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181

It's a legal compromise really. From an article on the New York Times: The design of modern billing blocks illustrates the tension between two intersecting interests: studios want uncluttered marketing materials, and industry organizations want their members prominently and fairly credited. Thus, it is neither accidental nor for aesthetics that the ...


54

Ideal line length is reasonably short or reasonably long; what's generally esthetically pleasing to read is generally a good indication. Columns in a web context make sense only if you were focusing on very compact content; which defeats the purpose of using columns beyond beautification. The reason they don't make sense otherwise is not because they are ...


51

High contrast such as black on white can cause eye strain. Also there is evidence that it is particularly bad for people with dyslexia. For further info read articles at UX Movement and The Bristol Dyslexia Centre. WCAG provide details on what is acceptable colour contrast, but dont state an upper limit. Personally, I like to use a different algorithm that ...


43

I believe neither is “easier” to read in general, and I would instead try to make it a country-dependent setting that mimics the common book spine orientation, either in the visitor’s country or in the web site’s country. In Wikipedia’s book entry, the spine tilting section says the following: In the United States, the Commonwealth and in Scandinavia, ...


35

First things first, this is what it looks like to color blind (deuteranopia; by the most common form of colorblindness) users: (also the zebrastripes are almost impossible to see, colorblind or not) Red on green is a classically bad color combo, though your magenta text isn't entirely unreadable. The background color is very loud though which can be hard ...


35

The trick is to not look at it as data or key-value pairs, but how the user would review it. For each data point evaluate what it means for the user.. e.g. Acreage .046 - does that mean anything to the user ? How much is .046 acres.. they care about the size of the lot. For smaller lots you might want to user different units. Then you have square ...


33

Short Answer Make them like tabs and follow that mental model (clockwise on right, counter-clockwise on left, upright on bottom). Medium Answer If your design uses tab-like elements, follow the logic of tabs. If it uses book-like elements, follow that model and pick a direction—if you're in the US, follow the orientation of book spines here (clockwise). And ...


24

For two main reasons,according to Microsoft posted 3 days ago: We’ve chosen to use uppercase styling in the top menu for two main reasons: 1) to keep Visual Studio consistent with the direction of other Microsoft user experiences, and 2) to provide added structure to the top menu bar area. On the first point, the use of uppercase text is becoming a ...


22

Corporate colors are for visual branding NOT UI development. The UI is supposed to assist and get out of the way of the user. That's why most tend to be neutral in their colors (grays, gray blues, etc.)


20

There is a study on rotated text readability from University of Toronto. Although it is on tabletop displays, I think it can be applied here too. The result shows that it takes significantly less time to read clockwise (-90 degree rotated) for words in any positions of the screen. It is not clear for 6-digit number though.


19

Monospaced typefaces do reduce legibility, albeit by a margin. In Universal Principles of Design, the entry on legibility states: Proportionally spaced typefaces are preferred over monospaced. One famous research on this is Beldie I. P., Pastoor S. & Schwarz E, 1983, “Fixed versus variable letter width for televised text”, Human Factors, 25, ...


18

Read this article on font legibility. At least look at this graph of on-screen reading times (shorter line = faster/better): The differences aren't that large, but it's worth noting that Times (a serif font) came in second place. For medium-large text consider ClearType (or whatever Apple's alternative for it is). For very small text (~<= size 10.5, ...


18

I think you're trying to solve a readability problem the wrong way. Line length (measure) is your real problem. The number generally advised for a readable measure is about 60-70 characters. Cut the measure to about 60% of it's current length and you'll find you have far less trouble. The other way to solve it is a bigger font size ... that would be really ...


17

I don't deal in print, but I have read quite a bit about fonts in the past. Recent studies have shown that serif vs. sans serif on a computer display is not really what affects readability, even at lower resolutions. Print, however, is a different matter. The studies consistently indicate that in print, serif based fonts are easier to read. That said, some ...


