(Pixel) Size Matters

Over the last few years, I’ve gotten an increasing number of complaints about the default font size on this web site and in my other web based software1. When I upgraded to my 30″ display, I finally realized why.

Pixels have been getting smaller and smaller over the years. For comparison:

22″ Cinema Display: 1600 x 1024 pixels = 86.3 pixels/diagonal inch

30″ Cinema Display: 2560 x 1600 pixels = 100.6 pixels/diagonal inch

This is really a significant difference. On the 22″ display, Verdana 10px (the font I’ve always had as the default on this web site) looks like Verdana 11px does on the 30″ display.

The difference in readability is not subtle. I keep my e-mail and IM windows on the 22″ display while I do my development on the 30″ display. I can read the 22″ display more easily, even though it is slightly further away from my eyes than the 30″ display is.

Readability is important, giving readers/users choices is important and keeping up with the times is important. Besides, big is very trendy these days. :)

I’ve changed the default font size to 11px on this site. If you prefer the previously used small font size here, all you need to do is click the smallest ‘A’ icon in the top right corner of the page (except Safari users – I should test and see if that Safari bug is still there). I’ll also be including a font size setting in future versions of my web apps.

  1. For FeedLounge, I made the default font size a step larger. [back]