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How important is font size consistency between pages on a website.

I have a site with about 80 pages, but some have only a few sentences; Is it important to maintain font size on these pages vs increasing the font size to make them fill up a little more of the screen?

My concern is making sure the site does not look 'amateur' because of inconsistent font sizes, as well as making sure that it doesn't affect dyslexic users.

Any links talking about this that I can pass onto the page maintainers would be helpful as well.

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You're talking about changing the font size just to fill up the space on the screen? That doesn't sound....right... –  Ben Brocka May 17 '12 at 0:15
    
Consistent font sizes is more of a design thing... though I must say it would confuse me to have pages with weird font sizes. I don't think it would make your site unusable, it would just look weird. I think it's more of a design issue than a UX one. –  Myrddin Emrys May 17 '12 at 0:30
    
@MyrddinEmrys It affects the functionality and readability of the design as well, seems fine for UX. If something feels wrong (like randomly changing font size) it has an impact –  Ben Brocka May 17 '12 at 0:50
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Making type big to fill the page because you don't have much content is much more amateurish than having some white space on the page. –  DA01 May 17 '12 at 2:26

3 Answers 3

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How important is font size consistency between pages on a website?

Very important. Consistent font sizing helps make your site look professional. When something is consistently designed, we imagine a large, established entity behind it. That gives us confidence in the site's services and content.

I have a site with about 80 pages, but some have only a few sentences; Is it important to maintain font size on these pages vs increasing the font size to make them fill up a little more of the screen?

You don't want to vary font size to keep content looking 'large'. It'll look strange, and users will still be able to tell there's not much content.

If you're worried about some articles being too short, maybe those pieces of content don't need their own pages in the first place? If you have lots of short pieces of data, for example, you could try and combine them into a single FAQ page, with links sending users to a particular location on the page. Each answer will be surrounded by others, so it will never look like the content is 'lost' in whitespace.

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Are you assuming you know the reader's screens size? Unless you're getting it via a media query or javascript and then sizing the fonts to suit, there's no way to know how much of that text is going to fill the screen. And if you're doing this, then there must be so much conditional code that it's a nightmare to maintain.

Better to have a standard, readable size that users can change themselves.

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+1: good point about implementation difficulties. This could be very hard to maintain, unless some javascript performed on-the-fly resizing. –  Jimmy Breck-McKye May 17 '12 at 12:44
    
The idea in this case wasn't to get close to 100% coverage of the screen, but just to increase the size to make it take up 2 or 3 lines instead of just 1. Good thought though, media queries reminds me that the changing font size will have a much larger effect on mobile browsers as well since the design is already responsive. Thank you. –  Tyler May 17 '12 at 16:36

Yes, inconsistent font sizes can make your site look amateurish and potentially confusing to your users (i.e. the larger the font size the more important the content?).

Besides, if these pages are CMS-driven, you'll have a tough time specifying which pages should/shouldn't have their text enlarged.

Perhaps you should consider why some of your pages have so little content? Could a few of the terse pages be combined? Should you rethink their layout and relationships?

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