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My text size is bigger than your text size

Last post 11-03-2012 4:26 AM by pjt33. 22 replies.
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  • 10-30-2012 9:36 AM

    My text size is bigger than your text size

    Look at the website for the Power Matters Alliance which is creating an open standard for contact-less charging. Then scroll to the bottom and see the cute little links for increasing and decreasing the font size. Is this some new feature that web pages are supposed to have these days, and my onion-belt just doesn't cut it anymore?!?!!?? Or is it going to be condemned to the realms of "this page best viewed by $InsertBrowserName"
  • 10-30-2012 9:51 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    A lot of countries have legal requirements on accessibility online, i.e. you shouldn't be discriminating against your visitors just because they are blind, hard of seeing, etc.

    Unfortunately, this translates into marketing as "just put alt tags on the images and add buttons to change the text size" and stops there with no real thought put into it. I've tried convincing people that this is about as pointless as a chocolate tea pot, and that browsers have these zooming features built in, but it rarely has any effect.

    The real WTF about that link you posted though is that they're doing the size change on the server rather than on the client side. Presumably they're changing the .css file that gets included by the templates (it doesn't seem to be having any discrenible effect for me)

  • 10-30-2012 9:53 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Almost all (US, at least) Government and news sites have a font size control. I assume this is to meet some accessibility standard. This has been the case for a very long time.
      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 10-30-2012 10:06 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

     

    OzPeter:
    Look at the website for the Power Matters Alliance which is creating an open standard for contact-less charging. Then scroll to the bottom and see the cute little links for increasing and decreasing the font size. Is this some new feature that web pages are supposed to have these days, and my onion-belt just doesn't cut it anymore?!?!!?? Or is it going to be condemned to the realms of "this page best viewed by $InsertBrowserName"

     Websites have had those for years. They're, presumably, to help people with visual disabilites who don't already have a screen reader/magnifier (read: none), or for people who enjoy changing their font size who don't know about browser zoom (read: none).  These font-size utilities don't work, and no one uses them, but websites seem to love badly implementing them.

    Take this badly implemented shitpile, for example:

    1)  The TS links are two pages down (on my 1920x1080 monitor), buried underneath the footer.  So you'll never just stumble across it, even if you needed it.

    2) The font on "Font Size" is fucking tiny. 11px. The actual +/- buttons are a whopping 16px square, making them hard to hit.

    3) For some bizzare reason, rather than using hyperlinks, they've put them inside a clickable span. So you can't tab into them, and any assistive technology won't pick them up as hyperlink references.

    4) Furthermore, they're at the bottom of the page after 50 other hyperlinks. You would never be able to tab to them. Especially not after one of the many embedded videos grabs focus and starts eating your tab commands. (Another browser wtf for another thread)

    5) Even if you manage to find and use them, do they do the sensible thing-- which is modify the page content with javascript and save the resulting preference in a cookie? Nope. Clicking the hyperlink effectivly does a postback-- it goes to the page you're on, with ?font-size=larger in the querystring. I'll bring this up again-- the font-size control is at the bottom of the page. After a postback, what's the default scroll position of a page?  (Hint: it's the top of the screen)

    6) After clicking on it, it didn't actually seem to do much of anything. The first buzz-quote on the left.  Default is 12px. Click "+" and it becomes 14px. One more, and 15px. That's the largest it gets. So if you do need a larger font, you get a whopping +3px increase, or 25%.

    7) That's assuming you were trying to read one of those sidebars, and not the fucking goddamn shitass annoying "slideshow" fucking fuckers (I hate those fucking things). Reading slide 3, scroll down, click "+"? POSTBACK FUCK YOU! Now you're back on slide one.

    8) Not that any of this matters, because half of the text they have on the screen are images. So not only can you not adjust the font size, but you've also locked out anyone with assistive technology anyways. But it's okay, they have alt text, right? Let's see:  <img src="joinnow20.png"  alt="joinnow20" />  USEFUL!

    9) If their goal was to make their website more accessible to visually impaired folks, then they should go fuck a diseased tomato. A quarter of their content is hidden in invisble slideshows. A quarter is hidden in images with text. A quarter is hidden in videos.  Almost another quarter is hidden in fancy javascript "navigation" menus. The remaining 1% of content is useless bullshit.

