SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)

    Older web users and text size

    Older web users and text size
    Roger Hudson has just published some research on older visitors and what they think of smaller text sizes and what do they do when they find it's too small.

    Here are some important parts, listen up web developers:
    When asked what they did when text was too small:
    * I use the browser to make them bigger if I need to
    * If I have to read it, I will try getting closer to the screen or getting someone else to help. I have printed out pages that are important and then made them bigger with a photocopier.
    * Id have a problem. Id try another site, or maybe print the page out and see if that is better
    * You can use the zoom to make it bigger
    * Just use ctrl + to increase the size
    * Go to another site if I cant read it
    * Tend to go past it. If critical you labour by getting closer to the screen
    * I wouldnt know how to change the size
    Some of these were somewhat web-savvy users who were comfortable using computers and the internet.
    One participant quoted:
    "It depends, with my iPad I zoom, but on the (work) computer I copy and paste the words into a document and then use Word to increase the size."
    It's stated that less than half of the study participants knew how to enlarge the text (in their browsers), and they mostly missed text-enlarging widgets placed on some pages.

    All good stuff to think about when your photoshopper-designer insists on those "professional-looking" 9px light grey letters on white backgrounds.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All good stuff to think about when your photoshopper-designer insists on those "professional-looking" 9px light grey letters on white backgrounds.
    Haha so true.

    Here is a color contrast checker that you can use. It looks like it's for Canada's accessibility requirements, but it should be still be universally useful.

    http://snook.ca/technical/colour_contrast/colour.html

    That and 12 or 13px Verdana is the way to go in terms of a good combination of readability and space efficiency (if required). Even if the user has a high resolution monitor, 12-13px text is still very readable.

    It should also be noted that larger text size doesn't just apply to accessibility for older users - it also increases reading comprehension of younger users (as does ample line spacing).

  3. #3
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    That and 12 or 13px Verdana is the way to go in terms of a good combination of readability and space efficiency (if required).
    If you don't know my OS settings, my browser font default (which on my system, some browsers like Firefox will inherit from my Desktop Application settings while others such as Opera will not) or my resolution, you wouldn't be safe with 12 or 13px, even with verdana (which isn't default on Linux machines anyway).

    Since setting a % font size on the body removes an IE resizing bug, I feel really safe doing this:

    body {
    font: 100% verdana, "lucida grande", "dejavu sans", sans-serif;
    }
    and can in the body text set line-height (otherwise you get whatever the browser-default is).

    Jon's colour checker is good. I use Gez Lemon's Accessibility toolbar which has a Colour Contrast Analyser built in (and you can check for A, AA, and AAA compliance). If Canada follows WCAG then they may use the A-AAA rating system... but I dunno that they do.

    As an official non-old-fart, I resize text regularly, but less so than before I increased my Desktop and Terminal sizes.

  4. #4
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    A Maze of Twisty Little Passages
    Posts
    6,316
    Mentioned
    60 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Theoretically fonts are supposed to be no less than 9px (it clearly states that in the CSS guidelines) and obviously a percentage value is only as good as the parent percentage. Many browser default fonts are approximated at 16px.

  5. #5
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Many browser default fonts are approximated at 16px.
    So far as I know, my Firefox is also defaulted to 16px. However because my Desktop font settings are higher, whatever FF thinks "16px" is, is much, much bigger than what, say, the Windows machine next to me thinks 16px is.

  6. #6
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    39,017
    Mentioned
    53 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    i overcome the small fonts that some d3sign3rz use by setting my screen to 800x600, which shows most of them large enough -- still small and annoying, but large enough

    and of course the site might then have a horizontal scroll... which is sometimes okay, as the text part is often in one column of a multi-column layout, and that one column fits within my screen

    but if the text itself needs to be scrolled, i bail
    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,659
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    While I do not want designers here to have this mindset. Rudy have you thought about getting Zoomtext or Supernova?
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  8. #8
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    39,017
    Mentioned
    53 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rguy84 View Post
    Rudy have you thought about getting Zoomtext or Supernova?
    nope, never did, in fact i never heard of them

    what i do works just fine
    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,659
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    it is a screen enlargement prog. May help esp since youre rolling in all that dough from the book
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  10. #10
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    r937's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    39,017
    Mentioned
    53 Post(s)
    Tagged
    2 Thread(s)
    i don't need my screen enlarged

    (aside: how can software enlarge a screen, anyway??)

    websites that don't fit my screen aren't going to get a repeat visit
    r937.com | rudy.ca | Buy my SitePoint book: Simply SQL
    "giving out my real stuffs"

  11. #11
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    (aside: how can software enlarge a screen, anyway??)
    Usually a combination of zooming images (making them nasty and pixelated) and enlarging text, for a small part of the page. Once you go over like 32x, you get lost easily on poorly-structured pages. Why it sucks when someone does some AJAXy thing and the "result" appears way over in some other part of the page, instead of where you were when you activated the event.



    i overcome the small fonts that some d3sign3rz use by setting my screen to 800x600, which shows most of them large enough -- still small and annoying, but large enough
    I remember Mike Cherim mentioning his daughter (with normal eyesight) did this on all her computers.
    Doesn't work on my computer because it's too much wider-than-tall, so I just use Large Print settings.

