Display resolutions and dpi are continuously increasing, raising the need to occasionally increase the font size to remain legible for a wide spectrum of readers. A typical webpage - such as news sites - nowadays shows the main article content with the font-size configured by the user in their browser (default: 16px). The Minerva skin already uses this font size, Vector's font-size was last increased from 0.8em (12.8px) to 0.875em (14px) in 2014 in the Typography refresh project.
Related research: https://pielot.org/pubs/Rello2016-Fontsize.pdf ("Make It Big! The Effect of Font Size and Line Spacing on Online Readability")
This card is intended to gather feedback from users/contributors about the option to change the font-size to the user setting (default: 16px) typically used by websites.
Current font sizes used by skins
(Pixel count is different on HiDPI.)
- Minerva: 100% -> 16px
- Timeless (2015): 95% -> 15.2px
- Vector (2010): 87.5% -> 14px
- Modern (2008): 13px
- CologneBlue (2003): 10pt -> 13+1/3px
- MonoBook: 79.375% -> 12.7px
The continuous increase in font size reflects how devices became higher resolution throughout the years.
- Casual / new readers of Wikipedia will be granted with a more readable experience consistent with popular media.
- There will be users positively affected, who either used zooming, a font-size changer, or a custom stylesheet to make Wikipedia more legible.
- There will be users accustomed to the current font-size, preferring to restore it.
The proportions of each group should be polled proactively: feedback from readers in the first two groups seldom reach the developers.
There are a few approaches to cater to different user needs:
- A skin preferences popup with a font-size changer could be implemented within the Desktop Improvements project. This feature is often requested, see Wikiwand's "Personalize" popup in the top-right corner for an example and the task T91201: [EPIC] Accessibility settings/preferences.
- This change can be opt-out
within the Desktop Improvements project (which is already opt-out).
- Readers can change their font-size setting in the browser, or use a font-size changing addon / stylesheet.