Since the dawn of blogging, user interface has changed a lot. Most changes have been for the better. Nowadays, just about anyone can have a slick-looking, ready-for-business WordPress blog either completely for free or for a small up-front charge.
But there’s one thing lots of bloggers keep messing up when it comes to user interface, and yours truly is just as guilty as anyone else. Ready to hear what it is? We use font sizes that are too small. That’s right. Size does matter in blogging. Sometimes, it matters a lot. Here are a few reasons why:
Big fonts are easier to read
Even if you can read fonts set at 12 pixels with relative ease, that doesn’t mean your audience can. In fact, lots of people have a really hard time reading fonts that small, and 12 pixels is the default font size on many popular WordPress themes.
Some themes go even smaller. And did you know that by the time someone hits 40, he or she will only be getting half as much light to the retina than somebody who is only 20?
That means that the older your audience gets, the more difficult it is for them to read your text especially if it’s small.
Readers = money
Let’s not forget how important it is to actually have readers to begin with. In an era when content is king, nobody trying to build business via the Web can afford to alienate potential buyers with tiny font sizes. If you make it harder for your audience to digest your content, a lot of them will stop trying. Even more of them may give up before they ever began. When switching to a larger font size is such an easy change to make, who can afford to maintain the status?
Zooming is an extra step
“Can’t they just zoom in if it’s hard to read?” you may ask. Sure they can, and some of them will. But a lot of them won’t, maybe most of them.
Those are potential customers who might never give you a chance simply because they couldn’t read the text on your site without performing an extra step.
It’s like opening a restaurant when you only have five parking spaces. If all of the spaces are taken, everyone else has to drive down the block, park somewhere far away from the restaurant, and walk for a few minutes before they get to read a menu. Does that mean nobody will come to your restaurant? No. Does it mean the people who don’t want to walk are lazy? Maybe. But either way you look at it, you’re losing business.
So, what’s a good font size?
16 pixels. Anything below 15 is pushing it. 16 pixels is actually the font size browsers display by default, although you wouldn’t know it by the plethora of tiny text out there. Give 16 pixels a try and see how you like it.
It may look big at first, especially if you’re currently using 12 or fewer pixels. But remember that it’s not about you. It’s about your readers. An easily digestible font size is just one more way to make sure they stick around.