Font Size and its Importance in Web Design

As a web designer it is your job to understand if everything is in place- like the layout, the content, color and graphics which should be created in an eye-catching website. This is all good before you start thinking from the users perspective. Suddenly everything looks as if falling apart, the color is garish, the layout all over the place and the text unreadable.

But there is so much scope of improvement when it comes to text as with font styles and size is concerned.

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Have you ever come across a website which has great layout, color and graphics, but tiny fonts? Or too big of a font? In both the cases how was your experience as a web user seeking specific information? If I have to guess, I would say that you didn’t bother reading beyond the first few lines. If your reaction was tiny/ large fonts then you may have confirmed my guess.

Font is Serious Business!

Fonts can make or break a website. it is true because small/ large unreadable fonts can discourage a viewer and make exploring your site even more than unattractive layouts. Web users don’t just sniff around for information, they hunt down the websites which give them the information they are looking for. The options are many, leading to limited user attention.

It is simple, no one has the time to explore a website and decipher the text. It’s there for everybody to read. Both tiny and large fonts can render text unreadable. While tiny fonts stress out the eyes to read it, large fonts make text look amateurish. In both cases, users would rather be looking elsewhere.

Defining Font Size

Font sizes can be defined by virtue of being absolute and relative and their length and percentage. Users agents define it font size is absolute. The normal size is x-medium while other common font sizes are x-small and xx-large. A relative font size means its size in relation to a parent element that would either make it appear small, large or the exact size.

Font Accessibility

When you put up content on the website, is it because you want people to read the material or because you want them to spend enough time on the website to perform a positive action. Smaller font size works with young readers or exceptionally patient readers. And a medium font size works with most users.

Pixels, or EMs?

EMs provide good font accessibility. Your font size become larger or smaller depending on individual user browsers. Use of EMs makes the font to become relative to the parent element. While your sites accessibility can be enhanced it means that your site may not appear as you may want it to. Since EMs cause your website fonts to scale relative to their default size, your site’s appearance can almost become uncontrollable.

An alternative is to use pixels for font size. Pixels allow for standard font properties and hence leave little chance for your website’s appearance to become uncontrollable.


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