Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-10 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/07 10:31 (GMT+0100) Rick Lecoat apparently typed:

 On a side note, I can't help but notice that almost every site that has
 been cited as a reference for reasons why default text size should not
 be tampered with has a very minimal level of 'design styling'. For example:
 http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/2S/font.htm
 http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20020819.html
 http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html
 http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/essence.html

Not everyone expects the same thing from the WWW, just as not every page is
designed by a designer, just as not every page author places the same
relative importance on appearance compared to content. Sometimes simplicity
is the design, or part of the design.

Those pages share one common purpose - conveying information - by people who
believe the message is more important than the style. In every case,
legibility will not be a problem for their visitors whose UA is reasonably
configured. They would all convey the same message if styled as this:
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaultsb

 Now, I'm not going to dispute that these are very accessible sites from
 a type-size perspective. And, yes, they present their information
 without unnecessary distraction. But I can also guarantee that if I took
 a 'design' like that of any of those sites to a client, said client
 would be out the door and off to my competitors faster than I could say
 Accessibility.

Their goals are message conveyance, not facilitating exit or entertaining
visually. Navigation there is incidental or unnecessary. Distractions are
definitely undesired. Since none are designs as the term is ordinarily used
by designers, they aren't intended as and shouldn't be used as examples of
design, unless the context is one of usability or accessibility discussion,
or the client is a Joe Friday (just the facts, no nonsense) type.

 Maybe it's just coincidence. But none of those sites telling me that I
 can create perfectly nice-looking, commercially viable designs using
 default text sizes have actually put their design-money where their
 mouth is.

That's inaccurate, though sites that profess and/or urge accessibility and/or
usability commonly don't put their money where there mouth is either
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/access-lipservice .

Simple examples:
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/dlviolin
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/dancesrq.html
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Sites/ksc/

 *That does not make the points they raise wrong*, but it means
 that it feels a bit like having my dress sense criticised by someone
 wearing a dirty t-shirt and torn sweat pants.

I wouldn't equate clean and uncluttered pages to tattered and dirty clothes.
Maybe more like criticizm for wearing inappropriate attire, like thongs or
pasties, in places ordinary adults and children frequent, like shopping
malls, or an evening gown to the beach, or work uniforms to a funeral. Design
should fit purpose. Simple purpose, simple design.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-10 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 10/9/07 (14:27) Felix said:

http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/access-lipservice .

To be fair, Felix, I never said that the sites advocating default text
sizes *should* be highly designed; I merely noted the irony that they
were not, given that they were telling designers how to size type.

The link above reminded me to raise one of your points again, because it
struck me as counter-intuitive. No doubt I misinterpreted your
reasoning, so perhaps you could help me out with a bit of clarification.
The bit in question is this:

Do you suppose most web authors are using little old computer displays
to do their work 40 hours per week. Not likely, is it? No, as a group,
they have fine equipment, typically using displays much larger than
average, 21 or larger in many cases. So, their concept of how big is
big enough is further skewed smaller than average.

You appear to be saying that the larger screens used by designers tempt
them to err on the smaller side when sizing type. But larger screens
generally mean higher resolutions, with a given type size (say 14px)
therefore appearing smaller on a bigger screen than it would on a
smaller one. Eg. 12px type looks much bigger (physicallly) at 800x600
than it does at 1600x1200.

Indeed, it's an argument that you have used yourself in favour of
increasing type size; as screens evolve their native resolution
increases and so the same (nominal) type specification looks
progressively smaller with each generation of screen.

All perfectly logical.

*Except* that it seems to me that when something looks smaller, the
natural tendency -- even for freaky, bizarre, bad-in-the-head designers
-- is to make things larger to compensate.

Surely, the logical follow-through of stating that designers use larger,
higher-resolution screens than the average, should be that they are
therefore more inclined to make their type larger? Yet you appear to
argue the opposite.

Can you clarify this point, because it's been bugging me.
Cheers.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-10 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/10 17:03 (GMT+0100) Rick Lecoat apparently typed:

 On 10/9/07 (14:27) Felix said:

http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/access-lipservice .

 To be fair, Felix, I never said that the sites advocating default text
 sizes *should* be highly designed; I merely noted the irony that they
 were not, given that they were telling designers how to size type.

.

 The link above reminded me to raise one of your points again, because it
 struck me as counter-intuitive. No doubt I misinterpreted your
 reasoning, so perhaps you could help me out with a bit of clarification.
 The bit in question is this:

Do you suppose most web authors are using little old computer displays
to do their work 40 hours per week. Not likely, is it? No, as a group,
they have fine equipment, typically using displays much larger than
average, 21 or larger in many cases. So, their concept of how big is
big enough is further skewed smaller than average.

 You appear to be saying that the larger screens used by designers tempt
 them to err on the smaller side when sizing type. But larger screens
 generally mean higher resolutions, with a given type size (say 14px)
 therefore appearing smaller on a bigger screen than it would on a
 smaller one. Eg. 12px type looks much bigger (physicallly) at 800x600
 than it does at 1600x1200.

Larger LCD screens do indeed tend to be accompanied by higher actual DPI, and
thus smaller objects at any given px size.

However, it is not a given that the more astute designers are using LCD
displays. They do save desktop space. They do save energy. And they do
currently dominate store shelf space. However, they don't play nice for those
who wish to use them at their non-native resolution. Their native resolution
usually is the highest resolution they offer. Higher is impossible. Picture
quality is greatly reduced when run lower.

In order to test a design properly one must test under a wide range of
conditions. One of these conditions is widely considered to be screen
resolution. A designer from such a class has to choose between using multiple
displays of varying resolution (LCD), and using a single display equally
capable of varying resolutions (CRT). I have to speculate that a lot of
designers who aren't new to the business, maybe most, are still using CRTs,
and avoiding a switch to LCD for this reason.

 Indeed, it's an argument that you have used yourself in favour of
 increasing type size; as screens evolve their native resolution
 increases and so the same (nominal) type specification looks
 progressively smaller with each generation of screen.

 All perfectly logical.

 *Except* that it seems to me that when something looks smaller, the
 natural tendency -- even for freaky, bizarre, bad-in-the-head designers
 -- is to make things larger to compensate.

I think most resist

 Surely, the logical follow-through of stating that designers use larger,
 higher-resolution screens than the average, should be that they are
 therefore more inclined to make their type larger? Yet you appear to
 argue the opposite.

I believe most designers at some level feel it necessary or at least
desirable to at least think they see from the same perspective as average
users. A part of doing that is using the resolution visitors most often use,
in recent years, 1024x768, or as close as possible without making the whole
OS UI seem gigantic to themselves. I hypothecate going beyond 1280x960/1024
is something most shy away from, and that fewer choose to go beyond
1600x1200, at least not if they don't have at least a nominal 21 (19
actual) CRT. The net result is a belief that the average designer who still
uses a CRT is not running a real DPI materially higher, but instead is more
likely to be running roughly the same or less, in effect, using his bigger
display to make things easier on the eyes by being bigger.

OTOH, those who are indeed running a higher real DPI, whether LCD or CRT, are
probably quite comfortable with their choices, as with with things small
generally, like other detail-oriented people.

 Can you clarify this point, because it's been bugging me.
 Cheers.

Remember, most of the forgoing is conjecture and empirical observations. I've
seen no scientifically acquired data to either support or contradict most of
it. If you take a study of http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/dpi and
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/fonts-pt2px-tabled you might reach similar
conclusions.

You may also notice that desktop displays in stock in stores offer native
resolutions that tend not to deviate very widely from the 90-96 range that
doz defaults to assuming, while laptops sport considerably less, roughly
equivalent to the difference between 120 DPI that they tend to have been set
to by their manufacturers, and 96.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in

Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Tony Crockford


On 7 Sep 2007, at 00:39, Felix Miata wrote:


On 2007/09/06 20:42 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:


so, what happens if a user has their default font set larger than the
browser default in this case?


Can't happen. Browser default == user default. :-p


You *know* I meant manufacturer browser default...

so what happens if a user has altered the browser default to a larger  
size.


does body: 100% mean that all other measurements are then derived  
from the users, larger font setting?


if so am I safe setting body: 100% and then setting text elements  
using ems?


if i check in a range of sizes (IE smallest - IE largest) on a range  
of screens and the design doesn't break - is that okay?


I'm sure it is.





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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 7/9/07 (07:50) Tony said:

I've been using CSS for seven years or more and I'm trying to adopt  
best practice in a pragmatic way, which means I can't deliver my  
clients sites with excessively large fonts - they are trying to  
design interfaces that look attractive and create income for their  
business.  I'm trying to ensure the sites they get are as accessible  
as possible, we have to meet somewhere in the middle.

On a side note, I can't help but notice that almost every site that has
been cited as a reference for reasons why default text size should not
be tampered with has a very minimal level of 'design styling'. For example:
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/2S/font.htm
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20020819.html
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html
http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/essence.html

Now, I'm not going to dispute that these are very accessible sites from
a type-size perspective. And, yes, they present their information
without unnecessary distraction. But I can also guarantee that if I took
a 'design' like that of any of those sites to a client, said client
would be out the door and off to my competitors faster than I could say
Accessibility.

Maybe it's just coincidence. But none of those sites telling me that I
can create perfectly nice-looking, commercially viable designs using
default text sizes have actually put their design-money where their
mouth is. *That does not make the points they raise wrong*, but it means
that it feels a bit like having my dress sense criticised by someone
wearing a dirty t-shirt and torn sweat pants.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Rahul Gonsalves

On 07-Sep-07, at 3:01 PM, Rick Lecoat wrote:


On 7/9/07 (07:50) Tony said:


I've been using CSS for seven years or more and I'm trying to adopt
best practice in a pragmatic way, which means I can't deliver my
clients sites with excessively large fonts - they are trying to
design interfaces that look attractive and create income for their
business.  I'm trying to ensure the sites they get are as accessible
as possible, we have to meet somewhere in the middle.


I have been reluctant to add anything to this discussion, because I  
suspect I do not understand a lot of what is happening in terms of  
the usability studies; I also must admit that the DPI comparisons  
have confused me.


The first point I'd like to bring up, is that, as a 'web-designer',  
one is often asked to create a website, not necessarily for the / 
users/ of the afore-mentioned site, but for the /client/. There are a  
number of ramifications that arise out of this situation, one of the  
first I suppose is that there is a divergence between what would be  
best for the users, and what one has been asked to do. I'm sure many  
of us have been in this situation - I may know that there is a large  
body of information that suggests that one /should/ design using  
default text-sizes as a base - but no amount of convincing is going  
to work with the client. Where there are significant amounts of money  
involved, I don't know whether I have the luxury - definitely not at  
present - to say 'I'm sorry, I can't work with you'.


But none of those sites telling me that I can create perfectly nice- 
looking, commercially viable designs using
default text sizes have actually put their design-money where their  
mouth is.


Try the Chelsea Creek Studio:
http://chelseacreekstudio.com/

I particularly like this one:
http://chelseacreekstudio.com/ca/site/gustave/index.html

It is possible, and I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to work  
with larger text-sizes and yet arrive at an aesthetic solution.


In summary, to my somewhat incoherent soliloquy:
 - One cannot always design to accepted best practices (in this  
case, default text sizes), where ones autonomy is restricted
 - Designing using these best practices does not need to result in a  
'minimal level of design styling', or an un-aesthetic solution


Do forgive me if I have missed the point completely, I frequently do.
Best,
 - Rahul.


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 7/9/07 (11:50) Rahul said:

Try the Chelsea Creek Studio:
http://chelseacreekstudio.com/

I particularly like this one:
http://chelseacreekstudio.com/ca/site/gustave/index.html

Yes, both fine designs. (I was simply pulling my example sites from the
list of those that had been proffered up-thread as information sources
about default sizes being best).

