Xapti - 11:40 pm on Feb 6, 2010 (gmt 0)
I totally hear this all the time as a main counter-argument to using relative font sizing. The problem is that If the user is using a high resolution screen or low resolution screen, the font size will look wrong anyway. You MUST rely on the user having a proper font size set for things to go well for everyone because everyone does NOT have the same monitor size, everyone does NOT have the same DPI settings, and everyone does NOT run at the same resolution. They also might not have your font, resulting in a very different font size (Google "why not to use Verdana", not that I completely agree with it)
I get your point but many people have absolutely no clue as to how to do this, i'd say the average user is stuck on default settings and they never change them, they just leave sites where the text is too small for them to read comfortably.
Another issue with fixed font sizes is that when that's done, people seem to just put absolutely everything else in fixed size too. So when any Joe walks in with his Firefox's minimum font size set to something different than the websites, the entire website breaks and looks stupid, just because they didn't use relative element sizing.
I've been a perfectly eye-healthy age 20s person, and I need to both set my default font size higher, as well as add a minimum font size. Why? because I'm running at 2048x1536. Many people are running at high res nowadays, as well as low res on palmPCs, tabletpc, smartphone, etc. and if someone doesn't rely on the user's preferences, they are being ignorant and alienating users in favor your their style preferences in my opinion.
>> I set all my sizes in em so that they are scalable if the user requires via the browser.
I get your point but many people have absolutely no clue as to how to do this, I'd say the average user is stuck on default settings and they never change them, they just leave sites where the text is too small for them to read comfortably.
This is pretty backwards thinking. As far as I've heard, the default font size on browsers is usually fairly large sized for smaller resolutions, and quite good (not small) for high resolutions. Most people that change their font sizes go font-sie:90%, font-size: 80%, font-size: 13px, etc.. All of that stuff is shrinking the font, not increasing it. You're right that making the font size small might make people leave, but everyone is sizing their fonts too small. the only way to ensure it's not too small is to use relative sizing.
One reason I use a fixed PX instead of a dynamic size like EM is that I have a pixel perfect design. If text scaled independently from the rest of the page there would quickly be a lot of layout issues. By all sizes being defined in PX the whole page scales together and most of the modern browsers properly zoom in on the whole page rather than just the text, which keeps text flow proper.
As I've already mentioned, using fixed pixel size does not ensure your site gets displayed in that font, or that it says layed out properly. Many people have plug-ins and preferences built into their browsers which WILL do their own things to the website/font, and in your case, the website WILL break anyway.