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.


Timothy Swan
Designer/Webmaster support

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