Font size on the web is as important as font size in print. Elderly people tend to have more difficulty reading smaller print, and this issue is then exacerbated when small text appears with decreased clarity on a computer screen. Making your Website Senior Friendly (2002) and Kurniawan & Zaphiris (2005) suggest using 12pt or 14 pt font to make text more easily readable for elderly users. To be on the safe side, stick with 14pt font. When setting font size using pixel units, try to set the size to at least 17 pixels. The navigation bar that runs horizontally across this page is set to this font size.

screen shot of the auto channel dot com

Take a look at this screen shot from a website called The Auto Channel. The left navigation bar gives links to comparisons between vehicles. The font size is very small, roughly the equivalent of an 8pt size in your standard word processing software. The designers of this website were probably trying to fit as much information as possible onto this page, however doing so means that the font must be set to such a small size in order to reduce the amount of scrolling necessary to view all information available here. Designers must choose between providing more information with diminished accessibility for elderly users and providing less information with increased accessibility for elderly users.