It is possible, and I don't see why it shouldn't be possible to work  
with larger text-sizes and yet arrive at an aesthetic solution.

I agree that it should be (and clearly is) possible to create reasonably
aesthetically pleasing [1] designs using default text sizes. I found it
ironic, however, that the sites telling me to use default sizes failed
so spectacularly to provide an aesthetically pleasing solution [2] themselves.

Do forgive me if I have missed the point completely
No, you hit it bang on I think.
Thanks for your views!

-- 
Rick Lecoat

[1] A very subjective judgement call, of course.
[2] Again, that's subjective.



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Tony Crockford


On 7 Sep 2007, at 00:03, Felix Miata wrote:


Don't what? Don't understand your instruction? Don't believe your  
instruction? Don't let you try to instruct them? Don't look at the  
good example sites you offer them? ? ? ?


yes to all of those.

most real world clients I am aware of are being driven by different  
desires than accessibility.


I have been an accessibility evangalist for many years, but the real  
world is a wrld compromise and conformity.  they believe what they  
want to believe, the see what they see and what feels right to them  
is what they want.


 Do they understand that it's good business to treat customers  
right, which on the WWW means big, easy-to-read text?

http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/top-10/


I have trouble reading that site.

first off, with a window set to 1024x768 on my 30 dell on OS X this  
line:


6. The fastest growing market segment is Americans age 50+. In fact,  
every seven


is over seven inches long, which makes it hard to scan - each word  
becomes discrete letters if you understand me...


if I remove my reading glasses, the text is so large and contrasty  
that I get double vision blurring.  my glasses correct my astigmatism.


so in my case I want text that's readable with my glasses on, not  
text sized so large I can't scan it.


I wonder how many of these studies took into account that most web  
users with poor vision, use some means of corrective device?




body {font-size: medium !important;}

That simplicity cannot work on sites where fonts are set on  
particular elements, or via class ids or names. Anything much  
beyond that one rule is beyond the capability of any besides web  
design professionals accustomed to

routine use of CSS.


I've been using CSS for seven years or more and I'm trying to adopt  
best practice in a pragmatic way, which means I can't deliver my  
clients sites with excessively large fonts - they are trying to  
design interfaces that look attractive and create income for their  
business.  I'm trying to ensure the sites they get are as accessible  
as possible, we have to meet somewhere in the middle.


and talking of UI, why are we fighting for 16px fonts in browsers  
when most UI text is much smaller?




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Stuart Foulstone

On Fri, September 7, 2007 11:50 am, Rahul Gonsalves wrote:

 Try the Chelsea Creek Studio:
 http://chelseacreekstudio.com/


The text size may be OK but the lack of contast in the page header
definitely fails accessibilty standards.

Stuart


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-07 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 7/9/07 (07:50) Tony said:

and talking of UI, why are we fighting for 16px fonts in browsers  
when most UI text is much smaller?

I believe that the reasoning here draws a distinction between UI
elements and 'content'. UI elements become familiar through their
unchanging nature (every time I pull down the Image menu in photoshop it
looks the same as last time, unless I've upgrade photoshop inbetween).

Content, by contrast, is by nature unfamiliar.

The more familiar the text in question, the less help the reader requires.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Jens Brueckmann
Hi Rick,

 To restate my earlier point (hopefully with greater clarity):
 No matter what you do, people will look at a page and (probably) either
 say the type is too big or the type is too small. In either case
 they can adjust it accordingly, except that those who want to make it
 smaller (eg. those without accessibility issues) are *perhaps* less
 likely to know how to. And *perhaps* that's one argument for designing
 with smaller type as a baseline.

I would like to point out that text in a web page is usually not there
merely for a design purpose but for communicating some information.

That said, it surely is more aggravating for a reader to first have to
make a text readable before being able to access some information.
This means, a bigger initial text size makes reading or scanning a
page for information easier and is more polite towards the reader.

Someone who prefers small text size will be able to read bigger text
whereas someone who prefers bigger text will not be able to read small
text.

Cheers,

jens

-- 
Jens Brueckmann
http://www.yalf.de


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Gunlaug Sørtun

Jixor - Stephen I wrote:
Sorry, the point I'm making is why use 100 and 102, is there any 
visible difference?


Normally not, and 100% is the intended size. The reason for the
slightly more than 100% for h5 is that whatever the size 102% is
calculated from the h5 should end up _as large as or 1px larger_ than
the paragraphs (or whatever) its heading.

I would have thought the user would need to have a massive default 
font size to see any. However I have noticed myself that the way the 
browsers tend to size fonts can be quite strange. Sometimes a change 
of 5% in scaling can result in the same font ending up the same size 
however notably wider.


Exactly.

The particular layout it's used in don't have 100% font-size for all
containers all the way down the chain, and the tip-over changes when
sized down font-size on containers are subjected to resizing and used as
base for font-size on text-carrying elements - sometimes splitting
between 100% and 102%.

My entire site is used as a test-bed. I have hundreds of those hardly
ever noticeable effects baked in on my own site as part of continuous
testing of browsers, in the knowledge that browsers don't handle minute
differences exactly the same way.

The differences _I_ can then observe, will not disturb or distract a
visitor - unless that visitor (maybe a web designer) has particular
interests in why something looks slightly different in two browsers
under certain conditions.

I have received a few comments about such subtle differences over the
years, from fellow designers assuming I've gotten my values wrong.
That's great, as they are either confirming my own observations, or
informing me about something I haven't observed yet in a particular
browser under certain conditions. All good to know while I try to expand
my knowledge on how User Agents handle my work.

regards
Georg
--
http://www.gunlaug.no


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Timothy Swan

On Sep 5, 2007, at 10:09 PM, Dean Edridge wrote:

By giving users: body{font-size:100%;} you are doing the best you  
can at your end, and It's up to them to ensure they have correctly  
configured their browser to suit their eyesight or preferences.


I'd tend to agree with those that using the browser defaults as the  
base font size would be ideal. Unfortunately we're dealing with years  
of legacy web pages where the vast majority of fonts have been sized  
down already (in my own unscientific study, over 90% of the sites I  
sampled had the base p set to give an equivalent of 12-13 pixels.)  
The side-effect of this is that if you use 100%, the font-size on  
your site will be much larger than on every other site the viewer  
visits.


It's not rocket science to see that if the New York Times (base body  
84.5%), Google (base body 12px), and Yahoo (base body 84.5%) all use  
smaller base font sizes, using 100% will result in fonts that look  
much larger than normal.


This is not a discussion of philosophy but of practicality. I want my  
visitors to be able to resize the text to fit their needs, but I also  
want my site to adhere to a widely accepted standard, which is *not*  
16px.


Tim Swan

--
Timothy Swan
Designer/Webmaster support
InforME




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 6/9/07 (09:08) Jens said:

I would like to point out that text in a web page is usually not there
merely for a design purpose but for communicating some information.

No arguments here. If the consensus amongst the visiting user-base is
that the information is lost or hard to access on account of small text
sizes then the design has certainly failed in its job.

That said, it surely is more aggravating for a reader to first have to
make a text readable before being able to access some information.
This means, a bigger initial text size makes reading or scanning a
page for information easier and is more polite towards the reader.

Someone who prefers small text size will be able to read bigger text
whereas someone who prefers bigger text will not be able to read small
text.

Again, a perfectly valid point. However, to mix my own argument into
yours (if I may)...

Someone who prefers small text size will be able to read bigger text...
but may not know how to reduce it to their preferred size.
Whereas someone who prefers bigger text will not be able to read small
text... but is perhaps more likely to be aware of how to enlarge it to
suit their needs.

But now I'm repeating myself, so I think I'll shut up for a while (apart
from a couple of other replies).

Blimey, this turned into quite a thread. But then the font sizing thing
always evokes passionate reactions I guess.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 5/9/07 (01:18) Felix said:

I believe I've already explained up thread that they do, in
_web_designers_as_a_group_ having a personal skew/bias/preference in
favor of things small generally, part of the nature of the kind of
detail-oriented people who
gravitate into web design.

You mentioned that before, along with the fact that you have no actual
hard evidence of it but that the statement is born out of your own
observations. Nevertheless, you want me to accept it as part of your
argument. That's fine, I have no problem with that, and in fact I'm
fairly sure that your point is true.

When I made the observation that I do not believe that most people's
default settings are *chosen* but just happen to be whatever came out of
the box, that was also based upon my own observations and anecdotal
evidence. However, you dismiss my opinion/personal experience with glib
links to 'Proof By Assertion' and seemingly just refuse to even consider
the notion.

You make some good points in your posts, Felix, and in fact I find
myself coming around to the 100% default camp (after all, I never
started this thread with any axe to grind) but I find it difficult to
give your arguments the credit that they are perhaps due whilst you
won't permit others the same debating strategies that you employ yourself. 

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/06 09:13 (GMT-0400) Timothy Swan apparently typed:

 I'd tend to agree with those that using the browser defaults as the  
 base font size would be ideal. Unfortunately we're dealing with years  
 of legacy web pages where the vast majority of fonts have been sized  
 down already (in my own unscientific study, over 90% of the sites I  
 sampled had the base p set to give an equivalent of 12-13 pixels.)  

I disagree. I think 90% applies to sites that size to any degree below 100%, 
with a significant enough portion sizing at 10px and 11px that the 12px-13px 
group is significantly less than 90%.

More importantly, because of the dropping average display DPI, 12-13px isn't as 
big as it used to be. Do you think making text even smaller than yesteryear is 
the right thing for a modern, accessible, usable page to do?

 The side-effect of this is that if you use 100%, the font-size on  
 your site will be much larger than on every other site the viewer  
 visits.

This is bad why?

Larger, yes. Much larger, debatable.

How do you know those sites aren't getting back button treatment, or unanswered 
complaints?

 It's not rocket science to see that if the New York Times (base body  
 84.5%), Google (base body 12px), and Yahoo (base body 84.5%) all use  
 smaller base font sizes, using 100% will result in fonts that look  
 much larger than normal.

Maybe to most people, but what about to people who have discovered zoom and 
minimum font size? To them, those/most sites will typically have problems with 
overlapping or hidden text, along with nearly right or right sized
text in containers constraining them to too narrow line lengths.

 This is not a discussion of philosophy but of practicality. I want my  
 visitors to be able to resize the text to fit their needs, but I also  
 want my site to adhere to a widely accepted standard, which is *not*  
 16px.

That widely accepted standard is becoming one of broken pages, the result of 
zoom and minimum font size. Do you want yours classified among them, or 
differentiated among elite?
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Jens Brueckmann
 Blimey, this turned into quite a thread. But then the font sizing thing
 always evokes passionate reactions I guess.

I do admit the first time I read your initial post I cringed and
screamed AAARGGGHLXX!  ;-)

 Someone who prefers small text size will be able to read bigger text...
 but may not know how to reduce it to their preferred size.
 Whereas someone who prefers bigger text will not be able to read small
 text... but is perhaps more likely to be aware of how to enlarge it to
 suit their needs.

Irrespective of your assumption about who would be more capable of
resizing text I think you somehow missed my point.

I will try and make myself more comprehendible.

Given that the primary aim of a web page is to communicate information
- here in the form of text.

Larger text allows everybody to access this information instantly,
whereas smaller text establishes a barrier for those, who are not able
to read small text.

People who prefer smaller text might not like your page with large
text, but they can instantly access your information.
People who require larger text can not instantly access information on
a page with small text size.

In short, text size is a question of preference versus requirement.

Cheers,

jens

-- 
Jens Brueckmann
http://www.yalf.de


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 6/9/07 (16:41) Jens said:

I do admit the first time I read your initial post I cringed and
screamed AAARGGGHLXX!  ;-)

Yeah, fair enough, and I knew that many would share your reaction. But
the question in the original post was one that I really had divided
opinions about and wanted to hear other people's thoughts. the ensuing
melee has perhaps not convinced me entirely either way, but has nudged
me in one direction over another, so it's been valid (for me at least),
and thank you to all who participated.

