Ideally I'm looking for quantitative research on this, if it exists, but I'd also be interested in anecdotal evidence from observing user behavior.

To what extent is the average user aware of, and comfortable using, the browser zoom feature? This can be either via menus, Ctrl++/-/0 (or Mac equivalents), or Ctrl+ mouse wheel?

The reason I ask is because scaling issues seem to be pretty commonplace with multi-screen setups where one screen has a different pixel density. To what extent should this be a UX concern in terms of optimizing for all possible display setups, or to what extent will users "instinctively" know they can just zoom in/out as needed?

1 Answer 1


Interesting question.

In usability tests I ran in the past, most users were not familiar with the feature and instead they would get closer to the screen or squint if the font was too small.

On the other hand, users for whom accessibility was important were familiar with the feature but they rarely used it because they had their system wide software (software that provided accessibility features on the entire operating system).

Another segment group who were familiar with the feature were senior citizens.

On tablet and mobile though this is very common since there still are websites that are not responsive (or were not properly designed for mobile and tablet view) so zooming in by pinching comes almost instinctively.

Hope this helps!

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