• Text Resize A A A
  • Print Print
  • Share Share Share Share

View all available chapters

11:7 Use Familiar Fonts

Relative Importance:

Relative Importance rating of 3 out of 5

Strength of Evidence:

Strength of Evidence rating of 5 out of 5

Document Type: Guideline


Topic:

Text and Styles


Guideline:

Use a familiar font to achieve the best possible reading speed.


Comments:

Research shows no reliable differences in reading speed or user preferences for twelve point Times New Roman or Georgia (serif fonts), or Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana (sans serif fonts).


Sources:

  • Bernard, M. & Mills, M. (2000). So, what size and type of font should I use on my Web site? Usability News, 2.2. Retrieved November 2005, from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/2S/font.htm.
  • Bernard, M., Liao, C., & Mills, M. (2001a). Determining the best online font for older adults. Usability News, 3.1. Retrieved November 2005, from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/3W/fontSR.htm.
  • Bernard, M., Lida, B., Riley, S., Hackler, T., & Janzen, K. (2002). A comparison of popular online fonts: Which size and type is best? Usability News, 4.1. Retrieved November 2005, from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/41/onlinetext.htm.
  • Bernard, M., Mills, M., Peterson, M., & Storrer, K. (2001). A comparison of popular online fonts: Which is best and when? Usability News, 3.2. Retrieved November 2005, from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/3S/font.htm.
  • Boyarski, D., Neuwirth, C., Forlizzi, J., & Regli, S.H. (1998). A study of fonts designed for screen display. Proceedings of CHI’98, 87-94.
  • Evans, M. (1998). Web Design: An Empiricist’s Guide. Unpublished master’s thesis. Seattle: University of Washington. Retrieved May 2003, from http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/webmastr/webdesgn.pdf.
  • Tullis, T.S., Boynton, J.L., & Hersh, H. (1995). Readability of fonts in the windows environment. Proceedings of CHI’95, 127-128.
  • Williams, T.R. (2000). Guidelines for designing and evaluating the display of information on the Web. Technical Communication, 47(3), 383-396.

Poor Example:

Using unfamiliar fonts may slow reading speeds.11_07_bad_example