Irrespective of your assumption about who would be more capable of
resizing text I think you somehow missed my point.

No, I understood you. I just wanted to try throwing it back with a bit
of personal spin and see what you made of it. 
When you say:
People who require larger text can not instantly access information on
a page with small text size
I don't particularly disagree with you. I would, however, be /very/
interested to find out how many of the people who require 'larger' text
(eg. people who find the cited 'small-text' sites -- yahoo, NY Times,
etc -- hard to read) already have their browsers set up to make the
necessary corrections, either by setting a large minimum font size, or
by clicking the 'Ignore font sizes set by page' box (that's just an IE
thing I think). I think that information would be enlightening.

The issue of whether an unchanged default setting, except when left as
it is by deliberate choice, should be considered a 'user preference' in
the context of most people have their preferred size set to 16px has
not really been decided for me, but maybe it's like trying to prove a
negative. Certainly plenty of others on this list are satisfied that it
should be considered so in the absence of evidence to the contrary, and
maybe I'll have to leave it at that.

Or start saving up to commission a massive study.
Nah.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Tony Crockford


On 6 Sep 2007, at 17:39, Rick Lecoat wrote:


The issue of whether an unchanged default setting, except when left as
it is by deliberate choice, should be considered a 'user  
preference' in

the context of most people have their preferred size set to 16px has
not really been decided for me, but maybe it's like trying to prove a
negative.


default settings aren't user preferences, they are manufacturer  
preferences.


only when a user changes those defaults do they become the preference  
of the user.


surely?

and I'm not just referring to browsers, I'm talking generally.

I believe we're talking this thing round in circles, but if *most*  
users leave the defaults as they are and most designers have set the  
fonts on most sites smaller than the defaults then the norm for  
*most* users is smaller than default.


we're in a catch 22 as I see it.

if the browser manufacturers make the defaults smaller, then a lot of  
web sites break.  If you don't adjust  the font size at all it looks  
bigger than expected to *most* users - and if the client is looking  
at their site compared to everyone else they also expect it to look  
similar, not have massive fonts.


perhaps the wise and good on his list would make it blindingly  
obvious which is the best and most pragmatic way to set font-size to  
conform to the norm - i.e. smaller than the default *without* messing  
up the minority of web users who have changed the defaults in their  
browser.


which I think is the crux of the matter, since in the absence of hard  
evidence all our feelings on who has set what and what they think to  
the norm is pointless.


I'd like a foolproof way of pleasing my client, without upsetting  
anyone.


is there a way?

;)







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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Timothy Swan

On Sep 6, 2007, at 11:43 AM, Felix Miata wrote:

How do you know those sites aren't getting back button treatment,  
or unanswered complaints?


I work on a site that gets over a million page views per month. We  
set our base font size, using percentages, to be approximately 13  
pixels. We had exactly 3 complaints last year, two of them from  
people who had IE text display set to Smaller. Yes, there may have  
been more people that would have liked it to be larger, but unless we  
hear from them I wouldn't know that.



It's not rocket science to see that if the New York Times (base body
84.5%), Google (base body 12px), and Yahoo (base body 84.5%) all use
smaller base font sizes, using 100% will result in fonts that look
much larger than normal.


Maybe to most people, but what about to people who have discovered  
zoom and minimum font size? To them, those/most sites will  
typically have problems with overlapping or hidden text, along with  
nearly right or right sized

text in containers constraining them to too narrow line lengths.


If the text containers are elastic and resize as the text is resized,  
this shouldn't be a major problem.


You're arguing that people should use the browser defaults as the  
base; I'm arguing that long ago it was determined by *most* website  
designers that 16 pixels was too large (I'm *not* arguing whether  
that was the correct decision.) If you use 100% today, and people  
have already adjusted their browsers for adequate display (yes,  
usually adjusting the size up) your page will have freakishly large  
type.


I *wish* there was a better standard, but there simply isn't, except  
in wishful thinking.


Tim

--
Timothy Swan
Designer/Webmaster support
InforME




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 6/9/07 (17:58) Tony said:

we're in a catch 22 as I see it.

if the browser manufacturers make the defaults smaller, then a lot of  
web sites break.  If you don't adjust  the font size at all it looks  
bigger than expected to *most* users - and if the client is looking  
at their site compared to everyone else they also expect it to look  
similar, not have massive fonts.

perhaps the wise and good on his list would make it blindingly  
obvious which is the best and most pragmatic way to set font-size to  
conform to the norm - i.e. smaller than the default *without* messing  
up the minority of web users who have changed the defaults in their  
browser.

which I think is the crux of the matter, since in the absence of hard  
evidence all our feelings on who has set what and what they think to  
the norm is pointless.

I'd like a foolproof way of pleasing my client, without upsetting  
anyone.

is there a way?

Tony, next time I think I'll get you to write my original post.
Clarity. I like clarity.  ;-)

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Stuart Foulstone

On Thu, September 6, 2007 2:13 pm, Timothy Swan wrote:
 On Sep 5, 2007, at 10:09 PM, Dean Edridge wrote:

 By giving users: body{font-size:100%;} you are doing the best you
 can at your end, and It's up to them to ensure they have correctly
 configured their browser to suit their eyesight or preferences.

 I'd tend to agree with those that using the browser defaults as the
 base font size would be ideal. Unfortunately we're dealing with years
 of legacy web pages where the vast majority of fonts have been sized
 down already (in my own unscientific study, over 90% of the sites I
 sampled had the base p set to give an equivalent of 12-13 pixels.)


Probably the same 90% who are not designing Web standards compliant.

This however is the Web Standards Group (not the Microsoft support group)
and we shopuld be designing to those standards.





 It's not rocket science to see that if the New York Times (base body
 84.5%), Google (base body 12px), and Yahoo (base body 84.5%) all use
 smaller base font sizes, using 100% will result in fonts that look
 much larger than normal.

 This is not a discussion of philosophy but of practicality. I want my
 visitors to be able to resize the text to fit their needs, but I also
 want my site to adhere to a widely accepted standard, which is *not*
 16px.

12pt IS the widely accepted standard - it is the result of years of
research into Human Computer Interaction costing multi-millions in
usability testing investment by screen manufacturers and software
development companies - that's why it's chosen as the default.

Amother statistic that seems to be unavailable is the vast numbers of
users who dont know how to change text size - and who subsequently go
around muttering I wish those bleedin' idiots would make the text
bigger.



 Tim Swan

 --
 Timothy Swan
 Designer/Webmaster support
 InforME




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/06 17:58 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:

 If you don't adjust  the font size at all it looks  
 bigger than expected to *most* users 

This is only a problem if you choose to regard it as a problem. Neither is what 
users want and expect necessarily the same thing. Being part of a majority 
doesn't not necessarily make you or the majority right.

 - and if the client is looking
 at their site compared to everyone else they also expect it to look  
 similar, not have massive fonts.

You're the expert. Your clientele is a limited universe you can try to educate. 
You could offer it a look at some authoritative sites that both exhibit respect 
and recommend respect.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/06 13:08 (GMT-0400) Timothy Swan apparently typed:

 If the text containers are elastic and resize as the text is resized,  
 this shouldn't be a major problem.

The comparison was made to most other sites. Most other sites are neither 
standards compliant nor elastic.

 You're arguing that people should use the browser defaults as the  
 base; I'm arguing that long ago

Long ago is a point I've made upthread more than one, which seems to get 
ignored each time

 it was determined by *most* website
 designers

Contrary to the determinations of the computer operating system designers and 
web browser designers.

 that 16 pixels was too large (I'm *not* arguing whether  
 that was the correct decision.)

Roughly a decade ago. In the meantime, the average size of a px has been 
decreasing, as a consequence of the average increase in display DPI. It may 
have been correct for the time, but it's gone stale, particularly since
the variance has also grown. There were no touchscreens or handhelds or 11 
WXGA laptops then, nor 30 LCDs. Then as now, you don't know how big 16px is 
except for the 16px right in front of your face.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Tony Crockford


On 6 Sep 2007, at 18:30, Felix Miata wrote:


On 2007/09/06 17:58 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:


- and if the client is looking
at their site compared to everyone else they also expect it to look
similar, not have massive fonts.


You're the expert. Your clientele is a limited universe you can try  
to educate. You could offer it a look at some authoritative sites  
that both exhibit respect and recommend respect.


but sadly, in my world, they don't.

The majority is what they want to *be* like.

I'm still looking for a best practice solution to reducing font size  
to the *norm* and not causing problems when I do so.


have you any suggestions on that front?




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread dwain

Tony Crockford wrote:



I'm still looking for a best practice solution to reducing font size 
to the *norm* and not causing problems when I do so.


have you any suggestions on that front?

in web design and the way the viewer can set font limits, i don't think 
there is a *norm*.  setting your font size to 100% in the body and then 
using ems or percentages to shrink font size is what i would recommend.


do a test page for your client and then show them how the user can 
control the fonts in their browser and maybe they will understand how 
unstable web design really is.  don't forget to show them the test 
page at different resolutions as well.  then you and your client can sit 
down and talk about what would be best for them.


my 2 cents.

dwain

--
Dwain Alford
http://www.alford-design-group.com
The artist may use any form which his expression demands;
for his inner impulse must find suitable expression.  Kandinsky



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Tony Crockford


On 6 Sep 2007, at 20:32, dwain wrote:


Tony Crockford wrote:



I'm still looking for a best practice solution to reducing font  
size to the *norm* and not causing problems when I do so.


have you any suggestions on that front?

in web design and the way the viewer can set font limits, i don't  
think there is a *norm*.  setting your font size to 100% in the  
body and then using ems or percentages to shrink font size is  
what i would recommend.


That's what I've been doing.

what are the downsides of this approach?

who do they affect? how are they affected.

(I'm slightly hazy on the whole user set browser defaults thing,  
there seem to be a number of options including application  
preferences and user stylesheets. and a combination of minimum fonts,  
ignore all fonts and larger/smaller text settings in IE)


so, what happens if a user has their default font set larger than the  
browser default in this case?


conversely what happens if they have set their default smaller than  
the manufacturer shipped settings?


Maybe Felix explained it, but I didn't understand it, can someone  
just make it simple, so I can judge the merit of this pragmatism?


tia








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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Gunlaug Sørtun

Tony Crockford wrote:
I'm still looking for a best practice solution to reducing font size 
to the *norm* and not causing problems when I do so.


The most cross-browser reliable method is to declare 'font-size: 100%'
as base, and size *down* _only_ on the text-carrying elements.

This approach let all container-elements inherit the base directly,
which means 100% = 1em = default = 'chosen or unchosen user preferences'
everywhere but on text. This will in most cases make it a lot easier to
size all elements to line up as intended relative to all others even
when 'em', '%' and 'px' is used in the element-size mix, than if each of
the container-elements rely on intermediate deviations from base font-size.

An added advantage is that text doesn't get unintentionally and
unnecessarily blown up in some browsers, because of how they apply
'minimum font size'. Call it browser-bugs or whatever, but too many
sites break under the slightest stress simply because they adjust
font-size _up_ from base (which usually is body) rather than down.


Once your font-size issue is solved in a way that makes it technically
able to take font-resizing well, then there's not much more you can do.
The need for font-resizing and how to achieve it, is for the end user to
decide on and solve, and your responsibility ends once you have made
absolutely sure _your_ solution doesn't prevent _them_ from using
_their_ software to resize.

