linkedin text too small

linkedin icon

Linkedin’s latest site redesign reduced the font-size to eye-straining smallness. When I tried to enlarge the text (OmniWeb, Safari, MacBook Pro), I found text enlargement didn’t work.


How did they disable text enlargement? And why would someone purposely make their website difficult to read?

I don’t have a desire to hunt down how linkedin disabled text enlargement. Even if I did find the cause, I’m sure people who could fix the problem already know yet choose to not fix the problem.

I’ll set aside my cynicism and charitably speculate an answer to the first question.

Maybe El Queso Grande–the all powerful wizard who signs off on the look and feel–is a PC type and has a low resolution monitor. In order to finish the project, the CSS designers needed to ensure that the site “Looked right on the boss’ monitor.”

A peek at the CSS shows that the font-size is hard coded to 13 pixels. {{sigh}}

Assume El Queso Grande has a Dell computer. Not a bad assumption given Dell’s penetration into the corporate market.

My display is the 15″ MacBook Pro. How does the Dell and Apple products compare?

MacBook Pro 15"
900 1440 1698  pixels
         15.4  inches

X**2 + (1.6X)**2  = 15.4**2
X**2 + 2.56(X**2) = 237.16
       3.56(X**2) = 237.16
                x = 8.16
110 pixels per inch
Dell Vostro 1015
768 1366 1567  pixels
         15.6  inches

X**2 + (1.78X)**2 = 15.6**2
X**2 + 3.16(X**2) = 243.36
       4.16(X**2) = 243.36
                x = 7.65
100 pixels per inch

Maybe they have an older desktop monitor, which could drop the density down to 90 or even 80 pixels per inch. Older CRT monitors generally had 72 pixels per inch.

We can now calculate how large (or small) the text appears on the different monitors by converting pixels to points. A point in typography is simply 1/72 of an inch. A pixel does not imply measurement.

Let’s see how much of a differnce that makes.

per inch    pixels     inches     points
--------   --------   --------   --------
   72         13       0.1806      13
   80         13       0.1625      11
   90         13       0.1444      10.4
  100         13       0.13         9.4
  110         13       0.1182       8.5

Text that is defined in pixels becomes smaller on higher resolution monitors. A lot smaller. In my case, linkedin renders at 8½ point text. That’s painful. I prefer reading 12 to 14 point text.

Fortunately for me, OmniWeb has per site settings. One of those settings allows the user to specify a user-supplied stylesheet. And that’s exactly what I did.

 * Stylesheet to override linkedin's stupid small font-size
span, div, h1, h2, h3, h4, li, p, a {
	font-size: 12pt  !important;

It’s not convenient but it works.

1 Comment

  1. Small is not the problem. Faint is the problem. Why, why, why do designers not understand the need for contrast??

    Jacky Hood


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