sizes.
> > From: "McAtee, Malcolm" <MMcAtee at philamuseum.org>
> > I am a little new to using CSS so please excuse the question.
> > I have specified my font-size as 9px.
> > Can anyone explain to me the reason for a size difference in NN4 (very
> > small) as opposed to IE5 and NN6.
> > (All on PC by the way....)

More information about the thelist mailing list