[thelist] Default font size IEWin

Rob Schumann roblgs at cscoms.com
Tue Oct 1 05:16:01 CDT 2002

Hi Karen,

Thanks for the response and the different angle... I agree, but also disagree to some small extent...

On 01-10-2002 miinx wrote:
 > I must disagree - if users find the default text too big (and,
 > if what you say is correct, then they invariably will) they
 > will resize them down, so you further setting text to 70% then
 > makes things virtually unreadable.
For years the mantra was to design with fixed (px) sizes, so whatever the browser settings were would have been, to some extent, moot.

There remains a large legacy of websites designed at these fixed sizes...

We now start designing at 1em or 100% and where vistors go to these new sites with factory defaults they come off (first impressions) as being poorly designed.

I'm actually really in a quandary about the whole thing... technically and in higher compliance with standards I favour more the 1em/100% solution, but from a practical standpoint the less than 1em/100% solution has its advantages from the point of view of compatibility with (awful) browser defaults which are, I think, still prevalent... however that is based upon an assumption and such things can be dangerous.
 > I read the setting of default text at 100% or 1em to mean
 > "100% of the user's preferred font size" - NOT "100% of the
 > browser maker's default"
The question is just what proportion of users change their browser settings from the defaults. My experience so far is that few ever do. If that is representative of widespread practice then surely we should be designing with the defaults in mind.

It is clear though that whichever route is taken there isn't one that will suit 100% of the cases... Or should we lobby for sensible browser defaults... ;O)

I'm so far undecided, so if anyone can offer further thoughts (off-list if preferred) I'd welcome the contributions.



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