Kaitlin Pike:

If you go anywhere on stackoverflow.com today, you’ll notice a brand new footer, new About pages, and possibly a few other surprises we’re still testing out (not everyone will see these yet).

Font size 11 Arial is hard to read. Font size 11 Arial with a color of #535960 on a background of #242729 is illegible. If that lower right text is there for legal purposes, I sure hope the attorneys are happy with it because it might as well not even be there.

Before the change, the font size was 12 but it was darker — #9fa6ad. Now it’s #bbc0c4. The font size of the footer here at DrinkingCaffeine is 12 and that’s absolutely as small as you should go with any text on a website in a standard font family. Anything smaller than that and you have to scoot closer to the screen to see it.

Reducing the text column count from 7 to 4 was a good move. From a design standpoint, the new footer is a huge improvement. But from a legibility standpoint, it’s a step backwards.