The only way to make sure your method is not causing any unsolvable
problems at the user-end, is to test across browsers and browser-options
until breaking-point and a bit beyond. You should ideally know more
about how your solution behaves and how much stress it can take, than
any end user.
However, there's no way you can prevent a user from breaking your
well-prepared solution by adding a particularly nasty user-stylesheet,
so you can quietly limit your testing to the more ordinary, selectable,
browser-options.

regards
Georg
--
http://www.gunlaug.no


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread dwain

Tony Crockford wrote:

what are the downsides of this approach?
the down side is the user controls your font sizes.  in ie i usually use 
the medium setting then check the largest setting to make sure the 
design doesn't break.  there are some who set 12 as their minimum and 
god knows what for a maximum font size.  then others set a minimum of 
9.  these are just some of the joys of being a web developer/designer.


who do they affect? how are they affected.
everybody is effected and it depends on their font size settings in 
there browser.  also screen resolution plays a part in font sizes as 
well.  800x600 fonts and images are huge while 1280x800 on my laptop 
seems normal to me now.  i still run across sites that have small font 
sizes for their content.  once you start increasing the font size to 
where you can read it the design usually falls apart, especially if the 
designer used table for layout.


(I'm slightly hazy on the whole user set browser defaults thing, there 
seem to be a number of options including application preferences and 
user stylesheets. and a combination of minimum fonts, ignore all fonts 
and larger/smaller text settings in IE)


so, what happens if a user has their default font set larger than the 
browser default in this case?

then the fonts are larger.


conversely what happens if they have set their default smaller than 
the manufacturer shipped settings?

then the fonts are smaller.


Maybe Felix explained it, but I didn't understand it, can someone just 
make it simple, so I can judge the merit of this pragmatism?
i guess the best practice *norm* would be to set the font size in the 
body at 100% and scale up or down from there using css.  you can make 
yourself sick if you worry about this too much.


all you can do is decide on how you want your font size to look with 
respect to default browser settings and pray that someone out there 
doesn't set their font settings to 5 or worse yet 1; but then again, 
that's their choice and that was one of the hardest things for me to 
overcome; i can make it look good on my computer, but i have no control 
over the browser settings other viewers of my sites set for themselves.


good luck,
dwain

--
Dwain Alford
http://www.alford-design-group.com
The artist may use any form which his expression demands;
for his inner impulse must find suitable expression.  Kandinsky



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/06 20:16 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:

 On 6 Sep 2007, at 18:30, Felix Miata wrote:

 You're the expert. Your clientele is a limited universe you can try  
 to educate. You could offer it a look at some authoritative sites  
 that both exhibit respect and recommend respect.

 but sadly, in my world, they don't.

Don't what? Don't understand your instruction? Don't believe your instruction? 
Don't let you try to instruct them? Don't look at the good example sites you 
offer them? ? ? ?

 The majority is what they want to *be* like.

The majority always gets it right, right? Inertia is easy to overcome, right? 
Do they understand that it's good business to treat customers right, which on 
the WWW means big, easy-to-read text?
http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/top-10/

 I'm still looking for a best practice solution to reducing font size  
 to the *norm* and not causing problems when I do so.

 have you any suggestions on that front?

If you want an answer based upon experience, it can't really come from here, 
because I only do 100% basing, and defensive training.

The least intrusive method is building the site such that it can continue to 
nicely function no matter what size is set on body, which in essence is the 
functionally effective application of both different defaults than
yours, and zooming. (It's also a byproduct of good liquid/fluid/flexible 
design.) By controlling the whole thing solely by the size set on body, users 
also get the benefit that a simple user stylesheet can return your site
to using their default size. The whole stylesheet:

body {font-size: medium !important;}

That simplicity cannot work on sites where fonts are set on particular 
elements, or via class ids or names. Anything much beyond that one rule is 
beyond the capability of any besides web design professionals accustomed to
routine use of CSS.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-06 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/06 20:42 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:

 I'm slightly hazy on the whole user set browser defaults thing,  
 there seem to be a number of options including application  
 preferences and user stylesheets. and a combination of minimum fonts,  
 ignore all fonts and larger/smaller text settings in IE

The defaults are responsible for the size and family the browser uses when 
neither user nor site applies CSS to elements affected by those defaults, and 
presentational font markup is not employed on those elements.

IE's font smallest/smaller/medium/larger/largest selector in effect is one 
(crude and defective) mechanism that sets its default (the other one is the 
system DPI selection in desktop settings). It's defective in that its
setting is totally disregarded when px or absolute units are applied to size 
text via CSS. IE's two ignore fonts settings mean that the basic defaults are 
applied even when site and/or user CSS exists, plus when sites set
sizes using px or absolute units.

A minimum font size setting in simplistic terms means simply a size below which 
no text will be allowed to be rendered by the browser. Due to the manner of 
implementation by its programmers, Gecko browsers with a minimum
font size applied will often render large portitions of a page not only larger 
than the minimum setting, but also larger than *its own* default size setting. 
The latter mostly happens when authors implement the Clagnut CSS
font sizing method. http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/SS/Clagnut/eonsSS.html

User stylesheets in those rare cases they exist are generally employed to 
override particular site CSS, rather than to affect browser defaults.

 so, what happens if a user has their default font set larger than the  
 browser default in this case?

Can't happen. Browser default == user default. :-p

 conversely what happens if they have set their default smaller than  
 the manufacturer shipped settings?

Given the same size display and the same display resolution, all web page text 
that is sized based on the the browser default setting will be smaller than if 
the shipped settings had been retained.

 Maybe Felix explained it, but I didn't understand it, can someone  
 just make it simple, so I can judge the merit of this pragmatism?

Oh that it should be simple, but with power, comes complexity.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 13:51 (GMT+0100) Rick Lecoat apparently typed:

 In a thread on the CSS-Discuss list ('Accessibility + font sizing')
 David posted the following:
If accessibility is important, don't specify a font size. Leave it up to
the visitor to be using the font size they find preferable.

 This revisits a question that still really vexes me [1]. Certainly, if
 the focus of the site is maximum accessibility (example: a that site
 deals with disability issues) then David's advice is clearly correct,
 and it could be argued that it is correct for *any* site. 

 However, this brings us back to the fact that for many people the
 browser default text size of 16px is too large

Who made this a fact? Just because web designers, a group with the following
characteristics (creating a bias among them) to distinguish it from an
average member of the general public:

1-detail oriented (more comfortable than average with small things)
2-use large computer displays
3-leave their browsers set to the defaults that they believe most people use
(untweaked to suit their own personal preferences)
4-young (have not yet reached age of deteriorating eyesight)

think it so, doesn't make it so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_assertion

OTOH, reasons to believe the (presumably) 16px default default is either just
right, or too small: http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/defaultsize.html

 So, as a designer, I choose between two approaches:
...
 1) 'Bottom up' approach: ...
[sub-100% main content]

 2) 'Top down' approach: ...
[100% main content]

 This bring into question the advice of the W3C tips page http://
 www.w3.org/QA/Tips/font-size#goodcss where it states:
 1em (or 100%) is equivalent to setting the font size to the user's 
 preference.
 The above statement makes the implicit assumption that 'Browser Default'
 equals 'User's Preference', an assumption that I can't help but question.
...

It also makes the assumptions that:
1-user presumptively is the one in position to determine what works best, and
that presuming otherwise can only randomly cause an improvement.
2-the effort that went into choosing, and continuing to choose, particular
defaults by the browser suppliers who, within a small range of variance by
minor suppliers, all have the same default defaults, and that those defaults
are perfectly reasonable and close enough for most people (though not web
designers)

It's the right thing do do, because anything else is a anarchistic and rude.
See also:
http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/font-size
http://www.informationarchitects.jp/100e2r?v=4
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html
http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/top-10/
http://css.nu/articles/font-analogy.html
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/dao/
http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/fontsize.html
http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/essence.html

It isn't 1996 any more. Browser defaults are fine, and shouldn't be assumed
otherwise: http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Patrick H. Lauke

Quoting Rick Lecoat [EMAIL PROTECTED]:


In a thread on the CSS-Discuss list ('Accessibility + font sizing')
David posted the following:

If accessibility is important, don't specify a font size. Leave it up to
the visitor to be using the font size they find preferable.


This revisits a question that still really vexes me [1]. Certainly, if
the focus of the site is maximum accessibility (example: a that site
deals with disability issues) then David's advice is clearly correct,
and it could be argued that it is correct for *any* site.


What usually gets me with this conversation is: assuming users  
actually do actively change their font size to their preferred one,  
they'll still be visiting sites other than yours. If they indeed found  
that the majority of other sites out there have undersized the text,  
they would then have set the default sizes to be bigger on their  
browser. What happens then if your correct site is displayed on  
their browser? Would it not be overcompensating then? The principle is  
sound, but in practice it doesn't take into account the fact that the  
oh so hard done by users would already have coping strategies /  
settings in place to deal with their general web browsing, which could  
go counter to the assumed they'll have it set to their preferred  
size (since, assuming that they did set the size, it wouldn't be  
preferred, but enlarged to compensate for small font sizes  
generally employed).


P
--
Patrick H. Lauke
__
re·dux (adj.): brought back; returned. used postpositively
[latin : re-, re- + dux, leader; see duke.]
www.splintered.co.uk | www.photographia.co.uk
http://redux.deviantart.com
__
Co-lead, Web Standards Project (WaSP) Accessibility Task Force
http://webstandards.org/
__
Take it to the streets ... join the WaSP Street Team
http://streetteam.webstandards.org/
__



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Gunlaug Sørtun

Rick Lecoat wrote:

This bring into question the advice of the W3C tips page http:// 
www.w3.org/QA/Tips/font-size#goodcss where it states: 1em (or 100%)
 is equivalent to setting the font size to the user's preference. 
The above statement makes the implicit assumption that 'Browser 
Default' equals 'User's Preference', an assumption that I can't help 
but question.


Me too. However, any assumption made by a designer that 100% does *not*
equals 'User Preference', is just as questionable.

The majority of 'Accessibility users' (for want of a better term) 
will, by contrast -- assuming that they use browsers at all -- have 
their default settings tuned to their preferences, and will be 
reasonably aware of how such settings are altered. Many will have a 
large minimum font size specified, and/or be using IE's facility to 
ignore any font size settings specified by the page.


Probably true. How many who know how to, and actively use, such browser
options, is unknown.

We do however know that the number of users who need to know and
actively use such browser options, is growing with the number of elderly
people on the web.
This need is to a large degree caused by the general use of small text,
which is based on designers' assumption that default size is too large.

What we get is a perfect circle of compensations for imposed
compensations, and the only somewhat reliable middle-ground is found at,
or close to, 'font-size: 100%'.

Accessibility is generally not improved by *not* declaring font-size
anywhere, but by averaging it for the users we want to reach and letting
size depend on readability and importance. Headlines should for instance
be larger than paragraph-text in most cases, but _much larger_ doesn't
necessarily help anyone.

If the designer has assumed that people who like smaller type sizes 
will adjust their browser settings accordingly, he or she will 
probably be disappointed much of the time.


Nevertheless, it is undeniably true that some people (myself 
included) feel that 16px text is /slightly/ too large from a 'design 
aesthetic' viewpoint [3].


My experience is that the average designer don't really _read_ stuff in
his/hers own creations, so design aesthetic viewpoints don't mean much
(to me) when it comes to what font-size to use.

This being the case, clearly /someone/ is going to be doing some 
resizing of text when they visit your page -- whether it is the 
person with perfect vision scaling things downward, or the person 
with accessibility issues scaling things up.


The most used rescaling seems to be permanent change of screen
resolution to suit the smallest text each user wants to read.
This means everything, on every web site, gets scaled to suit the user's
preferences on his/her screen(s). This in turn affects how much real
estate is available to designers, as browser-windows can't be larger
than the actual screen and we know that few users like to scroll
horizontally.

Again: what we get is a perfect circle of compensations for imposed
compensations...

If I used that rescaling method, web sites would be left with around
600px window-width to display their stuff on on my screens. Since I
don't, I can offer sites 3800px window-width if needed. My set-up and
use of options are not representative though.