    10) In conclusion, OP is TRWTF for not knowing this utility exists, but not as much of a WTF as anyone who has ever requested to have one of these utilities installed on their site.


    HardwareGeek:

    <blink> and you're dead!



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  • 10-30-2012 10:20 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Wow good critique. +1 would read again.
      <-  I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.
  • 10-30-2012 10:28 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Lorne Kates:
    10) In conclusion, OP is TRWTF for not knowing this utility exists, but not as much of a WTF as anyone who has ever requested to have one of these utilities installed on their site.
    In my defense I always use the browsers zoom functions, and have never noticed anything like this before. But as for the rest of it .. I knew it was a mess, but as my day job is not writing websites I didn't know how much of mess people would think it was.
  • 10-30-2012 10:33 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Man, the first time I ever built a thing like that I used poor man's ajax (invisible iframe) to store a session variable. It worked!


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  • 10-30-2012 5:11 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Lorne Kates:
    Bravo Sir, Bravo. +1 internet point for you. I would love to see a response sent to info@powermatters.org (or fax them at 1-732-601-1068, as per http://powermatters.org/index.php/contact-us/2-website-pages/15-contact-us). I'm tempted to print/fax this rant, but I truly think the honor should be yours.
  • 10-30-2012 5:59 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    I'm working on a project which had a clause in the contract up for negotiation that required a 3-sizes-of-font button. We pointed out that (a) the amount they were charging and the timescale they wanted it in were incompatible with this requirement, and (b) had they tried (ctrl)+ and (ctrl)-?

    The reply was: "Oh yeah, good point." And the clause was removed.
  • 10-30-2012 6:30 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    blakeyrat:
    Wow good critique. +1 would read again.
     

    I thought it was one of yours until I scrolled back up.

  • 10-31-2012 4:35 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    bgodot:
    blakeyrat:
    Wow good critique. +1 would read again.
    I thought it was one of yours until I scrolled back up.
    I don't see how you could think that. It didn't contain a single statement about how much open source sucks.

     

  • 10-31-2012 2:05 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Lorne Kates:
    or for people who enjoy changing their font size who don't know about browser zoom (read: none). 

    Does anybody else here find they have to zoom in for almost *every* website they ever visit? I've had my eyes tested quite recently, and they said I have perfect 20-20 vision, but it seems we live in a world of mediocre web design where "making the text smaller" is something people do for some sort of misguided aesthetic boost.

    Sometimes, I hit Ctrl+0 on a site to return it to its normal zoom level and invariably I find that at the default size the text is unreadably small. Reddit, for example, seems to be fond of 10px font-sizes. Our venerable community server is itself partial to a bit of 13px. What kind of asshat designer thinks "Welp, 16px is the default, but I want this text to be significantly harder to read than the default, so let's just subtract a few pixels"?

    I'm quite glad about the way design seems to be trending towards less cluttered content and larger text. Maybe in a couple of years I will no longer have to piss around with my browser zoom controls quite so much if it continues.

  • 10-31-2012 2:57 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    GNU Pepper:
    Lorne Kates:
    or for people who enjoy changing their font size who don't know about browser zoom (read: none). 

    Does anybody else here find they have to zoom in for almost *every* website they ever visit? I've had my eyes tested quite recently, and they said I have perfect 20-20 vision, but it seems we live in a world of mediocre web design where "making the text smaller" is something people do for some sort of misguided aesthetic boost.

    Sometimes, I hit Ctrl+0 on a site to return it to its normal zoom level and invariably I find that at the default size the text is unreadably small. Reddit, for example, seems to be fond of 10px font-sizes. Our venerable community server is itself partial to a bit of 13px. What kind of asshat designer thinks "Welp, 16px is the default, but I want this text to be significantly harder to read than the default, so let's just subtract a few pixels"?

    I'm quite glad about the way design seems to be trending towards less cluttered content and larger text. Maybe in a couple of years I will no longer have to piss around with my browser zoom controls quite so much if it continues.

    At home, my computer is hooked up to my TV. It's great for movies (obviously) and games, but text is incredibly hard to read at normal zoom, so I generally have to zoom in. It's fun when zooming in breaks the site layout. It's even more fun when you can't zoom in, because what you want to zoom does not support it (eg, the developer tools/console).
  • 10-31-2012 3:08 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    pkmnfrk:
    It's fun when zooming in breaks the site layout.

