Font Size and Typeface
Document Type: Standard
Content:HHS must use a 12-point (or larger) Verdana (preferred) or Arial font for standard text and links on all web pages. The selected font must be used consistently throughout the site.
Exceptions to this rule include heading styles (H1, H2, H3, etc.), which may use serif fonts for design purposes.
If you have specialized audiences, use the appropriate font size to accommodate them.
- For example, older adults may require a 14pt font to read effectively.
From section 11:8 of The Research-Based Web Design & Usability Guidelines: “Research has shown that fonts smaller than 12 points slows reading speed. For users over age 65, it may be better to use at least 14-point fonts. Never use less than 9-point font on a Web site.”
Additionally, a larger or wider font size will increase the size of clickable targets for hyperlinks, improving speed and accuracy.
Approximate Conversion from Points to Pixels (and Ems and %):
Source: ReedDesign http://reeddesign.co.uk/test/points-pixels.html
- In data tables
- In PDF documents because they are expandable when opened and often meant to be printed
- In a navigation bar that presents secondary information such as bread crumb navigation or standard information/links that appear in the “footer” of a page.
- For notices or disclaimers. For example: Documents in PDF format require the Adobe Acrobat Reader®.
- To present information and/or links in the footer of a Web page. For example: This is an official U.S. Government Web site managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
- To present secondary information that describes a prime link or piece of content.
Bernard and Mills, 2000
Bernard, Liao and Mills, 2001a
Bernard, Liao and Mills, 2001b
Bernard, et al., 2002
Ellis and Kurniawan, 2000
Ivory and Hearst, 2002
Tullis, Boynton and Hersh, 1995
Related Web Standards and Usability Guidelines: