A change to iNaturalist fonts

Comic Sans is temporary, Papyrus is forever!
Funnily enough I hadn’t noticed any change even though I spend a few hours on the website every day. :D
It only saw the difference after reading this post.


I think the old font was better, this font makes italics look more like cursive, making scientific names significantly less readable in my opinion. I can still tell what they say, but unfamiliar scientific names take slightly longer to read (adds up when looking at many obs in a day), and I wonder if this would create issues for people with visual impairments?


The new one is smaller (and prettier) but I have to keep reminding myself - still on iNat - it just looks … different.

First problem is with German Umlauts in this comment - very broken
From Jan 2016 - so perhaps it was always broken, and not due to the changed font?

But works just fine on the taxon page
Which is odd - shouldn’t it be consistently wrong, or right?

That double S has also tripped up the display in the comment


I like it so far, which is surprising because UI/UX research shows that a high percentage of people dislike any change at first. The research I’ve seen sometimes attributes it to loss aversion or change aversion. Some of those studies are fascinating - they control for changes in both directions (i.e. one group starts on A and changes to B; another group starts on B and changes to A) and both groups are equally supportive of their baseline and equally annoyed by the change.

Of course, there are bad changes, too. But I mention this because I’ve lived through some UI changes in my professional life where we literally reverted a change because of the negative feedback, only to have to un-revert it when even more people were upset with changing back. Fun times!


I’m just glad it isn’t MS Mincho.

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Weird. I’m German and have all the trivial names set to German and I haven’t noticed any bugs with umlauts aside from that instance you linked to. So I’d agree with that it likely wouldn’t have anything to do with the font change.

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Oh. I kinda like that font. Haha

Potentially. I believe it’s one of the observations we imported from iSpot, so it might be due to iSpot’s original formatting.


It does look like that.

I’ve been wondering this for a while stumbling across some of the observations with old formatting – did iNat acquire/combine with similar apps in its early days besides iSpot? How did that work, if you don’t mind me asking?

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I’ll respond in a message as it’s not related to this thread.

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I use the web version on a Samsung tablet, and the text is blurry on the on the info and suggestions view of all observations, on the identify page.

How it should looks:

How it looks on my device:

Even if I zoom the text is still blurry.
For now, I notice this problem only when clicking on an observation on the identify page on the info and suggestions view. The text on the annotations and data-quality views are net and clear.

I didn’t had this issue with the last font.


In my recent journal posts the bold face headings are no longer bold face (difference hardly discernible).


My only gripe so far is that on many pages, the scientific name is bolder than the vernacular name (and I assume a similar case is reversed if you have scientific names set first).


No Papyrus, eh? ;-)

Or should I say Cyperus papyrus?


Yes, good point. I widely used bold font in long project’s posts to make them friendly, but now this difference diappeared. That’s truely sad.


I thought there was a difference today - now I know why. I like it, I think its more legible as it’s very slightly larger, and I don’t have any issues reading/recognising the bold or italic texts. And +++ for open source!

I like the change overall but I agree about the bold face not being discernible enough. Right now it looks like the bold face is Lato Medium (even with font-weight: 700, which should be a bold face – medium is more like 500) which is only slightly bolder than Lato Regular. Loading in Lato Bold (or even Lato Semibold, probably) would fix the issue.


I don’t like it. I use reading glasses and find it harder to read.


The font itself is fine but it appears to have thrown a lot of stuff out of alignment ever so slightly, which is causing me more problems than anything to do with the text itself. I use identify slightly zoomed out and now its very off center, I assume because the boxes are just a bit different sized now? Maybe needs a little more tweaking but is otherwise fine