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Finer Typography Points

As a follow up to last week’s post Watch Your Typography, I came across an article getting into research around the use of typefaces and readability. The article points to research conducted by the Wichita State University Software Usability Research Laboratory.  The research provided given some scientific insight into user interaction with type.

Check this out ...

Marketing Sherpa Article Excerpt …

"Web surfers like Times New Roman and read it roughly as quickly as a sans serif font. So the "sans serif is better online because people read it more quickly" argument many Web designers have tried out on me isn't true all the time.

Researchers almost invariably used type in 10 or 12 point size for the reading comprehension tests. Few seem to have tested much smaller fonts, such as 8 or 9, mainly because they assumed that small wouldn’t be a good idea (i.e., no one will be dumb enough to put type that small, so why test it?).

Researchers also didn’t test color type such as pale gray vs black on white. Again, I assume because they knew from offline type tests anything that's not black on white is harder to read, so what Web designer would think putting body copy in other colors is a good idea?"

Source: Typefaces that Work Best Online - Marketing Sherpa

The most important thing to remember is to design and test for a specific web site’s demographic. It's easy to forget your demographic when something looks cool.

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