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From:
Alok Jain <[log in to unmask]>
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Date:
Mon, 20 Jun 2005 09:56:14 -0400
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"What is the compelling reason to use a small font size?"

I am not sure what font size is essentially "small" in your
context, but generally speaking there are essentially 2 reasons
in my experience for small font size:

1. Aesthic value
2. Amount of information v/s available space

While I do not agree to above to be compelling enough when
compared to loss of readability, I think it is a trade off. If
the aesthetic side falls so much that people would not like to
use the system (they would not stop because it still has
utility) then there is a negative impact on user experience.

The second problem area is amount of information and this
becomes very compelling when we work with data intensive systems
which leads to horizontal and vertical scroll.

How we prioritize:
1. We try keeping the font size to be close to standard Windows
font (window menu etc). 
2. We evaluate scroll v/s font size in context of audience's
priorities

We also keep scalable font, here to technically unit we specify
for scalable fonts make a difference, we use x-small. small etc.
That seems to work the best in smallest font size.

Regards
Alok Jain


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