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

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
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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