  12. #12
    Design Your Site Team bronze trophy Erik J's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Countryside, Sweden
    Posts
    3,407
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Guess I'm not representing my age, I use Droid Sans at 13 px and not allowing websites to change my font or size. But I use reading glasses. This setting works surprisingly well over all.

    If I zoom, I zoom text only. What makes me leave the site is rather to much a lack of contrast. I sometimes think of overriding the colours too.

    Only test cases makes me change to default browser settings.
    Happy ADD/ADHD with Asperger's

  13. #13
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If I zoom, I zoom text only.
    This is one of my biggers reasons I don't use Opera by default for surfing.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,659
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rudy: The software just acts similiarly to when you swap your resolution. The software redraws the screen.

    Re Stomme: My rule of thumb is if you need 14x+ for daily use, i would push for jumping to a screen reader. If you are older, so a screen reader is too far outside the box, I recommend using another person to help. Yeah it sucks, but trying to read something with 4 inch characters is not too fun...
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  15. #15
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Ja but the free ones sound horrid (the ones who use espeak). A few crtl++s works pretty well for me. I have a ridiculously high resolution which makes all text pretty small.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,659
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't think AT&T will give up on asking $100 a voice
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  17. #17
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    10,233
    Mentioned
    47 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Off Topic:

    Those fools can't touch me over here!!

    We have KPN : )

  18. #18
    Non-Member bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Keene, NH
    Posts
    3,760
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just comes down to something the WCAG has basically said for years.

    PX fonts is for retards when it comes to CONTENT. It's called %/EM, USE THEM -- hell, even PT is superior (which is why PT was the metric of choice for forum software for DECADES, was the only one that gecko/Netscape paid any attention to on the system metric.).

    As someone with semi-impaired vision, who cannot STAND running a display at it's non-native resolution and who has used large fonts/120 dpi setting in windows since Win 3.0, people using PX on content areas -- I don't care if it's 12, 14 or 16, just pisses me off... even with Opera's vastly superior zoom (at least compared to EVERY other browser) most websites break so horribly (especially the fixed width design idiots) that I quite often fall squarely into the "screw this, I'm going to another site" group.

    Enjoy your bounce rate.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Zealot
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    140
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    unless your target viewers are seniors, i wouldnt worry about them. focus on the 90% of visitors.

  20. #20
    Robert Wellock silver trophybronze trophy xhtmlcoder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    A Maze of Twisty Little Passages
    Posts
    6,316
    Mentioned
    60 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Everybody grows old and 10% (1 in 10 people) is a high proportion of users and it is not just a case of older users that have these issues. As we have read further up on the page some of the members in their youth - with normal eyesight - are having issues with poorly designed websites and text.

  21. #21
    Mouse catcher silver trophy
    Stevie D's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    5,830
    Mentioned
    110 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by baybossplaya View Post
    unless your target viewers are seniors, i wouldnt worry about them. focus on the 90% of visitors.
    A lot more than 10% of the population have less than perfect vision and will struggle on sites that are designed to look cool by and for people in their 20s and 30s, and that don't take into account the needs of people with lesser vision.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard rguy84's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Posts
    1,659
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by baybossplaya View Post
    unless your target viewers are seniors, i wouldnt worry about them. focus on the 90% of visitors.
    So am i chopped liver since i am almost 27 and anything over 1-2 ft away needs to be 50 pt or more without glasses?
    Ryan B | My Blog | Twitter

  23. #23
    Non-Member bronze trophy
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Keene, NH
    Posts
    3,760
    Mentioned
    23 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by baybossplaya View Post
    unless your target viewers are seniors, i wouldnt worry about them. focus on the 90% of visitors.
    Thinking this has ANYTHING to do with the age of the user is outright ignorant... because it can also be a hardware issue!

    Not all screens have their dots the same size, some people run higher resolutions with larger default fonts -- what looks great at 1366x768 on a 19" CRT might be uselessly undersized on a 17" 1920x1200 macbook pro. What looks good on that macbook pro might be completely useless on a 9" netbook.

    That's the original POINT of HTML, device neutrality -- targeting multiple resolutions, font sizes, multiple screen sizes...

    ... and ALL you have to do is use %/EM fonts on your content area's and stop fixing the width of pages -- even semi-fluid is better than crappy stripe -- NEITHER of which is "difficult" despite the artsy fartsy types getting their panties in a twist over their pretty pictures drawn in photoshop NOT being functional designs for websites and usually amounting to total and miserable accessibility failures!


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •