A message from our CEO about the future of Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange. Read now.
226

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 ...


94

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 ...


57

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, ...


43

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 ...


37

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 footage ...


34

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 mine)...


30

Left align is basically the default for Left to Right languages just because all content will line up; this is a powerful tool for readability. Generally stick with left aligning unless there's good reason not to. The exception, as you notice, is numbers. Here's a little blurb by Christian Heilmann: I chatted quickly with Luke Wroblewski about it (one ...


29

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 ...


28

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, pp.273-...


27

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 ...


23

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 ...


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.)


22

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.


21

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 ...


21

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 ...


19

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 ...


17

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 (...


16

An article Optimal Line Height says: Typog­ra­phy ref­er­ences con­sis­tently put ideal line height at 1.2 ems (a mea­sure of type equiv­a­lent to the the let­ter height or point size of a typeface). The main idea of defining a proper line height is to let text paragraph look solid and be pleasant to read (if you will choose a bigger line height the ...


15

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.


15

Darkhorse Analytics has one of the easiest to understand explanations for improving tables The points relevant to alignment of table data are: Left align text (where appropriate) Right align numbers (where appropriate) Align titles with data Resize columns to data


15

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

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.


14

I think this is influenced by personal preference and the width of the block of text. The wider the block of text, the bigger the line-height should be in order to keep your eyes on the same line while reading it. Personally, I like the line-height to be 1.5em or 1.6em. This Interactive Guide to Blog Typography has a section about line-height which also ...


14

No single answer Unfortunately, there's no single value of line-height (leading) that is optimal for all situations. An optimal range is probably roughly 1.3–1.7, but to select an optimal value requires we look at the specific font in use and the width of lines of text (among other things). In Troy Templeman's excellent article Basic Rules of Good ...


13

This is most prevalent with hand-written numbers as some people draw their 1's like their 7's. The dash is used the differentiate the two from each other. With respect to this specific case, I assume it is for the same reason - because the number is along a curve the 7 could be interpreted as a 1, so the dash was added for clarity. I don't think I have ...


13

4 digits is time-tested chunking for large numbers 3 to 4 digit chunks are easy to read accurately. Perceptually, the eye tends to read words and not letters across a page, and a 3-4 letter word allows the eye to read the end points and the middle letters of the word accurately without disorientation. Once the word gets too long, the letters in the middle ...


11

Let me preface my answer by saying the evidence is all over the place on this topic. It seems prudent to suggest that choice of typeface has a relatively minor effect on reading speed or legibility given our current understanding. There's a section on the Wikipedia page for Serif that seems to directly address the question: Serifed fonts are widely used ...


11

Here's an interesting piece on this: Design Tip: Never Use Black It's not a study, but I found that interesting. The thinking is that in real world thing's aren't really black on really white and that it didn't matter some time ago, but now the displays have such high contrast that pure black on white just isn't good for you.


10

The basic reason is because lots of EULA's are pretty huge and companies dont want users to spend time looking over the legal details of the application and just get down to it. Further more as ChrisF said,most users dont bother to spend the time reading it and just want to get down to working with the application ,Here is an interesting article about PC ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible