The ease in which text can be understood (based on content, not formatting). Readability is not to be confused with legibility, which is the ease with which text can be read (based on formatting, not content).

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56
votes
11answers
6k views

Does the Oxford Comma increase readability?

There are many puns online where not having the Oxford comma (Serial comma) can be interpreted as something other than intended, such as the infamous Sky News notification: It’s hilarious, I know, ...
36
votes
6answers
2k views

If nobody reads Privacy Policies or Terms and Conditions, why not change them?

Once I read that if you were to read all the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and similar documents that you ideally need to read before using software or online services in a given year, you'd ...
25
votes
5answers
1k views

Can you sacrifice grammar to keep instructions simple, specifically when using a(n)?

Because of the way the form is written, step-by-step in first person, it is necessary to put the a(n) to keep them grammatically correct for the Administrator case. However I feel like it makes the ...
18
votes
4answers
710 views

Dark screens in cars

I am a designer just preparing an app for the "in car" area. Normally we have a bunch of colors to use and we usually use dark colors on a light background. Now our client came up with some question ...
18
votes
5answers
457 views

Which placement of list of ingredients is most convenient for the cook?

In the process of doing the layout for a cookbook, I'm faced with the problem of placing the list of ingredients for each recipe. I've looked at several cookbooks and seen numerous approaches. I can ...
18
votes
5answers
721 views

How long should a temporary notification appear?

For our intranet application we have little notification messages that indicate successful operations like "information saved," "logged out" etc. Most of them are not important enough to require a ...
16
votes
9answers
952 views

When should a year be added to a timestamp?

Stack Exchange uses relative timestamps to indicate when an action occurred; a question was asked, edit was made etc. This is done as far back as "2 days ago"; anything prior to exactly 48 hours ago ...
15
votes
9answers
581 views

How to reference (and provide links to) online content in offline media?

Provided that print publications produced in-house and "physical" advertisements have to reference or "link" to online content, what is an accessible (in broader sense) and user-friendly way to do so? ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What's the best way to make a user read terms and conditions before continuing a form?

What's the best way to make a user read terms and conditions before continuing a form? Structure of Form: Label1 [Textbox] Label2 [Textbox] Terms and Conditions [Textarea] Checkbox ["I agree to the ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Why not use san-serif fonts on print design?

It's better to use san-serif than serif fonts on web, as their simpler letter form remain readable at low resolution. Serif fonts need more pixels to display their extra details. I was wondering why I ...
13
votes
1answer
266 views

What's the ideal length of a paragraph

We all know what the ideal number of characters is for a line, however I haven't been able to find any guides on the number of lines that provide the best readability. I understand this is a bit ...
10
votes
6answers
658 views

Is highlighting important words a good idea?

Is it a good idea to highlight the important words in a text on a web page? What impact does it have on the reader? Does it help to understand the text or does it disturb?
10
votes
2answers
373 views

Chat arrangement question: Left or right?

I'm building a small chat. Now I see but in other chats (whatsapp, facebook mobile chat, sms ...) that the arrangement is always the same: Left: the chat partner. right: myself Why is that?
10
votes
5answers
1k views

Relationship between font-size and width of container

Are there any studies done which tell us the relationship between the font size and the optimal width of the container they are in? For example, 12px font size is going to be too small in a container ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How to design usable web site terms & conditions?

What are some guidelines and examples for designing usable legal terms for web sites? I know that most users don't read it, but are there innovative ways to improve readability and presentation of ...
9
votes
4answers
497 views

What is the best way to indicate read-only cells within a table?

I have many tables, actually data grids, where most of the cells will be editable, but some may not depending on the users permissions. I am thinking of using light gray backgrounds on the read-only ...
9
votes
2answers
38 views

How can I determine how large of a font size and how wide of a container to use?

Usually I just choose this spontaneously and without much thought, but I have a feeling that's not the best idea: How can I size my font and its container for an optimal reading experience to my ...
9
votes
4answers
544 views

automatically calculate contrast

A user can change the default design of his site by selecting a color. This color is applied to the menu background color. The problem is that I have to change the menu text color depending on the ...
8
votes
4answers
495 views

Designing for children and young readers?

I am a writer and a developer. I wanted to publish my stories online and wanted to create my own website to publish. I was looking for some inspiration of a simple, readability oriented design. Some ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

Is adding commas to numbers a cultural thing?

In the US, it's very common to add a comma for numbers of more than 3 digits (ex: 1,000 for one thousand ; 1,000,000 for one million ; etc.). In France though, we don't use this at all and commas are ...
8
votes
1answer
571 views

Is there any research with respect to how font-weight affects readability?

Is there any research with respect to how font-weight affects readability? Obviously, there is some relation there, but I'm struggling to make a decision based on any facts. I created a jsFiddle ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Any usability studies of the readability of Open Sans?

I like the look of Open Sans, but I've heard anecdotes of people having trouble reading it. For example on the Wordpress post about it, most are praising it, but a few people are quite negative: ...
8
votes
2answers
273 views

Is a number easier to read with the thousand separator?

This may sound like a stupid question but I'm being taken to task for this at the moment. Personally I believe that it's easier to read 1,234.56 than 1234.56. However there are others that are saying ...
7
votes
8answers
397 views

Hyphens or en dashes—which are more readable when used in number ranges (for North American web users)?

Is there evidence to show that number ranges are more readable using hyphens or en dashes (on digital screens for North American web users)? Wikipedia notes that, according to your style choice, you ...
7
votes
5answers
765 views

How useful is this coffee cup “hot contents” warning?