Would a Bottom Up approach not have more chance of giving everybody 
what they want to see?


Since that's what end-users has become used to by now because of all the
compensations that have flooded the web over the last 15 years or so,
you're probably (more or less) right.

It is not an ideal solution though, but I can't think of a one size
fits all solution other than that I personally tend to size close to
average = 100% = defaults when I have a say on the issue (as you have
probably already noticed over at [css-d] :-) ).

regards
Georg
--
http://www.gunlaug.no


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Robert O'Rourke

Middle out?

I don't really worry about the font-size other than to leave the default 
on the body tag at 100%.
From there I size fonts relatively up or down depending on the design, 
if it's my own design I never dip below 12px. As long as you don't use 
px for font-sizing in the CSS the site is accessible (within the context 
of font size) IMO. It may not be immediately accessible in its default 
state but if font-size is such a problem then the people who make 
browsers should consider it as much as we do (there's only so much we 
can do) and offer some accessibility controls on the toolbar, like IE7s 
zoom button. It may not be the best way but at least it's right there 
for the user to see as opposed to ctrl  + or ctrl  mousewheel.



Don't get hung up on it, just take it into consideration when you design.

Rob


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 5/9/07 (15:18) Patrick said:

What usually gets me with this conversation is: assuming users  
actually do actively change their font size to their preferred one,  
they'll still be visiting sites other than yours. If they indeed found  
that the majority of other sites out there have undersized the text,  
they would then have set the default sizes to be bigger on their  
browser. What happens then if your correct site is displayed on  
their browser? Would it not be overcompensating then? The principle is  
sound, but in practice it doesn't take into account the fact that the  
oh so hard done by users would already have coping strategies /  
settings in place to deal with their general web browsing, which could  
go counter to the assumed they'll have it set to their preferred  
size (since, assuming that they did set the size, it wouldn't be  
preferred, but enlarged to compensate for small font sizes  
generally employed).

Thanks for your reply, Patrick;

You're right, it's a very 'chicken and egg' situation. In the ideal
world every site would have content text set to a base size of 100%, and
every user would have their browser tuned to their own preferred text size. 

But clearly that's not the world that we currently inhabit. How best to
navigate this situation to achieve the great real-world results is what
I hope this topic will help me work out.  

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 5/9/07 (15:21) Felix said:

 However, this brings us back to the fact that for many people the
 browser default text size of 16px is too large

Who made this a fact?

Okay, perhaps some sloppy writing on my part; I tried to be clear all
through my original post that I was presenting my own ideas/enquiries,
not handing down facts. Perhaps I should have written:
However, this brings us back to the fact that for SOME people the
browser default text size of 16px is too large 

...'some' being myself, at least a few other (non-design) friends of
mine, and anyone else who feels the same way. 'Many' is subjective, I
grant you.
(The 'proof by assertion' link was perhaps a little condescending?)

1-user presumptively is the one in position to determine what works best

Yes they are in position to choose what works for them, but they appear
not to do so. Anecdotal evidence from people who've conducted usability
testing seems to indicate that the majority or web users are unaware
that they are in a position to make any adjustments in this area. The
possible exception, as I suggested, being those with accessibility
'issues' since they have more to gain by being acquainted with their
browsers' text sizing capabilities.

2-the effort that went into choosing, and continuing to choose, particular
defaults by the browser suppliers
I have no hard information about how much investigation the browser
vendors carried out prior to choosing the default text sizes. I'd like
to know more about the process they went through, though, I imagine that
it would be quite illuminating. If you do have any such info, please share.

It's the right thing do do, because anything else is a anarchistic and rude.
Anarchistic? Rude? Hmm. I'm just asking questions here. It's starting to
get a bit confrontational.

Just to bring it back to earth, the nub of the point I was trying to
make is that simply this:
If *somebody* is going to be doing some resizing of text when they view
the page, doesn't it make more sense to design in such a way that the
person more likely to want to resize is the person more likely to know how to?


-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Hassan Schroeder

Gunlaug Sørtun wrote:


We do however know that the number of users who need to know and
actively use such browser options, is growing with the number of elderly
people on the web.


Uh, we do? :-)

I found this article
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/custom/modernlife/bal-ml.boomer17jun17,0,5613476.story
regarding the increasing availability of large-print books, which
says in part:

  According to Lighthouse International (a group that helps
  people deal  with loss of vision), 17 percent of Americans
  45 and older have some form of visual impairment.

  In 2010, all boomers will have reached that milestone birthday
  -- a group of about 20 million -- and most will be feeling the
  effects of presbyopia, the inability to focus on objects close
  up. (By the time we hit our 40s or 50s, the elasticity of the
  eye naturally decreases with age, and our close-up sight is
  affected.)

OK, fine -- but reading a hand-held paperback book and reading a
screen a couple of feet away seem very different to me, for lots
of reasons.

So my question is: do we *know* that this applies to reading text
/on a computer screen/? Not guess, not believe, *know*.

Personally, I find 16px text far too large for comfortable reading.
And before anyone pulls out the dang whippersnappers card, I'm 60
years old and I've worn eyeglasses for most of 'em. :-)

Citations of actual research would contribute more to the discussion
than unsubstantiated opinion -- IMHO!

--
Hassan Schroeder - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Webtuitive Design ===  (+1) 408-938-0567   === http://webtuitive.com

   dream.  code.



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 09:19 (GMT-0700) Hassan Schroeder apparently typed:

 I found this article
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/custom/modernlife/bal-ml.boomer17jun17,0,5613476.story
 regarding the increasing availability of large-print books, which
 says in part:

According to Lighthouse International (a group that helps
people deal  with loss of vision), 17 percent of Americans
45 and older have some form of visual impairment.

In 2010, all boomers will have reached that milestone birthday
-- a group of about 20 million -- and most will be feeling the
effects of presbyopia, the inability to focus on objects close
up. (By the time we hit our 40s or 50s, the elasticity of the
eye naturally decreases with age, and our close-up sight is
affected.)

Lighthouse as more to say than just that:
http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/

 OK, fine -- but reading a hand-held paperback book and reading a
 screen a couple of feet away seem very different to me, for lots
 of reasons.

 So my question is: do we *know* that this applies to reading text
 /on a computer screen/? Not guess, not believe, *know*.

Maybe something like this?
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/2S/font.htm

And as additional answer to issue of aging boomers:
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/3W/fontSR.htm

 Personally, I find 16px text far too large for comfortable reading.

That may well be, but you haven't said anything meaningful about how big that
actually is. I find anything less than 24px too small for comfortable
reading. To know how big 16px or 24px is requires knowing:

1-screen size
2-screen resolution
3-viewing distance

Plus, there are factors besides size that affect reading comfort, such as
contrast, leading, and line length.

Had you written 12pt rather than 16px, one might assume that your system had
a properly adjusted DPI and consequently that 12pt really meant 12pt, a
physical size, and thus meaningful. Even so, without knowing your viewing
distance, we still don't know the apparent size. This is why web pages need
top down (100% based) contruction.

 And before anyone pulls out the dang whippersnappers card, I'm 60
 years old and I've worn eyeglasses for most of 'em. :-)

I'm less than that, and find 16px generally very uncomfortable or even
impossible to read, depending on time of day and how tired my eyes are from
squinting at mousetype, and how tired my back is from leaning forward to try
to see enough to decide whether to hit my overworked zoom keys once more, or
hit the back button or X the tab.

 Citations of actual research would contribute more to the discussion
 than unsubstantiated opinion -- IMHO!

Here's where 16px (actually, 12pt) came from:
http://blogs.msdn.com/fontblog/archive/2005/11/08/490490.aspx

Note that it happened many many years ago when average screen DPI was much
much lower than it is now. 16px isn't as big as it used to be.
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/bigdefaults.html

Note also the empirical evidence that how most web pages style fonts is
wrong: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Joseph Taylor

This is a recurring topic that often gets some people going in many ways.

Testing and research always presents biased results (when it comes to 
web data) and will continue to unless the first page people reach when 
they visit the web is a eyesight and usage survey.  That'll never happen 
anytime soon.


Example: a browser usage survey on a web development blog - offers no 
real data about the housewife on her new Dell searching homes to rent at 
the beach.  In that instance it a situation like, Firefox? whats that?  
I click the little blue e to go online...


That brings us back to the real reality we work and create in and the 
prospective audience were aiming for.  Its chaotic, and while not nearly 
as chaotic as 10 years ago, its still the wild west out there.


There is no question in my mind that setting font-size to 100% is a 
conscientious decision aimed at pleasing the largest number of people 
possible.


A few years ago all my sites were fixed width at 750px.  It can 
certainly be argued that people using 640x480 get a lessened experience, 
and this is true.


Most sites I make now are fixed width at 960px.  Yes, some people cannot 
see the full screen and I should be hung for such a travesty, but again, 
the real reality is that over 90% of the visitors to these sites use a 
resolution of at least 1024 x 768.  Of course, steps are taken to make 
the lowest possible experience (plain text, one column) as complete and 
rewarding as possible.


Can you make the text smaller? Yes, sure, why not (don't answer that).  
If you do, at least use flexible sizes, if someone does in fact resize 
the text, however infrequent.


In MY real working world, 90% of my visitors still use IE6 at 1024 x 768 
and use the browser full screen, and have the text-size set to 
Medium.  This reality may not apply to other sites, but for MY site 
owners, it represents THEIR audience, and to me, that is the number 1 
concern.


Theres always the greater good to be considered...and hoped for, but 
the real reality offers no such ineffable standard. 


Joseph R. B. Taylor
-
Sites by Joe, LLC
Keep it Clean, Simple  Elegant
(609) 335-3076
http://sitesbyjoe.com
[EMAIL PROTECTED]


Hassan Schroeder wrote:

Gunlaug Sørtun wrote:


We do however know that the number of users who need to know and
actively use such browser options, is growing with the number of elderly
people on the web.


Uh, we do? :-)

I found this article
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/custom/modernlife/bal-ml.boomer17jun17,0,5613476.story 


regarding the increasing availability of large-print books, which
says in part:

  According to Lighthouse International (a group that helps
  people deal  with loss of vision), 17 percent of Americans
  45 and older have some form of visual impairment.

  In 2010, all boomers will have reached that milestone birthday
  -- a group of about 20 million -- and most will be feeling the
  effects of presbyopia, the inability to focus on objects close
  up. (By the time we hit our 40s or 50s, the elasticity of the
  eye naturally decreases with age, and our close-up sight is
  affected.)

OK, fine -- but reading a hand-held paperback book and reading a
screen a couple of feet away seem very different to me, for lots
of reasons.

So my question is: do we *know* that this applies to reading text
/on a computer screen/? Not guess, not believe, *know*.

Personally, I find 16px text far too large for comfortable reading.
And before anyone pulls out the dang whippersnappers card, I'm 60
years old and I've worn eyeglasses for most of 'em. :-)

Citations of actual research would contribute more to the discussion
than unsubstantiated opinion -- IMHO!




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begin:vcard
fn:Joseph Taylor
n:Taylor;Joseph
org:Sites by Joe, LLC
adr:;;408 Route 47 South;Cape May Court House;NJ;08210;USA
email;internet:[EMAIL PROTECTED]
title:Designer / Developer
tel;work:609-335-3076
tel;cell:609-335-3076
x-mozilla-html:TRUE
url:http://sitesbyjoe.com
version:2.1
end:vcard




Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Tony Crockford


On 5 Sep 2007, at 15:21, Felix Miata wrote:


Who made this a fact? Just because web designers, a group with the  
following

characteristics (creating a bias among them) to distinguish it from an
average member of the general public:

1-detail oriented (more comfortable than average with small things)
2-use large computer displays
3-leave their browsers set to the defaults that they believe most  
people use

(untweaked to suit their own personal preferences)
4-young (have not yet reached age of deteriorating eyesight)

think it so, doesn't make it so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
Proof_by_assertion


right back at you.

