The UX of Big Text

Many designers I know shun using big fonts.  They want the text to be as tiny as possible.  Years ago, I used to argue with my partners at Koko Interactive about font-size.  Katie wanted Gigantic; Spencer wanted invisible; and I wanted in the middle.  I now know, Katie was right.  Gigantic is great when you want the user to understand and feel good about your application.

Some examples. Community front page.  Look at their great use of padding.  The search box is enormous.  No one is going to miss that.  “Post a Question” stands out wonderfully.  This site is fun and usable at the same time.  The tabs have plenty of padding too.  Excellent.

Mule Design. What do they do?  Duh.  Big font makes all the difference.  Choose what you make big.  They chose to define what the company does; very smart.  If I looked at your website, would I so easily define who you are and what you do?

Apple iPad Calendar App.  I had the iPad and Katie looked over my shoulder.  She immediately noticed the giant 7 turned into a giant 8 and said, “Oh, that must be a calendar”.

Designers have to come to reality on this.  Big fonts work, and they work very well.  They are fun and functional.  Don’t let the opportunity for a big font pass you by.  Find the right place and do it.  Make it bigger.  BIGGER!


2 replies on “The UX of Big Text”

I still use hotmail for a few things and they are failing horrible with the text size issue. Everything on my home page is almost exactly the same size and there is a ton of text. “Inbox” is slightly bigger, but my big issue is with “new”, which is the button I use most and is in one of the smaller fonts on the page and is not placed in a prominent place. It is almost invisible. Gmail is almost as bad, “compose mail” stands out slightly because it is the only one that looks like a button, but it is a weird place and doesn’t jump out at you.

So why is “” so big on this blog. Although it is catchy and creative, is that the message you want to convey in big font?

Whatya think?