The Case for Bigger Fonts
The latest studies are indicating that website body fonts are too small. Perhaps we are just trying to put too many words on a page. Perhaps we are still in the mode of applying traditional desktop publishing norms to online media. Whatever the case, there is a growing consensus that we need to increase body font size to something in the range of 16-18 pixels. Although larger font may appear clunky in rare situations, it has actually been found to help with reading time. In studies from Payame Noor University & IBM/Google, as the size of type increases, readers also exhibit slightly faster reading speeds. Check out this article if you want a really scientific explanation of how to pick the best font size.
If you thought reading speed alone would be all that’s improved, another study reveals that larger font sizes can stimulate certain emotions more effectively. There is also a well-known 2006 study from Nielsen Norman Group which explains how users read in an ‘F’ pattern before deciding whether or not they want to slow down and read further into the content.
Larger fonts with more easily recognizable header and paragraph styles allow users to better identify how to subconsciously classify the vast array of sections they may be reading. If they come across headers they are able to quickly identify as so, then they will move on faster to the next point. This is extremely critical on landing pages where 3 seconds of reading bold and clear headers could the user valuable insight into exactly what they could expect in a content offer. If that information is valuable enough to constitute a deeper read, then they will ultimately slow down and read more in detail.
If you’re interested in seeing how your website would look with a bigger body font, let us know.