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Users DO change font size
2018-06-15 12:00:00 +0200

::: lead Evan Minto wrote a great article showing the Internet Archive has tested the actual root font-size set by their visitors, and the result shows a lot of people still change the default one: Pixels vs. Ems: Users DO Change Font Size. :::

we found that the answer is 3.08% of our users. That’s a pretty big number, higher than most counts of the market share of browsers like Internet Explorer, Edge, or Opera Mini.

I've said it before, several times:

  • in my talk at Paris Web 2013 (in french): [Un petit pas pour l’em, un grand pas pour le Web]({% link_to "/talks/2013/10/10/un-petit-pas-pour-l-em-un-grand-pas-pour-le-web/" %})
  • in a post in 2016: [People don't change the default 16px font size in their browser]({% link_to "people-don-t-change-the-default-16px-font-size-in-their-browser" %})

But people still often tell me I'm wrong, it's an edge case not worth taking into account, and using px units everywhere is fine.

It's nice to see a renowned organization like Internet Archive work on this topic and come to the same conclusions.

Speaking of conclusions, I very much like the one of Evan Minto's article:

If 2 to 3% (or more!) of your users are relying on a custom font size, you should know that so you can either support that user preference or make a conscious decision to not support it. Doing anything less is frankly irresponsible, especially considering that users with larger font sizes may be using those sizes to compensate for visual disabilities.