How many users can change font sizes ?

Discussion in 'HTML' started by Bob, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    change font size in their browsers ?

    IMHE, the percentage is ~zero. I used to train a couple of dozen folks
    per week in software development, primarily web development,
    and I'd wager that only about 5% of even those folks knew that you
    could change font size - and that 5% were all software tech's
    or web developers already.

    Opinions ? Facts ?

    Thanks,
     
    Bob, Jan 2, 2004
    #1
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  2. Bob

    Richard Guest

    Bob wrote:

    > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > change font size in their browsers ?


    > IMHE, the percentage is ~zero. I used to train a couple of dozen folks
    > per week in software development, primarily web development,
    > and I'd wager that only about 5% of even those folks knew that you
    > could change font size - and that 5% were all software tech's
    > or web developers already.


    > Opinions ? Facts ?


    > Thanks,


    I must be in the 5% then as I turn my font stuff off so I'm in control.
    Anything I can't stand is a site that uses 6 point fonts, narrow ones, to
    cram in a lot of text, then blast the outer edges with tons of large print
    advertising.
    So I uncheck two boxes and take control.

    Problem is, half the users of a majority of software, don't even take the
    time to try out the menu right in front of them.

    Go into 24hoursupport.helpdesk and see how many times a week some idiot
    can't figure out something simple when all he has to do is look in the menu.
    Click the help button? Not on your life. Ask in a forum, it's easier.
     
    Richard, Jan 2, 2004
    #2
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  3. Bob

    brucie Guest

    in post <news:>
    Bob said:

    > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users


    your energies would be better spent developing content than trying to
    find stats to back-up your poor design choices.


    --
    brucie
    02/January/2004 05:52:21 pm kilo
     
    brucie, Jan 2, 2004
    #3
  4. Bob

    West Guest

    "brucie" <> wrote in message
    news:bt382s$2hjqa$-berlin.de...
    > in post <news:>
    > Bob said:
    >
    > > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > > users

    >
    > your energies would be better spent developing content than trying to
    > find stats to back-up your poor design choices.
    >
    >




    that's not an answer to the question!




    > --
    > brucie
    > 02/January/2004 05:52:21 pm kilo
     
    West, Jan 2, 2004
    #4
  5. West wrote:
    > "brucie" <> wrote in message
    > news:bt382s$2hjqa$-berlin.de...
    >> in post <news:>
    >> Bob said:
    >>
    >>> I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    >>> on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    >>> users

    >>
    >> your energies would be better spent developing content than trying to
    >> find stats to back-up your poor design choices.

    >
    > that's not an answer to the question!


    yes it is. maybe not the answer the o/p was expecting but still an answer
    and far more useful too as it addresses the underlying issue that the o/p is
    working towards.

    85% of all stats are o-o-d
    73% of all stats are based on irrelevant criteria
    42.37% of all stats are made up on the spot.

    --
    William Tasso - http://WilliamTasso.com
     
    William Tasso, Jan 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Bob

    West Guest

    "William Tasso" <> wrote in message
    news:bt3jh2$2sr4h$-berlin.de...
    > West wrote:
    > > "brucie" <> wrote in message
    > > news:bt382s$2hjqa$-berlin.de...
    > >> in post <news:>
    > >> Bob said:
    > >>
    > >>> I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > >>> on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > >>> users
    > >>
    > >> your energies would be better spent developing content than trying to
    > >> find stats to back-up your poor design choices.

    > >
    > > that's not an answer to the question!

    >
    > yes it is. maybe not the answer the o/p was expecting but still an answer
    > and far more useful too as it addresses the underlying issue that the o/p

    is
    > working towards.



    No, Willaim old son, I rather suspect the o/p is still trapped into
    wondering whether;
    1. specifying font sizes is a bad thing
    2. tables are bad
    3. css should be used for all web page markup
    4. all posters who answer have credibility, or just repartee and writing
    skills

    >
    > 85% of all stats are o-o-d
    > 73% of all stats are based on irrelevant criteria
    > 42.37% of all stats are made up on the spot.
    >



    BTW, what do you think of
    http://www.wannabegirl.org/


    Happy New Year to you!

    --
    S
     
    West, Jan 2, 2004
    #6
  7. Bob

    rf Guest

    "Bob" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > change font size in their browsers ?


    Probably a very small number, say ten or twenty million, maybe even a
    hundred million. Maybe more.

    > IMHE, the percentage is ~zero.


    Nope. The poeple who really need to change their font size can. The people
    who are perhaps a little visually impared can. Those who might, like me,
    have a very large screen at a very high "resolution" can. Power users can.

    > I used to train a couple of dozen folks
    > per week in software development, primarily web development,
    > and I'd wager that only about 5% of even those folks knew that you
    > could change font size - and that 5% were all software tech's
    > or web developers already.