I'm 50 with imperfect vision, and still a web designer. (I do have a  
big screen with unchanged browser settings I'll grant you)


A lot of the web designers I know are not young and most of them wear  
glasses.


so proof by assertion works both ways.


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Hassan Schroeder

Felix Miata wrote:


So my question is: do we *know* that this applies to reading text
/on a computer screen/? Not guess, not believe, *know*.


Maybe something like this?
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/2S/font.htm

And as additional answer to issue of aging boomers:
http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/3W/fontSR.htm


Neither of which are apparently worth anything, if your contention below
about assessing size is true :-)


To know how big 16px or 24px is requires knowing:

1-screen size
2-screen resolution
3-viewing distance

Plus, there are factors besides size that affect reading comfort, such as
contrast, leading, and line length.


At least, I didn't see any of that addressed on a quick read.


Had you written 12pt rather than 16px, one might assume that your system had
a properly adjusted DPI and consequently that 12pt really meant 12pt, a
physical size, and thus meaningful. Even so, without knowing your viewing
distance, we still don't know the apparent size. 


On my 1280x1024 19 (diagonal) flat panel display, 12pt and 16px are
visually the same. The physical size on the screen is ~3.5mm (a bit
more than 1/8) and my viewing distance is ~32 inches.

But we don't have any of that for the studies you cite, so how much
can they really be relied on?


Note that it happened many many years ago when average screen DPI was much
much lower than it is now. 16px isn't as big as it used to be.


Uh-huh. And these studies were (apparently) published seven years
ago, and hence likely done on low-res CRTs, for which, again, we
have no data.

In the absence of /current/ evidence, I'd say the jury's still out :-)

--
Hassan Schroeder - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Webtuitive Design ===  (+1) 408-938-0567   === http://webtuitive.com

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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 19:28 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:

 On 5 Sep 2007, at 15:21, Felix Miata wrote:

 Who made this a fact? Just because web designers, a group with the following
 characteristics (creating a bias among them) to distinguish it from an
 average member of the general public:

 1-detail oriented (more comfortable than average with small things)
 2-use large computer displays
 3-leave their browsers set to the defaults that they believe most  
 people use
 (untweaked to suit their own personal preferences)
 4-young (have not yet reached age of deteriorating eyesight)

 think it so, doesn't make it so. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 
 Proof_by_assertion

 right back at you.

The point of pointing that page was the repetition factor, that people 
eventually believe as fact anything sufficiently repeated, whether proven true 
or otherwise. In web development circles, the defaults are too big is
a mantra that is not even close to a proven fact in the entire universe of web 
users and would be web users who don't use the web because they can't easily 
enough deal with the tiny text on most web pages.

 I'm 50 with imperfect vision, and still a web designer. (I do have a  
 big screen with unchanged browser settings I'll grant you)

Big screen is of no small consequence here. An average designer wouldn't 
intentionally continue to use a screen that's uncomfortably small. At some 
point ~6+hrs a day in front of it would force a correction that simply is
not compelled among casual web users - either bigger screen, or different job.

 A lot of the web designers I know are not young and most of them wear  
 glasses.

Wearing glasses proves nothing. Some people who haven't even reached their teen 
years wear glasses. Even with glasses many over 40 have poor vision. How good 
the net corrected vision is is what matters. Elder simply means
greater likelihood that corrected vision is poorer than average, and/or poorer 
than it used to be.

 so proof by assertion works both ways.

I was not asserting all or exclusive, only average. I'm sure a scientific poll 
on any general web development/design list would prove that the average of all 
such characteristics among participants would show they AVERAGE
as indicated, NOT that all without exception are that way.

FewER people with poor eyesight take jobs demanding detail work in front of 
computer screens. FewER people than average with full time jobs in front of 
computer screens. It's a job comfort thing. YoungER people as a group
are more comfortable and more familiar with computers and thus more likely to 
employ them heavily in their occupation than older people. There's already 
proof in the results - the web is overwhelmed by sites that set fonts
smaller than the defaults - and the consequence that normal web users don't 
like it. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 5/9/07 (20:15) Felix said:

The point of pointing that page was the repetition factor, that people
eventually believe as fact anything sufficiently repeated, whether
proven true or otherwise. In web development circles, the defaults are
too big is a mantra that is not even close to a proven fact

That was, in part, why I started this thread; I felt (and still feel)
that the notion of you MUST design for 100% of your users' default text
size because that is their preferred text size was becoming a mantra.
People sometimes repeated it dogmatically, without really thinking about
it. Dogmatism worries me.

The idea that maybe people are not *choosing* these defaults seems
increasingly deemed to be a heresy, and anybody who dares to think gee,
I actually prefer the look of this page with slightly smaller type
risks being thoroughly  pilloried as an artsy-fartsy-designer-type
completely divorced from the real world. That worries me too, because
it's dismissive.

I'm not saying that the {font-size:100%} argument is wrong, but I am
saying that treating it as dogma is probably not the thing to do. If we
didn't keep asking questions and revisiting these things, then we'd
probably still be creating table-based layouts, right?

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Tony Crockford


On 5 Sep 2007, at 20:15, Felix Miata wrote:

 There's already proof in the results - the web is overwhelmed by  
sites that set fonts
smaller than the defaults - and the consequence that normal web  
users don't like it. http://www.useit.com/alertbox/designmistakes.html


Is it possible that the last few years of preaching about font sizes  
*has* made a difference?


I don't remember the last time I visited a mainstream site and found  
the fonts smaller than normal.


can you point to some popular sites (I mean mainstream popular sites)  
where the fonts are

(a) non-resizable and
(b) too small

I think most of us *get it*.

leave the default alone so as not to interfere with the minority of  
users that have adjusted their browser font size and then adjust to  
what seems to be the norm, or what the client asks for.


(it's not 16px AFAICT)

why is it, I ask in all honesty, that the comments pages of the BBC  
site aren't full of complaints that the fonts are unreadable? (they  
care about Accessibility too - http://www.bbc.co.uk/accessibility/)


(FYI, my big screen is for usable screen space, not font size - I  
code in TextMate using a bitmap font at 9pt and the screen resolution  
is 2560x1600 and I'm viewing it from about arms length with my  
reading glasses on.)


When was the last time normal users were asked about font sizes?
How normal are Jacobs Alertbox subscribers and just how many of them  
responded to his quiz two years ago?





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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Rimantas Liubertas
 That was, in part, why I started this thread; I felt (and still feel)
 that the notion of you MUST design for 100% of your users' default text
 size because that is their preferred text size was becoming a mantra.

And that is only an assumption. Default font size was chosen by browser
vendors, not users. Not many know they can change it. Even less who know
do it.

 People sometimes repeated it dogmatically, without really thinking about
 it. Dogmatism worries me.

It should.
...

On the other hand people can have their windmills to fight against if
they don't hurt
others in process.

Regards,
Rimantas
--
http://rimantas.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 11:42 (GMT-0700) Hassan Schroeder apparently typed:

 Felix Miata wrote:

 So my question is: do we *know* that this applies to reading text
 /on a computer screen/? Not guess, not believe, *know*.

 Maybe something like this?
 http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/2S/font.htm

 And as additional answer to issue of aging boomers:
 http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/3W/fontSR.htm

 Neither of which are apparently worth anything, if your contention below
 about assessing size is true :-)

If you accept the assumption I make below, then quite the contrary.

 To know how big 16px or 24px is requires knowing:

 1-screen size
 2-screen resolution
 3-viewing distance

 Plus, there are factors besides size that affect reading comfort, such as
 contrast, leading, and line length.

 At least, I didn't see any of that addressed on a quick read.

 Had you written 12pt rather than 16px, one might assume that your system had
 a properly adjusted DPI and consequently that 12pt really meant 12pt, a
 physical size, and thus meaningful. Even so, without knowing your viewing
 distance, we still don't know the apparent size. 

 On my 1280x1024 19 (diagonal) flat panel display, 12pt and 16px are
 visually the same. The physical size on the screen is ~3.5mm (a bit
 more than 1/8) and my viewing distance is ~32 inches.

A 1280x1024 19 display is ~86.3 DPI. If you are using a browser that floors at 
or is fixed to use an assumed 96 DPI (standard doz setting BTW), which more 
often than not is the reality, then 12pt should be rendering at
about 17.8px. Some browsers will round 17.8 down to 17 (IE), while others will 
use 18 (Gecko). It's quite common for that 1px or 2px difference to be 
unnoticable unless seen in direct comparision, such as on
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/font-arial and 
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/font-verdana.

 But we don't have any of that for the studies you cite, so how much
 can they really be relied on?

Because of their source and apparent nature, it is reasonable to assume that 
when they wrote 12pt, they meant 12pt as a real size, not as a nominal size. If 
on the contrary they were actually using nominal sizes, then the
truth is that the participants were probably, as was the norm in lowfi screen 
days of 6-12 years ago, seeing and happy with fonts that were larger in fact 
than the nominal sizes indicated.

 Note that it happened many many years ago when average screen DPI was much
 much lower than it is now. 16px isn't as big as it used to be.

 Uh-huh. And these studies were (apparently) published seven years
 ago, and hence likely done on low-res CRTs, for which, again, we
 have no data.

The actual resolutions are unimportant, as long as the assumption that the pt 
sizes stated meant actual pt size rather than nomimal pt size is made, with the 
consequence that the validity of the study remains in effect.

 In the absence of /current/ evidence, I'd say the jury's still out :-)

Current studies aren't required prior to demonstration that previous studies 
are no longer valid. Truth isn't converted by mere age into untruth.

We do know that standard LCD displays on store shelves today seem to be 
targeted to working DPI as little removed as practical from the 96 default 
standard from M$. To that end, the larger displays have higher resolutions.
e.g., 4:3 displays are uncommon in sizes other than 17 (more common, 96.4 DPI) 
and 19 (less common, 86.3 DPI). Smaller 15 displays are 1024x768 (85.3 DPI). 
Larger, 20 is 1400x1050 (less common, (87.5 DPI) or 1600x1050
(100.0 DPI). More common now are the widescreens, 19 at the bottom usually 
using 1440x900 (89.4 DPI) or 1680x1050 (104.3 DPI), bigger 22 using 1680x1050 
(90.1 DPI) or 1920x1200 (102.9 DPI), bigger yet 24 1920x1200 (94.3
DPI), or giant 30 2560x1600 (100.6 DPI).

In the laptop world, which has been outselling the desktop world for the past 
several years, manufacturers have taken to adjusting the default DPI upward to 
120 before delivery when necessary to avoid reduced sales that
result from the laptop (everything is so tiny) syndrome. A 14 @ 1280x800 
(107.8 DPI; if 96, pt is undersize; if 120, pt is oversize), 15.4 @ 1280x800 
(~98 DPI; quite close if DPI is 96), 16 @ 1440x900 (106.1 DPI), 16 @
1680x1050 (123.8 DPI), 16 @ 1920x1200 (141.5 DPI), 17 @ 1680x1050 (116.5 
DPI), or 17 @ 1920x1200 (133.2 DPI).

Compare those to yesteryear's (lowfi) DPI values:
screen size 13 14 16 18
800x600 76.971.462.5
1024x76891.480.071.1

The net result is IE's 12pt (16px) nominal default on average used to be a lot 
bigger than it is now. Nominal 12pt today is on average significantly smaller 
than the average 16px of 6-12 years ago (when the web developer
defaults are too big mantra had its genesis). If those studies were using 
nominal sizes, then the same tests today would almost certainly be providing 
the participants physically smaller fonts.

Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 5/9/07 (21:17) Rimantas said:

 That was, in part, why I started this thread; I felt (and still feel)
 that the notion of you MUST design for 100% of your users' default text
 size because that is their preferred text size was becoming a mantra.

