Q/A: Font Size Issues

Q: I like the design of the web site. However, one issue is that it is hard to see the navigation menu on the pages. The font is hard to read and looks squished to me. Have you tried other fonts?

A: The fonts we use for the menus, the headlines, and the main body have been carefully tested. While using cascading style sheets as we do provides many advantages, it also results in some tradeoffs. In particular, different browsers display the same css size tag of a font as different sizes. So, a "medium" font may appear as quite large with one browser, and quite small with another. The same browser may display the same size tag at different actual sizes depending on the monitor used, or the underlying operating system.

After checking several variations, we decided our menus would use a serif font that may appear a little small to some browsers and a little big to others (notably Internet Explorer). This was done very deliberately, but, as with all compromises, it can result in a less than ideal solution for a particular individual case.

We considered not using the css size tags, and instead specifying the point size of the font directly. But this would result in a font that would always be displayed at that size, even if users changed the text size used by their browser. We wanted to allow our users to be able to increase or decrease the font size to what they want to see on their browser on their display.

If the font size is bothersome to you, it is possible for a user to change the displayed font to be bigger or smaller through their bowser options. You may also use the zoom feature that many browsers offer.

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