    So, you trained them. Did you also train them to use their tools correctly,
    that is to be able to use all of the options those tools make available,
    like changing font size? Did you tell them that it is possible to change the
    font size for their entire system?

    > Opinions ? Facts ?


    Windows, by way of example, comes out of the box with all of the user
    interface elements set to a specific font size, IIRC 12 pixels, user
    configurable. The menu you see up there at the top of your newsreader.
    Windoes explorer. Notepad. The task bar. All of the text in Internet
    Explorer that is part of its UI, except for the canvas.

    Why should any web author specify a font size for this particular canvas
    that is different to the rest of the entire system the user is using? Why
    would said author choose anything other than 100% or, if you like 1.0em? Why
    do bonehead authors do stupid things like specify font face Verdana and then
    specify a font size of 80%?

    The font size the viewer has set for their system (however misguided that
    may or may not be) is the font size they are used to. It is the one they
    like. Let your canvas font size default to that.

    Cheers
    Richard.
     
    rf, Jan 2, 2004
    #7
  8. Bob

    West Guest

    "rf" <> wrote in message
    news:nycJb.74212$...
    >
    > "Bob" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > > change font size in their browsers ?

    >
    > Probably a very small number, say ten or twenty million, maybe even a
    > hundred million. Maybe more.




    "say" figures above are "say" wrong!
    ....so the rest of the post must be credible??

    --
    W




    >
    > > IMHE, the percentage is ~zero.

    >
    > Nope. The poeple who really need to change their font size can. The people
    > who are perhaps a little visually impared can. Those who might, like me,
    > have a very large screen at a very high "resolution" can. Power users can.
    >
    > > I used to train a couple of dozen folks
    > > per week in software development, primarily web development,
    > > and I'd wager that only about 5% of even those folks knew that you
    > > could change font size - and that 5% were all software tech's
    > > or web developers already.

    >
    > So, you trained them. Did you also train them to use their tools

    correctly,
    > that is to be able to use all of the options those tools make available,
    > like changing font size? Did you tell them that it is possible to change

    the
    > font size for their entire system?
    >
    > > Opinions ? Facts ?

    >
    > Windows, by way of example, comes out of the box with all of the user
    > interface elements set to a specific font size, IIRC 12 pixels, user
    > configurable. The menu you see up there at the top of your newsreader.
    > Windoes explorer. Notepad. The task bar. All of the text in Internet
    > Explorer that is part of its UI, except for the canvas.
    >
    > Why should any web author specify a font size for this particular canvas
    > that is different to the rest of the entire system the user is using? Why
    > would said author choose anything other than 100% or, if you like 1.0em?

    Why
    > do bonehead authors do stupid things like specify font face Verdana and

    then
    > specify a font size of 80%?
    >
    > The font size the viewer has set for their system (however misguided that
    > may or may not be) is the font size they are used to. It is the one they
    > like. Let your canvas font size default to that.
    >
    > Cheers
    > Richard.
    >
    >
     
    West, Jan 2, 2004
    #8
  9. Bob

    Whitecrest Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > change font size in their browsers ?


    I would guess that about 60% of the people know how to use it. The only
    reason I come up with that number is that is about the population that
    wears glasses. (resource:
    http://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/statistics.htm)

    > IMHE, the percentage is ~zero...


    Probably wrong.

    --
    Whitecrest Entertainment
    www.whitecrestent.com
     
    Whitecrest, Jan 2, 2004
    #9
  10. Bob

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 03:59:28 GMT, Bob <>
    wrote:

    >IMHE, the percentage is ~zero.


    Probably close.

    However the real question is "Of those users with vision problems,
    either their own sight, or their use of ultra-res video and a
    physically small screen, how many either know this, or had it adjusted
    once on installation ?"

    My guess is that that number is rather higher.


    --
    Congrats to STBL on his elevation from TLA to ETLA
     
    Andy Dingley, Jan 2, 2004
    #10
  11. Bob

    Jay Guest

    "Bob" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > change font size in their browsers ?
    >
    > IMHE, the percentage is ~zero.


    Wrong.

    > I used to train a couple of dozen folks
    > per week in software development, primarily web development,
    > and I'd wager that only about 5% of even those folks knew that you
    > could change font size - and that 5% were all software tech's
    > or web developers already.


    5% of the web surfer population is a very large number of people.

    > Opinions ? Facts ?


    Not everyone knows how to adjust the font sizes in their browser. But the
    people that need to adjust it know how to do it and that's what really
    matters. If you want them to visit your site and stay or even come back in
    the future, don't specify a fixed font size. Web Accessibility Initiative
    (http://www.w3.org/WAI/) wasn't developed because the W3C was bored that
    year.

    - J
     
    Jay, Jan 2, 2004
    #11
  12. Bob

    Whitecrest Guest

    In article <bbgJb.43891$>,
    says...
    > Web Accessibility Initiative
    > (http://www.w3.org/WAI/) wasn't developed because the W3C was bored that
    > year.