17

Yes. Jakob Nielsen did a study many years ago and found that users like reading text that's easily scannable. Scanning can save users time. During the study, 15 participants always approached unfamiliar Web text by trying to scan it before reading it. Only 3 participants started reading text word by word, from the top of the page to the ...


16

Caps are an effective way of introducing visual hierarchy without increasing point size or using bold. All-caps can make small text seem more important or conceptually higher in the hierarchy than larger text. Metro, being highly typographic, requires designers have a significant degree of freedom to express visual hierarchy without resorting to colour or ...


16

Research generally suggests light on dark is harder to read in most cases but considering we're talking accessibility, you should know that results for those with normal vision don't necessarily hold true for those with various vision impairments. I've heard higher contrast (the mode in Windows is called High Contrast mode I think) can be easier to read ...


15

This is a widely debated subject. One of the best ways I've seen this explained, is from the presentation Design for developers: making your frontends suck less by Idan Gazit. This had the following slide: This is 16pt text on a normal screen, and 12pt text in a book. The message is that 12pt is excellent for a book, but is also usually held much closer to ...


14

My guess would be that it's so the text renders consistently across all browsers. Not all browsers support font face. So images are the only way to have full control of the experience. Many of the visitors to that page might have a old PC. So rather that risking having the page destroyed by improper rendering they show an image. So that the site conveys ...


14

You want to look to sites such as W3.org for advice on this. Many people with cognitive disabilities have trouble tracking lines of text when a block of text is single spaced. Providing spacing between 1.5 to 2 allows them to start a new line more easily once they have finished the previous one. The W3C accessibility guidelines 1.4.8 state (emphasis ...


13

The biggest problem is the visual emphasis lost by the bright colour (in this case green). You can say "ignore the other colour", but it's the biggest problem with the readability! So it's hard to successfully improve the readability without working on that colour. The menu on the left is very high contrast, causing it to distract the reader from the main ...


13

No,for the simple reason that justified text can often create large blocks of white spaces which breaks the continuity of flow of words. To quote this article found in UX movement When you use justified text, you’re not only making text difficult to read for non-dyslexic users, but even more so for dyslexic users. Justified text creates large uneven ...


13

They're focussing on visual consistency, at the price of accessibility. It's not how the Web is supposed to work, but it's not much of a surprise that Apple take this stance, given their extremely successful marketing campaigns.


13

I think that the closest answer is: a compromise between visibility and legibility (which of course created some standard with time, or even: best practice). The main purpose for that is the need to fit as much text as possible, while still keeping the letters quite big (this is why the letters are almost always capital here as well). Fonts used here are ...


12

Thought this was funny ... someone has already created a hack to turn the visual studio ALL CAPS Menus back into lowercase. (I realise Microsoft have said they will expose this functionality themselves... but this demonstrates someone with a level of urgency). The point here is that many people really find ALL CAPS hard to read and/or aesthetically painful ...


11

Off black colors (#333, #222, #2a2a2a, #444) simulates print material contrast on web typography. It can also improve readability more so than pure white and pure black as Sheff already stated above.


10

There's no such thing as an optimal font size. Looking for one means that you're forgetting something important: legibility of text is not solely a product of size. I've built around a dozen websites as a UI designer in the past five years, and they've all had different audiences. One of the things I found was that size isn't the biggest factor. It's a ...


10

If someone is looking to change text size, having the ability to do so in the browser and on the site means they're more likely to find the option. However, something to think about: If in testing or conversation you find people actually using your zoom buttons, your text is too small. Whether or not the site design is clever matters much less to your ...


10

I've been scolded for using too much bold in SO questions, so I learned that... Using too much bold disrupts your natural reading rhythm, but some italics and bold can be helpful in appropriate quantities. If your text contains a lot of highlighting or bold, consider breaking it up into bulleted lists.


10

Yes, the colors may not be good for some. The screen is very organized, but I would suggest a better color theme. Not a drastic one, but I would make the background color much lighter than it is, as it is too loud. It seem to draw my attention passed the content. Also red, is not the best default choice for font, as most website use that for errors, and ...



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