Today was the MediaWiki.ui hack day, and we briefly discussed the Vector
typography refresh that's in BetaFeatures right now.
Several people expressed frustration with the choice to make the sidebar
and personal toolbar links smaller size, as well as the grey text used
throughout. Our text size already pretty small, and frankly making links
greyed out like that violates basic Web usability.
The sidebar color and sizing is a major change that keeps me from opting in
to the beta on desktop, despite the fact that I have personally used and
enjoyed a very similar font stack across wikis for months. Editors use
these two toolbar areas many many times a day when editing, and we're
making their life harder with this change.
Despite the above objections, I agree with the reasoning behind the change,
which is to put content first in order of priority. Even if we use the
toolbars all the time, content comes first in the encyclopedia. So I'd like
to propose an alternative solution to this: bumping up the content text
size to 1.1em, and leaving the rest at the smaller .8 em. On Chrome and
Firefox, OSX this computes to a page content size of 14px.
I made quick gallery of what this looks like on a stub, the Main Page,
Portal:Current events, a long article, and a Talk page. It's at
If you play around with this yourself, be sure to apply the sizing only to
mw-content-text only, not the body, or else everything will blow up in