    As a web developer this one drives me crazy. 90% of the time when one of my users comes to me about a layout problem, I can fix it with ctrl+0. The reason to me is inexplicable. Zooming should be a straight scaling of the viewport, why does it do anything to the layout? I'm not even working with liquid layouts, or doing anything especially fancy with the CSS.

    Text size is understandable, and I use em font sizes throughout and test to make sure nothing breaks at different font sizes. Zoom, on the other hand, seems unpredictable, especially with floating elements (which are the main method of creating columns on our site).

    Signatures are stupid.
  • 10-31-2012 3:42 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    joe.edwards:
    Zooming should be a straight scaling of the viewport, why does it do anything to the layout?
     

    I've recently started writing web pages once again, and it surprized me how much zooming doesn't break the layout nowadays. Even images seem to zoom correctly nowadays. I couldn't make a site that zooms wrong even when I tried it (as a contrapoint, I'm having plenty of problems adapting to portables).

    At the same time, lots of sites out there still don't zoom well. I don't know how they can achieve that.

  • 10-31-2012 4:00 PM In reply to

    • ender
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    • Joined on 04-27-2006
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    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    GNU Pepper:
    Does anybody else here find they have to zoom in for almost *every* website they ever visit? I've had my eyes tested quite recently, and they said I have perfect 20-20 vision, but it seems we live in a world of mediocre web design where "making the text smaller" is something people do for some sort of misguided aesthetic boost.
    I solved the problem by simply setting minimum font size to 12pt.
    Because 10 billion years' time is so fragile, so ephemeral... it arouses such a bittersweet, almost heartbreaking fondness.
  • 10-31-2012 4:03 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Mcoder:
    I've recently started writing web pages once again, and it surprized me how much zooming doesn't break the layout nowadays. Even images seem to zoom correctly nowadays. I couldn't make a site that zooms wrong even when I tried it (as a contrapoint, I'm having plenty of problems adapting to portables).

    Nowadays; unfortunately, I have to support legacy browsers.

    Signatures are stupid.
  • 10-31-2012 4:20 PM In reply to

    • PJH
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-14-2007
    • Newcastle, UK
    • Posts 3,906

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    GNU Pepper:
    Lorne Kates:
    or for people who enjoy changing their font size who don't know about browser zoom (read: none). 

    Does anybody else here find they have to zoom in for almost *every* website they ever visit? I've had my eyes tested quite recently, and they said I have perfect 20-20 vision,

    Opposite for me - first thing I normally change on my setup on a new install is the font size of the OS - down to 8pt for as much as I can. Websites I visit regularly normally get a ctrl - or two.
    "Because you watched 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' we recommend 'The Human Centipede.'"
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  • Parp!
  • 10-31-2012 6:58 PM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    PJH:
    Opposite for me - first thing I normally change on my setup on a new install is the font size of the OS - down to 8pt for as much as I can. Websites I visit regularly normally get a ctrl - or two.
     

    I didn't think people still ran with 800 x 600 anymore...

  • 10-31-2012 8:25 PM In reply to

    • pauly
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 01-14-2010
    • Posts 76

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    pkmnfrk:
    GNU Pepper:
    Lorne Kates:
    or for people who enjoy changing their font size who don't know about browser zoom (read: none). 

    Does anybody else here find they have to zoom in for almost *every* website they ever visit? I've had my eyes tested quite recently, and they said I have perfect 20-20 vision, but it seems we live in a world of mediocre web design where "making the text smaller" is something people do for some sort of misguided aesthetic boost.

    Sometimes, I hit Ctrl+0 on a site to return it to its normal zoom level and invariably I find that at the default size the text is unreadably small. Reddit, for example, seems to be fond of 10px font-sizes. Our venerable community server is itself partial to a bit of 13px. What kind of asshat designer thinks "Welp, 16px is the default, but I want this text to be significantly harder to read than the default, so let's just subtract a few pixels"?

    I'm quite glad about the way design seems to be trending towards less cluttered content and larger text. Maybe in a couple of years I will no longer have to piss around with my browser zoom controls quite so much if it continues.

