I am preparing for a conference presentation in which I will talk about giving users options to modify the presentation of text in a UI.

I want to talk about what range of options they should have within a given aspect of typography (i.e. how large and how small should you allow users to make type), but I would also like to talk about how fine tuned those options should be (i.e. does pressing an "increase font size button" increase it by 2 points or 3), but I am not sure how to say this in a succinct way.

Any suggestion?

Does "gradient" or "how gradated options/ranges are" make sense?

  • James, it sounds like your question is about the language to use in describing the dilemma to conference attendees, not how to answer the dilemma itself. Is that true?
    – Taj Moore
    Mar 4, 2014 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


Usually I would call this the 'granularity' of choices (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/granularity), where it can go from 'coarse' to 'fine' (Think grains of sand, which is where the word comes from originally).


It depends on the context.

User options such as you are describing are primarily for ease of accessibility. Users don't generally change these settings unless something is hard to read.

Most sites aim for greater accessibility from the get-go, therefore deprecating these tools altogether.

Something else to consider is users with particular needs may use alternative means to view your content. For example, I know Android ICS browser has "Distraction Free" mode called 'Reader' which will automatically reformat your content. This mode uses a preset font-size.

In terms of font-size tiers, you can consider making them relative to Browser zoom defaults.

Amazon uses basic sizes like SM, M, L, XL, XXL etc.

Amazon Kindle Font size changer

There isn't a specific pt value to increment the fonts by. It would need to increment by percent(%) as various Header, subheader, titles, and paragraph text would need to scale accordingly.

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