Itty Fonts

[WebsitePatterns]

I just hit up http://itec.asmcorp.com, and I decided I had to leave before the eye strain killed me. Most of the text on the pages seems to be about two steps down from the default, and they even have "small print" in amongst the already small text.

I think it was a big mistake to add things like font size tags to HTML. Too many people thinking too narrowly about what the pages look like on their screen across a local-area network and never considering that things will necessarily look different somewhere else.

The example no longer appears to have the problem.

See http://www.programmers.org instead

This site, too, seems to have gone.

Unreadable in omniWeb on MacOsx, I joined their IRC channel to tell them. No-one answered though. -- MatthewTheobalds


Aside:

From www.programmers.org, I quote:

"Because we have been working on the site primarily in ASP/SQL and DHTML, we have made the tough decession of requiring the site to use Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher; this will avoid compatibility problems."

How ironic. Yet another instance of AllRoadsLeadToRome.

More like thinking inside the shrink-wrapped box. i.e. (haha, get it?!) they got this new toy so now they have to use it. Everything's a nail. --ss

They obviously haven't done any CrossPlatformTesting - the site is unreadable in MicrosoftInternetExplorer 5 for the Mac.


[EditHint: This section should perhaps be moved to AbleBodiedTwentyFiveYearOldMaleAssumption.]

I'm visually impaired. Which means in a DeVry class full of 20-year-olds, I had a 15-inch monitor at 640x480, while everyone else had a 15-inch monitor at 1024x768, or maybe a 17-inch at 1600x1200. "You can keep more windows open at once," they proudly beamed. This trend, of course, seems to have caused application and web designers alike to respond by cluttering their products with so many controls and frames that they're almost impossible to use at 640x480. Of course, in an ideal world I could set my resolution to 1600x1200 and the text would be the same size. The most disturbing part of this trend is that my vision is probably only slightly worse than that of a 70-year-old, so it's no wonder the elderly often have problems with computers. --NickBensema

Update: It's a few years since I wrote the paragraph above, and I now have three monitors. At 800x600 each. --NickBensema

My eyesight is quite lousy, though not as bad as Nick's. I keep my monitor at 1024x768 and use 14-24pt fonts, except for printing. (I'm okay with small print on paper, but not on screen.) I get very confused by multi-column web pages, and the sight of leftward movement sends my brain into a seizure. Hence, I keep my browser window astonishingly narrow by 2008 standards (it's around 650 pixels wide), and I have JavaScript and Adobe/MacromediaFlash disabled.

As for "those" people with high-resolution monitors and a zillion windows and columns, I see enough of this among my ExtremeProgramming friends. The sad thing is, some of them don't realize that they can't read their own displays. I tell them, "Your body will thank you if you lower your screen resolution or increase your font size." "Why?" "Because I observe you hunched over toward your monitor, straining to read it." "I can read it." "No you can't. Every few seconds you shrug your head closer." "I can read it. And I need room for all these windows." It's probably a good thing they're not using IntegratedDevelopmentEnvironments (I sure don't anymore), because those want to take up your entire display with a zillion panels, and I doubt you can control all the fonts in the panels and menus and so on. On the other hand, I watch people get lost among all their windows, maybe because they don't size and position them in consistent patterns.

-- ElizabethWiethoff

Dual monitors are one possible solution. It allows normal resolution, but gives you another place to put stuff.


Some applications don't recognize Windows DPI font settings, perhaps because they were built in a portable GUI engine that doesn't favor Windows. But the newer "wide" screens don't have any option for lower resolution. If you use a lower resolution, it either displays the wrong aspect ratio (circles are ovals), or it cuts off the right and left side, wasting screen real-estate.


Another emerging problem is forced-left-right-scrolling when a web-page is designed for wider screens or smaller resolution. I have some old equipment that I sometimes use that uses 800x600, and on some webpages I have to scroll back and forth to read. Resolution-dependent page design is dumb. To add insult to injury, some web-pages disable scroll bars.


What about EditorFonts??

I hear the Bitstream fonts are good.

ProgFont is good for comedy purposes and futuristic dystopiae only.

"We need to re-engineer the alphabet so that it will be clear at extremely small sizes."! I love that. Almost makes me want to use it.
See Also: FastEyes
CategoryUserInterface

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