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Typography: Increase base font-size for modern Vector skin
Open, Needs TriagePublicSpike

Description

I decided to fill out this task, as it is planned to resize the content area: T246420: Limit content width, and refine alignment & styling of relevant elements. And in this case, changing the font will even more affect the display of content in the future.

Currently font size in Vector skin ~= 14px. And it seems to me that it needs to be increased to at least 16 px (common practices and our style guide indicates the same size).

Event Timeline

Iniquity created this task.May 30 2020, 3:28 AM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptMay 30 2020, 3:28 AM
Iniquity updated the task description. (Show Details)May 30 2020, 3:31 AM
Aklapper renamed this task from Inscrease base font-size for modern Vector skin to Increase base font-size for modern Vector skin.May 30 2020, 6:45 AM
Aklapper added a project: Vector.

A few notes from what I've experienced a few months ago while exploring the idea of modernizing typography choices:

  • Users have widely differing preferences, therefore I've moved to a user preference based approach detailed in T244748: Add client-side skin preferences drop-down
  • "One size fits all" is not possible in this area. It seems previous advancements - most notably Typography refresh in 2014 - however well researched, left negative feelings in some people involved and made typography a topic that's approached with a lot of doubts and unease, or without discussion with the community (T250393).

I think the default font-size for readers should be 16px as typical for long-read format websites, editors on the other hand probably prefer the status quo 14px. This should be a user choice presented in a convenient way (not in the Preferences page). Having that choice, the usage ratios could be measured and - if popular enough - 16px might be made the default.

Demian changed the task status from Open to Stalled.Jul 6 2020, 2:48 PM
Demian triaged this task as Lowest priority.
Demian changed the subtype of this task from "Task" to "Spike".

In my understanding and deepest sorrow, typography questions in the Readers-Web-Team are lower than lowest priority. Comments suggest this will be the case while the Desktop Improvements project is running.
I'm interested in discussions and actual development in this area (demonstrated by my numerous Proof-Of-Concept patches), but I think "stalled" status and lowest prio expresses best the reality of this ticket.
If that's not the case, I'd be more than happy to see someone change it.

Demian renamed this task from Increase base font-size for modern Vector skin to Typography: Increase base font-size for modern Vector skin.Jul 6 2020, 3:19 PM

Change 609797 had a related patch set uploaded (by Aron Manning; owner: Aron Manning):
[mediawiki/skins/Vector@master] [DEMO] Font update: Use default 16px article font-size in Vector

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/609797

Demian added a project: User-Demian.
Demian moved this task from Incoming to Tracking on the User-Demian board.

@Demian thanks for the demo! :) Looking at example, it seems to me that the headings should be brought in accordance with the https://design.wikimedia.org/style-guide/visual-style_typography.html#use-of-styles.

I also think that as one example, we should use T246420 layout :)

Aklapper changed the task status from Stalled to Open.Jul 8 2020, 11:40 AM

not stalled by definition

Jdlrobson moved this task from Needs triage to Technical on the Vector board.Jul 21 2020, 11:46 PM
Jdlrobson raised the priority of this task from Lowest to Needs Triage.Jul 21 2020, 11:49 PM
Jdlrobson moved this task from Technical to Needs Design on the Vector board.

I spoke a while back with @alexhollender and @Volker_E about increasing font size. My recollection of that conversation was that this was out of scope but something we'd like to do.

I'll let @ovasileva judge the priority here and whether this is something we want to consider. I also wonder if the only blockers are community consultation whether there is anything @Iniquity could do to help us (e.g. see on village pump whether this would be controversial)

From an overall Design, usability and Style Guide perspective a clear yes to increase the font size to 16px equivalent 1em! Details to be evaluated.

I also wonder if the only blockers are community consultation whether there is anything @Iniquity could do to help us (e.g. see on village pump whether this would be controversial)

Yes, community consensus I think will be the biggest problem for this change. I have already spoken to some of the members and received mixed reviews: old editors work in a very peculiar way with the font, some increase it by browser's scale, some say that it is more convenient to read a small font. We can prepare a survey (with information about [https://pielot.org/pubs/Rello2016-Fontsize.pdf | readers expireince]) and distribute it via Tech-Ambassadors, for example.

Aklapper removed Demian as the assignee of this task.Nov 8 2020, 10:21 AM

[Resetting assignee due to inactive user account]