    But it also does not need to apply to every website in the world either.
    A website can CATER to a specific group of people. In this case, many
    accessibility initiatives go to la-la-land because they may not apply.

    --
    Whitecrest Entertainment
    www.whitecrestent.com
     
    Whitecrest, Jan 2, 2004
    #12
  13. Bob <> wrote:

    > Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > change font size in their browsers ?


    Is anyone aware of a survey of how many drivers (that is,
    not car manufactures or similar) actually know how to adjust
    their rear-view mirrors in their cars?
     
    Andreas Prilop, Jan 2, 2004
    #13
  14. Bob

    Jay Guest

    "Whitecrest" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <bbgJb.43891$>,
    > says...
    > > Web Accessibility Initiative
    > > (http://www.w3.org/WAI/) wasn't developed because the W3C was bored that
    > > year.

    >
    > But it also does not need to apply to every website in the world either.
    > A website can CATER to a specific group of people. In this case, many
    > accessibility initiatives go to la-la-land because they may not apply.


    I agree with you. :)

    I was just trying to make the point that there are many users that know how
    to change their font size by using the demand of website accessibility as an
    example.

    - J
     
    Jay, Jan 2, 2004
    #14
  15. Bob

    PeterMcC Guest

    Andreas Prilop wrote:
    > Bob <> wrote:
    >
    >> Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    >> users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    >> change font size in their browsers ?

    >
    > Is anyone aware of a survey of how many drivers (that is,
    > not car manufactures or similar) actually know how to adjust
    > their rear-view mirrors in their cars?


    You have an adjustable rear-view mirror in your car?

    --
    PeterMcC
    If you feel that any of the above is incorrect,
    inappropriate or offensive in any way,
    please ignore it and accept my apologies.
     
    PeterMcC, Jan 2, 2004
    #15
  16. In article <C%hJb.8016$9.net>, PeterMcC says...

    > You have an adjustable rear-view mirror in your car?


    What for? You're not going that way.

    --
    Daniel Ruscoe
    http://www.dualstone.co.uk
    Web design in Bolton, Manchester
     
    Daniel Ruscoe, Jan 2, 2004
    #16
  17. Bob

    John W. Guest

    Bob <> wrote:

    >I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    >on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    >users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    >change font size in their browsers ?
    >
    >IMHE, the percentage is ~zero.


    Come on, even you don't believe that.
    A lot of people have followed at least a course where they learned to
    use "word" or a similar thing to write letters with a PeeCee, and all
    hobby-users buy at least from time to time a magazine in which
    newbie-users learn those things, and all those know where to find or
    can find that button in the browser whether they use the button or not
    is a total different story.

    John OO
    --
    <http://webcel.nl/> webshopsoftware + more

    "Time is what prevents everything from happening at once"
    - John Archibald Wheeler -
     
    John W., Jan 2, 2004
    #17
  18. Bob

    John McGaw Guest

    "Bob" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I see a great deal of debate about font sizes and sizing pages based
    > on "em" sizing or similar. Is anyone aware of a survey of how many
    > users (that is, non web developers or similar) actually know how to
    > change font size in their browsers ?
    >
    > IMHE, the percentage is ~zero. I used to train a couple of dozen folks
    > per week in software development, primarily web development,
    > and I'd wager that only about 5% of even those folks knew that you
    > could change font size - and that 5% were all software tech's
    > or web developers already.
    >
    > Opinions ? Facts ?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >

    Among those that NEED to change the font size to see the content, in other
    words the visually imparied and those descending into old-fartdom like me,
    there is probably a VERY high percentage. What fraction of the total
    userbase this group makes up I can't say.
    --
    John McGaw
    [Knoxville, TN, USA]

    Return address will not work. Please
    reply in group or through my website:
    http://johnmcgaw.com
     
    John McGaw, Jan 3, 2004
    #18
  19. Bob

    Bob Guest

    On Fri, 02 Jan 2004 17:46:21 +0100, Andreas Prilop
    <-hannover.de> wrote:

    >Is anyone aware of a survey of how many drivers (that is,
    >not car manufactures or similar) actually know how to adjust
    >their rear-view mirrors in their cars?


    Well, at least you get points for attempting to be humorous.

    The answer is that the percentage is quite high, since drivers
    are _taught_ about using their mirrors as part of their driver
    training - quite often by professional driving instructors.
    In contrast, very few individuals are actually taught how to
    use a web browser.
     
    Bob, Jan 3, 2004
    #19
  20. Bob

    Bob Guest

    On Fri, 2 Jan 2004 17:53:58 +1000, brucie
    <> wrote:

    >your energies would be better spent developing content than trying to
    >find stats to back-up your poor design choices.


    Your energies might be better spent answering questions as they
    are posted instead of preaching about proper design (as you see
    it) every chance you get.
     
    Bob, Jan 3, 2004
    #20
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