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On the Topic of Size: Exploration of Large Type and Design in Websites

04.04.2012There is a recent trend spreading among website designers around the nation. If you have surfed the web in the past year, you might have noticed design elements, fonts and navigation on some websites have changed—they’ve gotten larger. This may not be apparent to the untrained eye, since the average computer user has adapted to viewing a wide range of website designs and font sizes. However, when consciously acknowledged, the design of a website and the sizes of fonts and designs really makes a substantial difference.

In a recent blog by SmashingMagazine, author Bnonn points out how font size makes a substantial impact on the readability of a website. This concept seems almost elementary as applied to print media, but is an issue that is often overlooked by most web designers. The blog post was written in 19-point font. Halfway through the post, Bnonn asks readers to notice how close to their computer screen they are sitting while reading his article. When the reader realizes they are actually resting on the back of their chair and not squinting an inch away from their screen struggling to read a size 12 point font, it’s a beautiful realization for the future advancement of website design communication.

Coding has also played a large role in the evolution of website design. Older websites that use basic code like HTML are often very boxy and limited. With new codes that support user friendly interface designs, such as PHP in WordPress, comes a new era of website design. The use of larger, more proportionally diverse screens, as well as mobile website and application design, is causing website designers to simplify, making interfaces more user-friendly. Dubbed “responsive design,” this trend is one for web designers to watch. Making a user-friendly interface on multiple screen sizes involves increasing font and design element size, thus improving navigation and readability more efficiently than in the past.

As business websites has become more prevalent in the digital age, the way in which designers view web design has evolved greatly. While Bnonn claims that there are very few designers who acknowledge the issue of readability on the web, and even fewer that put it into practice, I believe the trend of websites with large fonts and design elements is increasing exponentially, giving relief to the working man’s back troubles and declining eyesight.

Resources:
SmashingMagazine

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