And that is only an assumption. Default font size was chosen by browser
vendors, not users. Not many know they can change it. Even less who know
do it.

My point exactly. 
(Felix argues that the browser vendors arrived at their default size
after long and careful research, but AFAIK said research remains hearsay).

To restate my earlier point (hopefully with greater clarity):
No matter what you do, people will look at a page and (probably) either
say the type is too big or the type is too small. In either case
they can adjust it accordingly, except that those who want to make it
smaller (eg. those without accessibility issues) are *perhaps* less
likely to know how to. And *perhaps* that's one argument for designing
with smaller type as a baseline.  

I could be way off base of course, but that's why I want to thrash it
out here, amongst the wisdom of my peers.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 21:06 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:

 I don't remember the last time I visited a mainstream site and found  
 the fonts smaller than normal.

 can you point to some popular sites (I mean mainstream popular sites)  
 where the fonts are
 (a) non-resizable and
 (b) too small

BBC News seems to be still as described on 
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/SS/bbcSS.html (body is still 'font:normal 13px 
Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif, MS sans serif;').

I haven't done any more than a cursory update on 
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/shame.html for quite some time but I'm sure some of 
the sites listed there still set their fonts in px and/or embed major content 
in Flash designed
for 800x600 screens.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Hassan Schroeder

Felix Miata wrote:


If you accept the assumption I make below, then quite the contrary.


I'm not interested in accepting your assumptions -- I'm looking
for valid evidence; that's the whole point.


A 1280x1024 19 display is ~86.3 DPI. If you are using a browser that floors at 
or is fixed to use an assumed 96 DPI (standard doz setting BTW), which more often 
than not is the reality, then 12pt should be rendering at
about 17.8px. 


Using FF2 on my SuSE 10 desktop, 12pt and 16px Arial upper case M
characters render at *exactly* the same height. Measured, not just
theorized.


But we don't have any of that for the studies you cite, so how much
can they really be relied on?


Because of their source and apparent nature, it is reasonable to assume 


No it's not. It's only reasonable to assume if you want to try to
twist the evidence to your way of thinking.

One minute you say you need a whole laundry list of data points to
analyze how big a particular font size is, and the next minute
you say we can assume that a particular study (the conclusion of
which favors your argument) is perfectly valid without all that.

Right.
--
Hassan Schroeder - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Webtuitive Design ===  (+1) 408-938-0567   === http://webtuitive.com

   dream.  code.



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 23:17 (GMT+0300) Rimantas Liubertas apparently typed:

 That was, in part, why I started this thread; I felt (and still feel)
 that the notion of you MUST design for 100% of your users' default text
 size because that is their preferred text size was becoming a mantra.

 And that is only an assumption. Default font size was chosen by browser
 vendors, not users. Not many know they can change it. Even less who know
 do it.

1-How many is not many?
2-How many more would it take to be enough?
3-How many actually need to, regardless whether they know they can, or how to?
4-Why do you assume they have reason to?

Maybe thinking in terms of an opposite proposition would be instructive.

1-I'd like to see (and expect never to find) a scientific study that shows 
either:
a-complaints about web page text size being too big outnumber those about it 
being too small by normal average web users (not by web designers)
b-author sizing to something less than 100% for primary content is preferred by 
normal average web users (not by web designers)
c-most average web users (not web designers) find the defaults significantly 
different from ideal and would change them if they knew how

2-If vendors were getting significant numbers of complaints from genuine 
ordinary average web users, there is likelihood they would have changed them 
somewhere along the developmental way. Now with a GUI web over a decade
old they are essentially unchanged in *nominal* size. During that same time, 
the *physical* size of those same nominally sized defaults has been shrinking 
significantly.

3-Fonts smaller than ideal have a different functional impact than fonts larger 
than ideal. Too big far less often equates to unusable and/or painful than does 
the converse. When I arrive on a site with too big fonts (as
often happens to me due to styling as described on 
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/SS/Clagnut/eonsSS ) I usually don't find enough 
discomfort to bother with resizing smaller, while when I arrive on the more 
usual site with too
small fonts, I usually do one of three things: 1-close the tab; 2-hit back 
button; 3-zoom text larger.

4-Not all web users are morons to whom the implicit meaning of Personal 
Computer (PC) is lost. Personal means under and subject to the control and 
personalization of the computers they own and/or use. That most don't go
beyond setting of desktop wallpaper and screensaver in personalizing is no 
reason to assume that any change you make that affects what they see is likely 
to be better for them than if you didn't. That you like smaller
fonts than the defaults is no reason to assume they do too.

I don't believe a web nearly 3 years beyond Firefox 1.0 and Safari 1.0 is still 
so overwhelmed with users who are so totally unclued that they can personalize 
their personal computer's web browsers that those who are clued
can be still be disregarded as insufficient justification to respect anyone's 
preferences, whether actively or passively determined.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Tony Crockford


On 5 Sep 2007, at 22:04, Felix Miata wrote:


On 2007/09/05 21:06 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:


I don't remember the last time I visited a mainstream site and found
the fonts smaller than normal.



can you point to some popular sites (I mean mainstream popular sites)
where the fonts are
(a) non-resizable and
(b) too small


BBC News seems to be still as described on http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/ 
SS/bbcSS.html (body is still 'font:normal 13px Verdana, Arial,  
Helvetica, sans-serif, MS sans serif;').


Which brings me back to the question:

Who says it's too small?

which you don't seem to be able to answer in an objective way.

I'm suggesting that normal users don't find the BBC site too small,  
or they would have complained and the BBC, being responsible and  
interested, would have done something about it.


;o)


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Rick Lecoat
On 5/9/07 (22:43) Felix said:

4-Not all web users are morons to whom the implicit meaning of Personal
Computer (PC) is lost. Personal means under and subject to the control
and personalization of the computers they own and/or use. That most
don't go
beyond setting of desktop wallpaper and screensaver in personalizing is
no reason to assume that any change you make that affects what they see
is likely to be better for them than if you didn't. That you like smaller
fonts than the defaults is no reason to assume they do too.

There is a very wide gulf between a) saying that many (perhaps even the
majority) of web users are unaware that changing the default text size
is an option and b) saying those people are morons. 

Conversely, not being a moron does /not/ imply that the person has
changed their defaults. I can think of a large number people just within
my (non-IT professional) friends and family who would have no idea about
tinkering with their browser settings in that way. Are they morons? Of
course not. But the fact remains that they have never adjusted their defaults.

That you like smaller fonts than the defaults is no reason to assume
they do too.

Correct. Nor is it a reason to assume that they do not.

-- 
Rick Lecoat



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 14:40 (GMT-0700) Hassan Schroeder apparently typed:

 Felix Miata wrote:

 If you accept the assumption I make below, then quite the contrary.

 I'm not interested in accepting your assumptions -- I'm looking
 for valid evidence; that's the whole point.

There are only two possible presumptions regarding the indicated pt sizes that 
can be made from their study. Either the pt sizes specified were meant 
literally, in which case the data and results remain perfectly valid
today, or they were meant nominally. If they were meant nominally, because the 
actual average DPI of that time was inaccurately set to in excess of reality, 
the results indicate people preferred fonts that were in fact
larger than the pt sizes that were indicated in the study's results. IOW, with 
the arguably easier to make assumption, those test subjects actually preferred 
larger than 12pt.

 A 1280x1024 19 display is ~86.3 DPI. If you are using a browser that floors 
 at or is fixed to use an assumed 96 DPI (standard doz setting BTW), which 
 more often than not is the reality, then 12pt should be rendering at
 about 17.8px.

I wasn't clear, and I got the math backwards. With the default floor in effect, 
nominal 12pt will render at 16px, as it always will when a browser is 
functioning as if display DPI was in fact 96. However, 12pt is merely
nominal when actual display DPI is less than the 96 DPI that Firefox assumes, 
not an accurate 12pt as when 12pt is printed. 86/96 times 16 is 14.333, which 
rounded by FF will render at 14px when both 12pt is called for and
it is permitted to use the actual display DPI of 86.

 Using FF2 on my SuSE 10 desktop, 12pt and 16px Arial upper case M
 characters render at *exactly* the same height. Measured, not just
 theorized.

Indeed. You are running a sub-96 DPI display. Without changing the hidden 
Firefox pref layout.css.dpi from -1 to 0, and assuming a reasonably but not 
necessarily accurately configured X, Firefox on your system assumes 96
DPI, which makes 12pt nominal exactly equal to 16px, which makes the actual 
size of nominal 12pt larger than 1/6, the actual height of a printed 12pt 
character box.

If you visit with Firefox http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/auth/Font/font-arial with 
1280x1024 on 19 you'll see a match between 12pt and 16px. However, if you 
permit Firefox to use an accurate DPI for your display by setting
layout.css.dpi to 86 (or possibly by setting it to 0, depending on your X 
configuration), then you'd see something like 
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/SS/Fnt/font-arial-L086DPI.gif (12pt smaller than 16px; 
~14px; SUSE 10.2). If
your SUSE was running on a 16 1680x1050 laptop, and X was configured to use an 
accurate DPI, then you'd see something like 
http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/SS/Fnt/font-arial-L124DPI.gif (12pt much larger than 
16px; ~20px; SUSE 10.2).

 But we don't have any of that for the studies you cite, so how much
 can they really be relied on?

 Because of their source and apparent nature, it is reasonable to assume 

 No it's not. It's only reasonable to assume if you want to try to
 twist the evidence to your way of thinking.

 One minute you say you need a whole laundry list of data points to
 analyze how big a particular font size is, and the next minute
 you say we can assume that a particular study (the conclusion of
 which favors your argument) is perfectly valid without all that.

The laundry list was about conveying apparent physical size in a discussion 
about size. A pixel has no physical size meaning without a context that can 
translate it into a physical size. At the very least, doing that
requires knowledge of both screen size and resolution, or the combination of 
the two that is normally presented as DPI.

If we make the easy presumption that the scientific study was flawed by 
presenting nominal pt rather than real pt, then the results it presents 
understates the participants' size preference. If we make the perfectly
plausible other presumption, that pt means real pt, then there's nothing yet 
shown in this thread to invalidate the study results.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 22:49 (GMT+0100) Tony Crockford apparently typed:

 On 5 Sep 2007, at 22:04, Felix Miata wrote:

 BBC News seems to be still as described on http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/ 
 SS/bbcSS.html (body is still 'font:normal 13px Verdana, Arial,  
 Helvetica, sans-serif, MS sans serif;').

 Which brings me back to the question:

 Who says it's too small?

 which you don't seem to be able to answer in an objective way.

I think I have, but here goes another way:

1-I've provided links to places indicating normal ordinary people complaining 
about too small web page text
2-I've noted apparent absence of places, outside a web developer/designer 
context, with people complaining about too large web page text
3-I've indicated in other threads direct contact with people indicating as in 1 
above
4-I've indicated in other threads virtual absence of contact with people 
indicating as in 2 above
5-I've provided links to scientific studies that show what size normal ordinary 
web users prefer
6-I've indicated, and been agreed with, that only a user is in position to 
determine best/right/ideal size, and that presumptively, whether actively or 
passively, users have made such a determination; from which it follows
that content smaller than 100% must necessarily be smaller than the user's 
choice - aka too small
7-I've provided links to sites of entities that are in some way qualified as 
having usability and/or accessibility expertise recommending user defaults be 
respected with 100% of user defaults based design
8-I've a web site loaded with comments on web font issues

Without funds to sponsor a qualified and independent testing institution doing 
more objective study, I'm not sure what else anyone could do.

 I'm suggesting that normal users don't find the BBC site too small,  
 or they would have complained and the BBC, being responsible and  
 interested, would have done something about it.

In an ideal world big business might actually act on non-paying customer 
complaints, or non-paying customers might actually bother to complain enough to 
get noticed. Then again, the BBC is apparently pretty big.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/ use considerably different CSS.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/06 00:21 (GMT+0100) Rick Lecoat apparently typed:

 But the fact remains that they have never adjusted their defaults.

