OK, I am expecting to be shot down in flames here - but here goes...
For a start, I fully appreciate that marketing types have very strong ideas on the choice of fonts and sizes and colours and all sorts. If you see a brochure printed or a menu in a restaurant, or anything else marketing have a hand in, then they have chosen the font size, type, style, colour, spacing, everything. They have to - on paper you have no choice and they have control.
However, on a web site, and very specifically a web site that is not marketing but the control pages on a product, that may be different.
My view is that the end user can choose to set the font size they want as a default, which I presume is what they want for the main body of text they see. They pick the font family. They pick background colours even. So having said I prefer 16pt Helvetica, why should a web site overrule my choice - my preference?
We have just had a heated debate that seems to centre around the fact that a lot of (most?) web sites choose to set a font size for the body text that is smaller than default. Some set to a specific font size, which I think everyone agrees is bad, especially anyone disabled, but many set relatively small compared to chosen default font size, e.g. 62.5%.
Why? Is that the right thing to do? Is it right because everyone else does it and so should browsers offer font size choices with perhaps the standard reduction in size as a size in brackets so you can in fact choose correctly?
Should all web sites and all control pages work on body text that is small?
We have had a product for over 10 years that does not set font size and nobody complained in any way - indeed many people said it was a good web interface. Now we have a new product and followed a web designers views (at least so far) for how to do it and the font is smaller. I am trying to clean it up and make the font what the user selected. I am being hounded on irc that I am wrong. Am I?
Should we second guess our users and pick a different size and font family?
Someone has, rightly, pointed out the A&A web site does this. I am now thinking I should fix that. The various control pages we have don't, after all, change font size.
So, what is right here - second guess the users choice, or respect it?