Let's face it, people don't like to read small print. That's why
they have to be told to read it before signing a document. That's
why it's in small print in the first place.
So why do so many web sites use small fonts, (<FONT
SIZE=-1>, or even -2; or <FONT SIZE=2>, or even 1, or put
"text-size: small" or "x-small" in a style sheet) for their main
If the surfer doesn't like small type (or can't read it),
you've just lost a reader.
How about surfers who do like small type? Presumably,
their browsers are adjusted accordingly, and the type on your page
is now too small for comfortable reading. You've just lost more
What about that growing segment of the population, the elderly
(and even not-so-elderly) whose vision is not what it was?
What about those with old, poor quality, badly adjusted, or
So why do they do it?
Because the designer likes it? Your site should be designed
for its viewers, not its designer. Get a new designer!
In order to encourage viewers to use a text browser? Hardly
a good idea after investing a lot of time or money in graphics
for the site.
The default size is intended for normal reading, and users set
their browsers so that their defaults are comfortable. Make them
uncomfortable, and you lose them
If I really want to read a site with small type, I can,
by changing the browser's font size or my screen resolution (an
annoyance; few sites are worth the effort) or by using Lynx (a
very useful, fast text browser; you lose the graphics, but that's
often a bonus. Unfortunately, some sites do not display well in
Last modified: 23 November 2001