It also remains undetermined how many would if they both knew they could and 
knew how to do it.

That you like smaller fonts than the defaults is no reason to assume
they do too.

 Correct. Nor is it a reason to assume that they do not.

I believe I've already explained up thread that they do, in 
_web_designers_as_a_group_ having a personal skew/bias/preference in favor of 
things small generally, part of the nature of the kind of detail-oriented 
people who
gravitate into web design.
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread David Laakso


There is typography and there is the science of typography: they are not 
necessarily the same. Sooner rather than later one of you is going to 
actually have to break down and commit to something on the screen. 
Preferably something of your own making that proves a point (or at least 
attempts to make a point). Go ahead. Put a page or some pages on the 
Web.  Prove your form of whatever form of control you happen to believe 
everyone else should adhere to on the screen. You can thrash all this 
stuff out in writing from now until forever: that is a useful and 
meaningful exercise, but only if accompanied by an example you've made 
that the majority agree proves your point.


Best,
~dL

--
http://chelseacreekstudio.com/



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Felix Miata
On 2007/09/05 22:00 (GMT+0100) Rick Lecoat apparently typed:

 (Felix argues that the browser vendors arrived at their default size
 after long and careful research, but AFAIK said research remains hearsay).

Bits of it are scattered about on the web, including Mozilla's bugzilla. A 
scour of http://blogs.msdn.com/fontblog/ might turn up something somewhat 
comprehensive. Earlier I provided a component of it:
http://blogs.msdn.com/fontblog/archive/2005/11/08/490490.aspx

 To restate my earlier point (hopefully with greater clarity):
 No matter what you do, people will look at a page and (probably) either
 say the type is too big or the type is too small.

There's another possibility: it's just fine.

 In either case
 they can adjust it accordingly, except that those who want to make it
 smaller (eg. those without accessibility issues) are *perhaps* less
 likely to know how to. And *perhaps* that's one argument for designing
 with smaller type as a baseline.

Other food for thought:
http://www.xs4all.nl/~sbpoley/webmatters/essence.html
http://www.dev-archive.net/articles/font-analogy.html
http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/boomers/
http://www.cameratim.com/personal/soapbox/morons-in-webspace
-- 
It yet remains a problem to be solved in human affairs,
whether any free government can be permanent, where the
public worship of God, and the support of religion,
constitute no part of the policy or duty of the state in
any assignable shape.
 Chief Justice Joseph Story

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

Felix Miata  ***  http://mrmazda.no-ip.com/


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Dean Edridge



Personally, I find 16px text far too large for comfortable reading.


That's fine.
Using firefox? go to:
tools - options - content - Default font: size 14 or even smaller if 
it suits you.


--
Dean Edridge
http://www.zealmedia.co.nz/



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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Dean Edridge
Assuming that viewers of your site have not changed the settings on 
their software to suit their eyesight or their general preferences is wrong.


By giving users: body{font-size:100%;} you are doing the best you can at 
your end, and It's up to them to ensure they have correctly configured 
their browser to suit their eyesight or preferences.


I have my laptop set at 1024x768.
With Firefox I have the font size set at 16px.

That means that when I view a web page, I am saying to firefox: Show me 
this web page, and show the main text at 16 pixels and scale the other 
text (h1, h2, h3, h4) around this base font-size setting.


Setting this in your css sheet:

body{font-size:100%;}

h1 {font-size: 145%;}
h2 {font-size: 132%;}
h3 {font-size: 125%;}
h4 {font-size: 115%;}
h5 {font-size: 102%;}
h6 {font-size: 100%;}
p, ul, ol, blockquote, pre {font-size:100%;}

ensures that this is possible.

note: I think the code suggested was originally from: Gunlaug Sørtun  
http://www.gunlaug.no


--
Dean Edridge
http://www.zealmedia.co.nz/




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Jixor - Stephen I

Wouldn't all those heading sizes would look fairly similar, especially 102%?

Dean Edridge wrote:
Assuming that viewers of your site have not changed the settings on 
their software to suit their eyesight or their general preferences is 
wrong.


By giving users: body{font-size:100%;} you are doing the best you can 
at your end, and It's up to them to ensure they have correctly 
configured their browser to suit their eyesight or preferences.


I have my laptop set at 1024x768.
With Firefox I have the font size set at 16px.

That means that when I view a web page, I am saying to firefox: Show 
me this web page, and show the main text at 16 pixels and scale the 
other text (h1, h2, h3, h4) around this base font-size setting.


Setting this in your css sheet:

body{font-size:100%;}

h1 {font-size: 145%;}
h2 {font-size: 132%;}
h3 {font-size: 125%;}
h4 {font-size: 115%;}
h5 {font-size: 102%;}
h6 {font-size: 100%;}
p, ul, ol, blockquote, pre {font-size:100%;}

ensures that this is possible.

note: I think the code suggested was originally from: Gunlaug Sørtun  
http://www.gunlaug.no






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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Dean Edridge

Jixor - Stephen I wrote:
Wouldn't all those heading sizes would look fairly similar, especially 
102%?


Dean Edridge wrote:
Assuming that viewers of your site have not changed the settings on 
their software to suit their eyesight or their general preferences is 
wrong.


By giving users: body{font-size:100%;} you are doing the best you can 
at your end, and It's up to them to ensure they have correctly 
configured their browser to suit their eyesight or preferences.


I have my laptop set at 1024x768.
With Firefox I have the font size set at 16px.

That means that when I view a web page, I am saying to firefox: Show 
me this web page, and show the main text at 16 pixels and scale the 
other text (h1, h2, h3, h4) around this base font-size setting.


Setting this in your css sheet:

body{font-size:100%;}

h1 {font-size: 145%;}
h2 {font-size: 132%;}
h3 {font-size: 125%;}
h4 {font-size: 115%;}
h5 {font-size: 108%;}
h6 {font-size: 100%;}
p, ul, ol, blockquote, pre {font-size:100%;}

ensures that this is possible.

note: I think the code suggested was originally from: Gunlaug Sørtun  
http://www.gunlaug.no


The heading sizes aren't that important, you can change these to what 
ever you like (I just changed the h5 to 108%). They were put there as an 
example. It's the main font-size (body{font-size:100%;}) that  is 
important.


On my wide screen desktop monitor (1440pixels x 900pixels) I have the 
default font-size in firefox set to 18pixels. Having this set ensures 
that all well designed sites scale well and look great on my large screen.


// Here's where I get a bit off topic and start talking about the liquid 
web in general.


If anyone's using a large monitor (by my definition larger than 
1024x768) you should never change the resolution of the screen down to 
suit badly designed websites or other poorly thought out software. 
Instead, change the settings of your OS to suit the screen size. If you 
are using XP, do this: Right click on the desktop click - appearance - 
Font-size and select large Fonts - click apply.
This does not change the font-size for all programs though, you will 
have to change these individually.


And if you come across sites that are only 760pixels wide and only take 
up half the screen. That's not your problem, they are poorly designed sites.

All website designs should fit in to one of the following categories:

Liquid-layout
Fluid-layout
Vector-layout

It's not impossible, just look at Trademe [1] biggest site in New 
Zealand and no horizontal scrollbars till under 800x600 resolution
And there's simple liquid layouts such as the php.net site [2] and 
w3.org [3]

[1] http://www.trademe.co.nz/
[2] http://www.php.net/
[3] http://www.w3.org/

--
Dean Edridge
http://www.zealmedia.co.nz/




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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Gunlaug Sørtun

Jixor - Stephen I wrote:
Wouldn't all those heading sizes would look fairly similar, 
especially 102%?


Indeed, but those are the sizes I found suitable for my own site, and I
have only *suggested* (over at css-d) those values for use on other
sites - as part of a method for inheriting font-sizes down the entire
chain of containers in a web page.

Designers should of course choose the values that suits their particular
designs, and that was made clear in the thread that suggestion is copied
from.

regards
Georg
--
http://www.gunlaug.no


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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Jixor - Stephen I
I would strongly recommend against ever using large fonts unless 
required for a vision impairment. Even on a laptop with higher dpi than 
a desktop monitor.


Just because you may have a higher resolution applications generally 
don't scale in that manor. Some applications will even refuse to start 
unless you change back to small fonts. Also of course if you have a 
higher resolution you also have a larger screen so the dpi will be quite 
similar to a smaller screen (on desktops).


Dean Edridge wrote:

Jixor - Stephen I wrote:
Wouldn't all those heading sizes would look fairly similar, 
especially 102%?


Dean Edridge wrote:
Assuming that viewers of your site have not changed the settings on 
their software to suit their eyesight or their general preferences 
is wrong.


By giving users: body{font-size:100%;} you are doing the best you 
can at your end, and It's up to them to ensure they have correctly 
configured their browser to suit their eyesight or preferences.


I have my laptop set at 1024x768.
With Firefox I have the font size set at 16px.

That means that when I view a web page, I am saying to firefox: 
Show me this web page, and show the main text at 16 pixels and 
scale the other text (h1, h2, h3, h4) around this base font-size 
setting.


Setting this in your css sheet:

body{font-size:100%;}

h1 {font-size: 145%;}
h2 {font-size: 132%;}
h3 {font-size: 125%;}
h4 {font-size: 115%;}
h5 {font-size: 108%;}
h6 {font-size: 100%;}
p, ul, ol, blockquote, pre {font-size:100%;}

ensures that this is possible.

note: I think the code suggested was originally from: Gunlaug 
Sørtun  http://www.gunlaug.no


The heading sizes aren't that important, you can change these to what 
ever you like (I just changed the h5 to 108%). They were put there as 
an example. It's the main font-size (body{font-size:100%;}) that  is 
important.


On my wide screen desktop monitor (1440pixels x 900pixels) I have the 
default font-size in firefox set to 18pixels. Having this set ensures 
that all well designed sites scale well and look great on my large 
screen.


// Here's where I get a bit off topic and start talking about the 
liquid web in general.


If anyone's using a large monitor (by my definition larger than 
1024x768) you should never change the resolution of the screen down to 
suit badly designed websites or other poorly thought out software. 
Instead, change the settings of your OS to suit the screen size. If 
you are using XP, do this: Right click on the desktop click - 
appearance - Font-size and select large Fonts - click apply.
This does not change the font-size for all programs though, you will 
have to change these individually.


And if you come across sites that are only 760pixels wide and only 
take up half the screen. That's not your problem, they are poorly 
designed sites.

All website designs should fit in to one of the following categories:

Liquid-layout
Fluid-layout
Vector-layout

It's not impossible, just look at Trademe [1] biggest site in New 
Zealand and no horizontal scrollbars till under 800x600 resolution
And there's simple liquid layouts such as the php.net site [2] and 
w3.org [3]

[1] http://www.trademe.co.nz/
[2] http://www.php.net/
[3] http://www.w3.org/





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Re: [WSG] Font sizing: top down or bottom up

2007-09-05 Thread Jixor - Stephen I
Sorry, the point I'm making is why use 100 and 102, is there any visible 
difference?


I would have thought the user would need to have a massive default font 
size to see any. However I have noticed myself that the way the browsers 
tend to size fonts can be quite strange. Sometimes a change of 5% in 
scaling can result in the same font ending up the same size however 
notably wider.


Gunlaug Sørtun wrote:

Jixor - Stephen I wrote:
Wouldn't all those heading sizes would look fairly similar, 
especially 102%?


Indeed, but those are the sizes I found suitable for my own site, and I
have only *suggested* (over at css-d) those values for use on other
sites - as part of a method for inheriting font-sizes down the entire
chain of containers in a web page.

Designers should of course choose the values that suits their particular
designs, and that was made clear in the thread that suggestion is copied
from.

regards
Georg




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