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Re: Font size


From: kynn@idyllmtn.com
Date: Jun 13, 2002 10:55AM

Glenda was asked:
> "W3C Priority 2 guidelines suggest that all fonts should be sized relatively
> to enable scaling. Would you consider allowing some text to scale and others
> not to be acceptable? Specifically, if we've used Text navigation links, and
> for the sake of controlling space, fixed that size and allowed general body
> text to scale relatively?"

The answer is: "Nope! That's not acceptable!"

> My initial response is:
> "Individuals use a wide variety of viewing devices, from very large monitors
> to tiny screens on handheld devices, and the content should flow into the
> appropriate size. This does not happen when absolute position and length
> units are used. Users need to be able to change the size of text to
> compensate for the resolution or size of their device or because of a visual
> impairment."

Your initial response is right on. Furthermore, depending on the mode in
which the user is accessing the page -- "navigating to content", "viewing
content", or a combination of the two -- the navigation text could in fact
be much more important than the body text!

This is one reason why setting the font size of navigation to "small"
or "smaller" or "-1" is less than optimal, even though people do it all
the time. Sometimes what the user NEEDS to see the most is the navigation
bar. Sometimes it's the content. In neither case should one of these be
deliberately set to be harder to read.

> Is there anything I'm missing here? Personally, I'm not sure why a designer
> would pick and choose when to apply this guideline (WCAG 1.0 3.4). Isn't it
> best to make all font relative?

You are correct!

> Looking forward to hearing from you.
> Cheers,
> Glenda
> *********
> Glenda Watson Hyatt
> Soaring Eagle Communications
> "Creating freedom and power through accessible communications"

Oh, Glenda, I forgot to mention before -- you're doing some great work on
web accessibility training materials and in spreading "the word", and I
thank you for that!


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