    At home, my computer is hooked up to my TV. It's great for movies (obviously) and games, but text is incredibly hard to read at normal zoom, so I generally have to zoom in. It's fun when zooming in breaks the site layout. It's even more fun when you can't zoom in, because what you want to zoom does not support it (eg, the developer tools/console).
    I do this too and I love it. Set your system DPI to 150% or something like that. Use Chrome. It's DPI aware, so you don't have to fuck around with zooming in and shit. Everything scales and lays out perfectly. You can still zoom if you want. Use Windows 7. The OS is all DPI-aware. Desktop composition makes some DPI-unaware (shit software) programs scale correctly. Others are still just shit if they used pixels instead of dialog units or whatever the fuck windows developers call them. Use your on-screen keyboard if your keyboard is always away from your chair or something. I'm often too lazy to reach for it and would rather just click one letter at a time. Or get an app that lets you have bluetooth mouse and keyboard from your phone. Bleh
  • 11-01-2012 4:40 AM In reply to

    • PJH
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 02-14-2007
    • Newcastle, UK
    • Posts 3,906

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Cassidy:

    PJH:
    Opposite for me - first thing I normally change on my setup on a new install is the font size of the OS - down to 8pt for as much as I can. Websites I visit regularly normally get a ctrl - or two.
     

    I didn't think people still ran with 800 x 600 anymore...

    It's not..
    "Because you watched 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar,' we recommend 'The Human Centipede.'"
    --
    UED - Countryside: To kill Piers Morgan
  • Parp!
  • 11-01-2012 8:31 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    pauly:
    pkmnfrk:
    GNU Pepper:
    Lorne Kates:
    or for people who enjoy changing their font size who don't know about browser zoom (read: none). 

    Does anybody else here find they have to zoom in for almost *every* website they ever visit? I've had my eyes tested quite recently, and they said I have perfect 20-20 vision, but it seems we live in a world of mediocre web design where "making the text smaller" is something people do for some sort of misguided aesthetic boost.

    Sometimes, I hit Ctrl+0 on a site to return it to its normal zoom level and invariably I find that at the default size the text is unreadably small. Reddit, for example, seems to be fond of 10px font-sizes. Our venerable community server is itself partial to a bit of 13px. What kind of asshat designer thinks "Welp, 16px is the default, but I want this text to be significantly harder to read than the default, so let's just subtract a few pixels"?

    I'm quite glad about the way design seems to be trending towards less cluttered content and larger text. Maybe in a couple of years I will no longer have to piss around with my browser zoom controls quite so much if it continues.

    At home, my computer is hooked up to my TV. It's great for movies (obviously) and games, but text is incredibly hard to read at normal zoom, so I generally have to zoom in. It's fun when zooming in breaks the site layout. It's even more fun when you can't zoom in, because what you want to zoom does not support it (eg, the developer tools/console).
    I do this too and I love it. Set your system DPI to 150% or something like that. Use Chrome. It's DPI aware, so you don't have to fuck around with zooming in and shit. Everything scales and lays out perfectly. You can still zoom if you want. Use Windows 7. The OS is all DPI-aware. Desktop composition makes some DPI-unaware (shit software) programs scale correctly. Others are still just shit if they used pixels instead of dialog units or whatever the fuck windows developers call them.
    The OS is DPI aware, but 99% of applications that I've tried are not, in ways that are simultaneously mind-boggling and incredibly frustrating.
    pauly:
    Use your on-screen keyboard if your keyboard is always away from your chair or something. I'm often too lazy to reach for it and would rather just click one letter at a time. Or get an app that lets you have bluetooth mouse and keyboard from your phone. Bleh
    And, I don't see what this has to do with DPI?
  • 11-03-2012 4:26 AM In reply to

    Re: My text size is bigger than your text size

    Mcoder:
    At the same time, lots of sites out there still don't zoom well. I don't know how they can achieve that.
    As it's Saturday I don't have my work computer to hand to check, but IIRC Internet Explorer has zoom problems with absolutely positioned elements in version 8, and possibly even in version 9.
    You'll probably find that the forum experience is improved by going to the "Site Options" tab of "Edit Profile" and turning off "Display User Signatures".
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