Small Text Strikes Again

In one of Facebook’s recent design tweaks, the text for the statuses has been bumped down a size or two. I’m still puzzled as to why the designers at Facebook chose to do this. They *do* realize that users know how to scroll, that it’s not necessary to cram lots of information above the fold. I’m thinking it was one of those cases of using small text just because it looks “prettier,” and I thought we designers have agreed that we’re all past that stage?

The small text just makes it harder to quickly scan the status updates on Facebook. Perhaps it’s a clever ploy to keep users on Facebook for longer by making them stop to read the smaller text?

*But c’mon guys, 11 px size text in 2010? Fix it already.*

Posted in Design, Rant, Web
  • Benje

    I’m sort of annoyed by it, but I’ll get used to it eventually.


  • Kris

    I thought I was one of the only ones to notice this. Font sizes are definitely getting smaller. Love the design, by the way. Oh how I envy your skills :)

  • Dan

    @Benje: Eh, we shouldn’t have to get used to bad changes.

    @Kris: Haha thanks, man :) And actually, the general trend seems to be going towards legibility and larger font sizes, at least with usability-focused designers. I guess Facebook’s designers are still in the “small text is prettier” mindset.

  • Mike Letscher

    I read an article talking about this.

    The reasoning is to give more focus to the advertisements on the right. If you haven’t noticed, on the new profile the ads are at least 100 pixels wider and though the news feed font has decreased, the font for the advertisements have stayed the same.

  • Dan

    Oh wow, that’s pretty underhanded of them >.>