We discussed the idea of increasing the font sizes by 1 pt at the VDG BoF at this year's Akademy and folks seemed okay-ish with the idea, so I thought I'd put it in patch form to continue the conversation.
This change would yield improved readability for text: in addition to just being larger, Noto looks significantly sharper and more substantial at 11pt than it does at 10pt, especially with a non-hi-dpi screen (most users still have fairly low dpi screens). And the default 9pt Hack for the Fixed Width font is just really really small and hard to read; 10pt is much easier. Same with the Small font, which goes from 8 to 9. Overall, text seems more readable.
It's notable that all other desktop operating systems use at least 11pt as the size of their UI font, and some go much larger. The experiment has already been done for us and the results appear to have been positive judging by the fact that everyone else made the jump to 11pt UI font size. Perhaps we should too.
- Reduced text density (obviously)
- Some UI elements become larger, reducing overall screen density. It's particularly noticeable with Kickoff and the Task Manager. Are we willing to live with that, or should we investigate whether or nor that kind of scaling should happen? There are also some widgets like the System Tray whose icons become spaced very slightly farther apart for basically no reason (there's no text). Is this a bug we should fix?
It's worth reiterating that this is simply a change of defaults; programmers and pepople under 25 who have perfect eyesight can always reduce the font sizes to increase the on-screen density. But I think it's worth revisiting whether this is the group of people who want to optimize the text for by default.