I came across this on Dan Pink's blog. This caption on a coffee cup is supposed to serve as a warning sign to caution people that the coffee is hot and care must be taken to avoid burns. The ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

Is a colour contrast compliant if it passes WCAG but fails the earlier W3C test used on Snook.ca?

There are some colour contrasts that, when checked using a tool like snook.ca, give results like this (testing #003354 and #00D5BD): According to every one of the newer WCAG criteria, this passes. ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

Easiest to read fonts

Has there been studies to determine what fonts make it easiest to read? I'm interested in the font type, but also size and color. For example, is dark gray better than pitch black? Also of interest ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

How can redicle technology speed up reading up to five times or more?

I’m usually a slow reader, and it takes me 40 effective hours to shoot through a standard size book. My colleague gave me a tip to read books using redicle technology developed by Spritzinc (where you ...
5
votes
5answers
512 views

“Millions of colors” vs “24-bit”: should technical concepts be simplified to ease understanding at the cost of precision?

Macs indicate 24-bit color depth by using the term "millions of colors", while Windows calls it "24-bit" or "32-bit". (I'm aware that Windows "32-bit" color simply adds an alpha channel that doesn't ...
5
votes
4answers
250 views

Studies about how many lines from a testimonial a user will read on home page

I am building a home page for one of our products and researching how to integrate testimonial section. In my first prototype, I have 3 sentences which makes 6 lines on a tablet. My thought is ...
5
votes
2answers
196 views

What is the validity of contrast and colours tests?

I just ran a contrast and colour test (using checkmycolours.com in this case) on our corporate site (www.dotblue.net; if you care) and it reports quite some failures. However, I explicitly optimized ...
5
votes
4answers
309 views

Relative dates/times- Rounding and how accurate?

I was reading this question about formatting relative dates and times, but there are still some issue that I felt have not been addressed yet. I would like to: Keep relative times to just 1 unit, ...
5
votes
3answers
290 views

Single-character convention for weekdays?

In the ever challenging pursuit of simplifying visuals for Users, an issue came up while web developing. It is a relative simple issue: I want to offer Users a selection for weekdays using only one ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

What default font to choose for desktop applications?

Finding the right font for an application seems to be an art. There seem to be many standards. Arial seems to be used in most applications I have seen, Segoe UI is the standard for Microsoft Windows ...
5
votes
4answers
179 views

Why are image captions so compelling that they get read 300% more than body copy?

"Captions under images are read on average 300% more than the body copy itself". http://blog.kissmetrics.com/shocking-truth-about-graphics/ My research tells me this finding comes from David Ogilvy, ...
5
votes
2answers
708 views

XML editor design indents XML without tabs/spaces - disadvantages?

I've developed an XML text editor that indents XML using a 'floating' left-margin rather than the more common tab or space characters. Indentation is updated continuously and only relies on the XML ...
5
votes
4answers
196 views

Hovering over an element to raise opacity

I'm working on a site where we display testimonials on the side of the page. We don't want these to be the main point of interest, so we dimmed the opacity, and on hover it goes to full opacity. We ...
4
votes
2answers
208 views

Shading grouped table rows

Currently, I am working on a mobile web application which displays all substitutions for each class in my school. To make this substitution list (varying between 5 to 60 entries) easier to parse, I ...
4
votes
3answers
264 views

Can icons improve readability on a navigation?

Our app has many tools and we have a navigation of about 10 tabs. Tabs can be re-arranged and this forces the user to find them by reading the label. Would icons make it more usable?
4
votes
4answers
193 views

Should static text be repeated in UI?

As you can see in the picture above there two version of displaying update date. One with just the date and the other with updated word prepended. My question is, what version actually to use? I ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

Does drawing a dash across the numeral 7 (seven) increase readability?

The RBRC battery recycling logo was recently updated to add a dash to the final digit 7 (seven) in the phone number: Does this increase readability? In what situations, if any, is writing the ...
4
votes
1answer
295 views

Which icons are the easiest to read, solid or hollow?

With io7, Apple made a switch in the tabbars to icons that for the most part are line based. In other places, such as their app icons they are using mostly solid icons. That made me wonder if there is ...
4
votes
1answer
323 views

Apply the legibility principles to screen reading

How to apply the legibility principles to screen reading? What is important point for it? What is the difference between the "legibility" and "readability"?
4
votes
1answer
205 views

How to display an error log/report for user?

My web application is supposed to display the trace and a error report after process and shows for each uploaded files all the errors and operations accomplished. Here's a simplified and really ...
4
votes
4answers
256 views

Is it better to have groups of content stacked vertically or horizontally?

I have groups of content and I can stack them vertically in 100% width rows or horizontally (even-width columns). Since the user for English language web sites will read left-to-right and the and ...
4
votes
3answers
171 views

Small tables on big screens

I have a little problem, responsive design and tables with only 3-4 columns, so the tables can't be 100% of the width, because that would result in way too much white space between the columns and ...
4
votes
2answers
205 views

The “Time to read” feature, when is it good and how to implement it?

Recently I've seen some sites that tell how much time it takes you to red an article on it, most notably the incredible medium.com (which I consider master of UX). I have two questions rerading this ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

How much does vision change as we age?

I'd like to share with my web design team some specific, quantitative data on just how much visual ability changes, even as young as 40 years old. This is to help drive home the need for adequate ...
3
votes
7answers
3k views

Mixed case vs all lower case…Which is more readable?

A graphic designer I hired to do my company's collateral (a very accomplished and successful designer) told me once that all lower case is often more readable than mixed case. As an example she made ...
3
votes
4answers
325 views

Best way to layout information to optimize readability

The application I am designing is a large table of information that is updating in real time. The rows in the table are live orders in the companies system, our users scan through the list items, ...